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Redesign the gay-pride flag?

Posted by Christopher Shea  June 18, 2009 03:57 PM

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One new idea for a gay-pride flag

Studio 360, the wide-ranging cultural radio show hosted by Kurt Andersen, likes to conduct playful experiments centered on graphic design. With gay pride celebrations coming up at the end of June, the staff thought a "Gay Flag Makeover" might be fun. "Don't get us wrong, some of our best friends are rainbows," went the message posted on a Studio 360 Flickr page. "But we think it's time for a 21st century gay flag makeover. Should it be pink and sparkly? Subdued and stately?"

Some listeners were less than impressed. The rainbow flag, wrote one, is "sacred; people have literally died for openly displaying it. its history should be respected, and it should be left alone."

Under the subject line "Some Cheek," another listener suggested that the rainbow flag's evolution as a symbol deserved its own segment on the show: "There was a creator. There's a theory of the reasons for the colors in the flag. Nice job of COMPLETELY ignoring the history and symbolic resonance of a flag that people have marched with by the HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS."

Other listeners predictably told the complainers to chill out. Suggestions for new flags have ranged from tweaks on the present design -- a gradually widening rainbow rising from bottom-left to upper-right, on a royal blue background, watched over by a pink sun, for example -- to utter redos. Among the latter are a version of the American flag with only six stars, each representing a state that has approved gay marriage, and a white flag depicting a large purple rhinoceros head (adorned with a small, red heart-symbol).

The latter may hold some nostalgic value for older Bostonians. A related purple rhino appeared on posters in Boston in the 1970s as a gay-pride emblem, though it failed to take off nationally. The idea was that the rhino was a misunderstood beast: more gentle than generally believed but quite powerful when roused to anger.


The return of the purple rhino: a replacement for the rainbow?

Via The Awl

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
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39 comments so far...
  1. I think a swastika is appropriate

    Posted by Dave June 18, 09 06:28 PM
  1. ...who give a flying F*** what the "gay flag" looks like.........

    Posted by waste of time June 18, 09 06:56 PM
  1. The Boston Globe: All Gay All the Time.

    Posted by MAk1 June 18, 09 07:16 PM
  1. How original....Boston Spirit magazine did this 4 years ago.

    Posted by daniel June 18, 09 07:24 PM
  1. I think they should also redesign the MAMBLA flag while they're at it.

    Posted by BobinVA June 18, 09 07:32 PM
  1. How original! This is just a blatant rip off of the flag of the Marshall Islands. Check this link to see. http://flagspot.net/flags/mh.html

    Posted by George June 18, 09 07:45 PM
  1. How about a fancy font spelling out HEDONISM!

    Posted by XENOPHONIC June 18, 09 07:50 PM
  1. and you now what....gays still don't matter to me, well except the funny ones, i like them I don't like the uptight angry gays...who litter cambridge and come up to me and ask me if i want to talk about gay rights.

    Posted by gayissogay June 18, 09 08:09 PM
  1. For what reason do gays need their own flag? Heterosexuals don't have one...isn't this special privelages? It makes me sick.

    Posted by silverbulletman June 18, 09 08:30 PM
  1. Homosexuals co-opted the "rainbow" from Mel King's Rainbow Coalition formed as part of his mayoral campaign in 1983. The Rainbow Coalition developed a political agenda for community development through the empowerment of communities. His goal was to redistribute control over decision-making in the city. At the time, the rainbow represented "people of color" (including whites) coming together to aggregate their political power. Since then, the common ground represented by the King's diverse rainbow has been corrupted by the singular defining element of the homosexual movement, that is, group entitlement based on the character of their sexual activity. Homosexuals have made the rainbow a part of their in-your-face agenda. Taking a wonder of nature, the confluence of sunlight following the storm refracted in an arching ribbon of color, and contaminated it by making it a symbol for their biologically contradictory and incomplete sexuality.

    Posted by theoldhorse June 18, 09 10:28 PM
  1. Its stories like this that are putting the Globe out of business.

    Posted by Be Frank June 18, 09 10:31 PM
  1. Wow, everyone's getting a little aggressive with the comments. Relax ppl, it's an online newspaper article.

    Posted by M June 18, 09 10:32 PM
  1. wow - you hatemongers really monitor the Globe minute by minute and blog vociferously at a moment's notice - get a friggin' life, you people - but, as a gay man, I say leave the rainbow flag alone - these designs are horrible

    Posted by bosfiddle June 18, 09 10:37 PM
  1. the boston globe is the propaganda machine for the homosexual mafia

    Posted by bdflynny June 18, 09 10:53 PM
  1. In 20 years, most Americans will look at comments like some of those above and shake their heads. While we are all free to express our opinions, this brand of hatred and ignorance belongs increasingly to a dwindling group of extremists, just like past brands of hatred and ignorance. Progress is inevitable, and you're on the wrong side. Good thing, for my children and their children!

    Posted by RealityCheck June 18, 09 10:58 PM
  1. I want the rainbow back please. Somehow it was hijacked!!!

    Posted by Redheaded Wonder June 18, 09 11:07 PM
  1. What's with all the hate?

    For people who seem to think the Globe has an agenda...there's this other paper in town...called the Herald. It's perfect for uptight willfully ignorant haters like yourselves!

    I don't think the flag needs a redo--it's a highly recognizable symbol and should stay as it is.

    Posted by straightbutnotnarrow June 18, 09 11:20 PM
  1. boston.com is far from pro gay ... they never even cover gay pride week ... choosing instead to bury an obscure story the evening of or day after the parade. it's nice to know boston still has plenty of angry bigots though ...

    Posted by johninboston June 18, 09 11:30 PM
  1. We need to keep the flag to remind all the above Haters that the rainbow signifies diversity of LGBT people. We come in all colors, sizes, ages, backgrounds and we can't change no matter how much you don't like same-sex sex. We're here, we don't want to change you and don't try. We don't you to be our best friends - just get the point that we PAY TAXES and should get EQUAL RIGHTS....You can call it gay rights to help you disenfranchise us, but at the end of the day it's = rights. Nothing more, nothing less, no separate but equal. Our Pink Triangle comes from the Nazis in case anyone needs a history lesson. Remember them? History doesn't judge haters kindly...March in anti-equal rights/anti-gay march..and I promise you that footage of you will roll incessantly in the Museums of Tolerance all around. Your family will cringe.

    Posted by Equal Rights June 18, 09 11:38 PM
  1. MAMBLA? Theres a Massachusetts Association of Marlon Brando Look Alikes?

    Woo Hoo!!

    Posted by Fred Quimby June 18, 09 11:39 PM
  1. Lighten up, folks. This is a tongue in cheek story. A gay pride flag is fun and shows the colors of the gay community. For what reason do they need their own flag? Why, for fun and fashion. And, like all flags, as a symbol of love and a connection to others who live their lives in LGBT nation. Live and let love.

    Posted by gigibo June 19, 09 12:31 AM
  1. Wow, the hate, the hate....

    Posted by getoverit June 19, 09 01:00 AM
  1. why does it bother you so much? if it's something they can find refuge/comfort in against you ignorant people, then let them have it... if you want a heterosexual flag make one... sometimes i think people will throw fits about anything just to hear themselves talk/read whatever they write... ugh

    Posted by rachelizt June 19, 09 01:29 AM
  1. You are all the most ignorant people ever. This is the year 2009 and you all need to grow up and realize that there are gay people in this world and they are no different than anyone else except they like people of their same sex. I am not gay. I am not even bi or anything close it to it. I think it is a shame that you all think and act the way you do and that Boston.com allows it to happen.

    Posted by Kaitlyn June 19, 09 02:02 AM
  1. Kaitlyn,
    I do screen comments, and reject those that include profanity, endorsements of violence, and particularly harsh (or gross) slurs. I've rejected two comments on the flag story on those grounds, but I try to err on the side of letting commenters say whatever they want. If you have suggestions for how I could do a better job -- or can point to specific comments here that you think should not have been published, I would appreciate the feedback. Email me at brainiac.email@gmail.com

    Posted by Chris Shea June 19, 09 08:20 AM
  1. In response to:
    For what reason do gays need their own flag? Heterosexuals don't have one...isn't this special privelages? It makes me sick. Posted by silverbulletman June 18, 09 08:30 PM
    Unfortunately for your ignorance, many affinity groups have a flag. Did you know there's a Christian flag? And as to heterosexuals not having a flag; you're wrong. The heterosexual flag is currently red, white, and blue, with 13 red/white alternating stripes and 50 white stars on a field of blue. It symbolizes their rights more than anyone elses.

    Posted by Kat M. June 19, 09 01:19 PM
  1. Equal Rights '' We need to keep the flag to remind all the above Haters''

    you lost me and your argument ....Name Calling Solves Nothing! even if they did start it

    Posted by UncleArther June 19, 09 01:53 PM
  1. If it's not broke don't fix it.

    Posted by Brian M June 19, 09 05:03 PM
  1. I designed this "Mourning and Protest flag" years ago. http://www.usqueers.com/grfx/mourning&protest_flag_lg.gif Help yourself. As long as one person feels they need to dump on others their own insecurities and fears by belittling strangers anonymously like so many posters here, there will be a need for Pride parades, bias crime laws, unifying symbols like our rainbow flag and the pink triangle from the Holocaust, and anti-discrimination laws. These are all the "special" things that these kinds of people make necessary. If they weren't such crude and rude and selfish people, these things would fade into historical significance. As it is, the need for them is renewed daily by the spilling of our blood; in the U.S. and wherever our military is operating.

    Posted by B. Allan Ross June 19, 09 06:04 PM
  1. To B. Allan Ross - Thank you for the link, and the intelligent post. I had seen your design ages ago, and am glad to finally have access to it for myself.

    As to the article, I first saw reference to it on The Advocate's website and was appalled. Irregardless of the original intent, altering the symbol I have personally marched, bled, and twice have almost been killed for makes me furious! For over 30 years I have been a grass-roots activist; years that have been rewarding, painful, joyous and heartbreaking - and through it all the Rainbow Flag has been my symbol of hope and unity.

    Posted by Scott L. Burkey June 19, 09 08:36 PM
  1. sorry but the rainbow flag was around long before us gays and long before mel king and his rainbow coalition.

    Posted by johninboston June 20, 09 01:26 PM
  1. Scary the amount of negative feelings people harbor in their lives towards others and I assume themselves. I only hope that by releasing it and then seeing it in print a bit of it dissolves, but I doubt it.

    As for special rights, I have never seen any except for the right to be discriminated against being upheld by legal review and I do not simply mean gays, but native peoples, women, minorities and for that matter most "white men" who may wish to forget through anger towards others that catholics, jews and most non-English heritage peoples were on a short leash until after the civil war and for many the 1920's.

    Posted by SKYEJACKER June 21, 09 07:39 PM
  1. In response to:
    "For what reason do gays need their own flag? Heterosexuals don't have one...isn't this special privelages? It makes me sick."

    Actually, heterosexual's used to have one, which today we now know as the KKK flag. A flag for white, racist, and homophobic (heterosexual) people. People have come to realize that the racism was pointless and they are also realizing that you homophobia in also pointless. A violation to our constitution. The gay pride flag is celebrated on a global scale, even if we change it, it's not like everyone is going to accept a change in history & tradition.

    Posted by Jesse June 22, 09 01:40 AM
  1. A rhino? A friggin' RHINO? No wonder North American gays are in so much trouble.

    Posted by Francis Schwitzgebel Torres June 22, 09 10:57 AM
  1. @ 10. According to wikipedia, the rainbow flag was "popularized as a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pride and diversity by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker in 1978." That would be five years before you erroneously claim that it was stollen from black people. There is therapy available for your undifferentiated antigay hatred.

    Posted by Steve June 22, 09 02:27 PM
  1. It's a shame that the original gay flag was not really depicted properly in the film "Milk" during the parade scene with Harvey Milk in the Gay Freedom Day Parade in 1978 where the flag was first flown.

    Posted by Dave Ross June 23, 09 01:18 PM
  1. i think the flag should be a pink triangle since in the holocoust thats what we wore it shows our struggle.

    Posted by james June 26, 09 11:02 PM
  1. Anybody who is against equal rights for all chooses to discriminate against some. There's no getting around that. We have a long, ugly history in this country of openly discriminating against groups of people. We have a way to go. If you choose to advocate against equal rights for gays, then at least admit the truth of what you want. Say out loud that you want gays to continue to have fewer rights than you. Say that you promote discrimination. Then educate yourself about what discrimination leads to. Own up to the hatred it fosters; maybe you, personally, don't hate gays, but your views are shared by many who do. Look at the danger that gays face just because they're gay. It starts with people saying it's OK to discriminate against some.

    Posted by Katydid June 27, 09 10:41 AM
  1. Wow, the responses found here primarily side with bigots, racists and uneducated hate mongers. For such a blue state I have to say I'm happy to leave.

    Posted by girlysound June 28, 09 08:31 PM
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