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Gay pride variations of U.S. flags

Last modified: 2006-02-05 by rick wyatt
Keywords: rainbow flag | canton | stars: 50 | star: 5 points (white) | yacht ensign | maryland | stripes: 6 | stripes: 13 | stars: 13 | anchor (white) |
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Rainbow flag
image by Željko Heimer and António Martins, 21 January 2000

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Description and origin of the flag

The gay pride rainbow flag with a U.S. canton is an often seen variation.
Steve Kramer, 6 May 1996

These flags were a regular production item at the Paramount Flag Co. before 1978 and the subsequent adoption of the rainbow as a symbol of Gay Pride. It was popular with the "Rainbow Children" and other similar counter culture groups. It still is, and as they are quick to point out, «They had it first!». They were used at Rainbow Gatherings. They were also made by Colors of the Wind in Santa Monica in the 1970's (I think theirs started with a purple stripe). It is called “New Glory” and predated the "Gay Nation" rainbow by at least six years, probably longer. Also available was a "Rainbow" First Navy Jack before 1978.
James Ferrigan, 20 August 1999

The Rainbow Family has used the "New Glory" flag for many years. The canton of stars represents all of the constellations — united, or the U.S. depending on who you talk to. The stripes of many colors represent all of the tribes of the earth. The symbolism being that all of the different peoples or tribes can come together in peace and harmony. At least in a flag! And hopefully in person. The “Rainbow Family of Living Light”, also known as the “Rainbow Family” is an international, non-hierarchical, non-organized, loose-knit group of hippies. Ages vary from 1960's flower power veterans to new-borns. All decisions are made by consensus. Anyone who cares about the earth and their fellow man is automatically a member. That includes you! Of course, membership lists are not kept, acceptance of a person is automatic upon that person showing up at a "gathering". Sort of a hippie camporee! Or peace festival. National gatherings in the U.S. draw about 20 to 40 thousand people. It is not a gay organization. Gays are of course included, but as human beings, brothers and sisters, not as predominant or exclusive, or even excluded. Just more people. In about the same proportions as the general population — whatever that may be! I am including a couple of URLs for background information, and a better explanation. One of which shows the Rainbow "New Glory" flag in use:

Kevin McNamara, 9 September 1999

Variant with white stripes

Rainbow flag
image by Željko Heimer and António Martins, 21 Jan 2000

I was at this years Halsted Street Marketdays again yesterday. I noted one flag worth mentioning, the U.S. flag with the 50-star canton as usual, but the stripes were the gay colors (six of them) plus with white stripe between those colors where only the red would appear in a U.S. flag.
Steve Stringfellow, 16 Aug 1999

Gay U.S. Yacht Ensign

[Rainbow Yacht Ensign] image by Rick Wyatt, 2 December 2001

This is the six-striped Rainbow Flag with a canton similar to the U.S. Yacht Ensign — blue, with thirteen white stars in a ring around a white fouled anchor. The example I saw was nylon, and I believe the dimensions were 2'×3' (61 cm × 91 cm).
Steve Kramer, 16 Mar 1999

Gay Flag of Maryland

Rainbow flag
Steve Kramer, 16 Mar 1999

This is simply the Rainbow Flag with the Maryland State Flag in the canton, which I saw again in nylon, in 2'×3' and 3'×5' (91 cm × 155 cm). A rather busy flag, but at least nominally heraldically correct.
Steve Kramer, 16 Mar 1999