Today’s Google Doodle Celebrates Gilbert Baker

Today would be Gilbert Baker’s 66th birthday and Google celebrates with an animated doodle. They write:

Today’s doodle is a little more colorful thanks to Gilbert Baker, creator of the rainbow flag, a symbol of pride and freedom for the LGBTQA+ community.

Teaching himself to sew, Baker put his skills to work for the San Francisco gay community, making banners for marches and protests. In 1978 Baker used those skills to create a new symbol for the LGBT Community to replace the pink triangle, a symbol of oppression and devastation from the Nazi’s classification of LGBT people in World War II. Baker’s Rainbow was a more positive and celebratory symbol.

“We needed something beautiful, something from us,” Baker explained. “The rainbow is so perfect because it really fits our diversity in terms of race, gender, ages, all of those things. Plus, it’s a natural flag—it’s from the sky!”

Making the flag was no small task. Baker gathered thirty people in the attic of the Gay Community Center in San Francisco to hand-dye and sew together over 1000 yards of cotton. The modern day rainbow flag features six colors, but the original used eight, each representing a different aspect of the community. The iconic symbol stuck and soon Baker was flooded with requests for more flags.

Baker’s sister, Ardonna Cook, also reflects on his life and legacy by sharing, “Our family is so proud of the legacy of activism and artistry that Gilbert has left to the world. He touched millions across the globe and empowered them to become stronger and more visible LGBT people. Gilbert led a bold and inspiring life by bringing The Rainbow Flag to life and it is that legacy which should guide us in respecting and celebrating diversity.”

  • Rex

    As we progress, we must never forget the legacy of activism and artistry that brought us to where we are today. Thank you Gilbert.

    • Todd20036

      Progress? I’d settle for stagnation during the Trump regime.

      • Bluto

        Indeed that is a lofty goal during this administration but it goes without saying that we must never quit fighting for anything less than 100% equality.
        I’m channeling Mr Obvious.

  • JT
    • TuuxKabin

      Shocking Gorgeous! JMG is a good place to be all year, but JUNE IS THE BEST! I hope the Hikin’ Dykes will be there. As well as so many more.

  • Michael White

    I remember a T-shirt from that first parade in San Francisco. It had a small rainbow flag on the breast and it said “I love a parade”. Bought it at a store called “Does your Mother Know”. Man we lived in a very fragile dream world in San Francisco in the early and mid 70’s.
    The Google Doodle is always good on so many topics.

    • Rebecca Gardner
      • ChrisInKansas

        Before our friends moved to Palm Springs, they lived in SF, right off of 19th and Castro, and Larry worked at Does Your Mother Know for a few years. He would always tell us stories of what gay porn stars he saw shopping there, and the guys he would hook up with after work. He made it sound so glamorous and exotic, for what was a minimum wage job. 🙂

        • David Walker

          Minimum wage and all the stardust you can gather.

        • fuzzybits

          I remember always seeing Peter Berlin on Castro St.

      • fuzzybits

        Glad to know it’s still open. I remember it from the early 80’s.

  • A 4 or 5 year old girl looking wide eyed at my rainbow Mickey T-shirt yesterday (day 1 of Gay Days at Disney) named all the colors after saying “Mickey! Rainbow!’…I guess her two mom’s taught her well 😉

    • TuuxKabin

      Sweet! So many of the kids are alright!

    • Territcaesar

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      On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
      !mj136:
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  • Rebecca Gardner

    OT but Fox Bimbos are apparently helping the White House dictate policy. THIS IS NOT NORMAL!!!

    https://twitter.com/davidfrum/status/870607966260654080

    • Todd20036

      Her face reminds me of Caitlyn Jenner.

      • TheManicMechanic

        Looks the same. Just like overstretched plastic wrap.

      • B Snow

        That’s who I thought it was, from the photo in the other thread.

    • JT

      He wanted advice from her hills and valley and flowing yellow streams.

      • Todd20036

        You’re paying for my next bottle of sake!

  • Todd20036

    O/T: Not that we need any additional reason to scorn WalMart, but now they are making employees fulfill online orders by shipping them to customers while going home from work.

    Imagine working an hourly wage, then once you leave work, still have to do work related things for free, including spending your own gas!

    • Rebecca Gardner

      Not that I needed another reason to never shop at WalMart, but thank you. That is such a disgusting and sad story. Americans only value is what use we are for a Corporation.

    • Joe in PA

      Good grief…as if they could get any scummier. But not to cast any doubts (and this sounds totally plausible), but being the sceptic that I am…this story kinda sounds like a fake one.

      But hey, those Walton women need another fur.

      • TuuxKabin

        Especially living in the south. Crank up those AC’s and bundle up.

        • Joe in PA

          BTW, I like your new avatar. Cool.

          • TuuxKabin

            Thanks. I like ‘ridin’ round in yo’s too!’ Mine will be enhanced shortly to explain the symbolism of it. Live at, oh, five, maybe 7. Definitely by 11.

      • no, it’s true. people have been talking about it for a while now. i think it’s really evil because the workers there are hardly going to feel safe saying no, when the manager asks for “volunteers” to do this. it’s such a shitty place to work and only the most desperate people do.

        i really noticed when i moved here the difference bw the wal mart and another big box store that is here. we had to buy something in a hurry and after checking the wal mart was the only place in town that had it that day. so we went in, and wow! what a mess. crap lying on the floor, shelves improperly stocked, sullen, depressed employees… we decided to get some other stuff that day at another store and the difference was night and day.

        happy workers are productive workers. i really don’t understand why the evil people who run wal mart can’t understand that.

        • David Walker

          They’re the rich bitches, so why tamper with what is for them a successful formula?

    • ChrisInKansas

      It’s appparently a true story, but it’s totally voluntary and they would get paid extra, even overtime.

      But yeah, it’s a horrible idea. Taking advantage of people who most likely feel threatened or obligated to do it. I go to WalMart as little as I have to anymore, and I don’t miss it at all

  • IAMBOWLINGGREEN

    Posted by Dan Rather today :

    Every great symbol on the world stage had to start with an idea in someone’s mind. And that is true of the rainbow flag, which today has become a rallying cry around the globe for LGBT rights. Bold, positive, enduring, beautiful… it expresses the pride of a movement that will no longer remain silent.

    It was the brainchild of Gilbert Baker, a name being honored today on what would have been his 66th birthday. Thanks to a particularly artful Google Doodle, this story is being brought to the attention of millions around the globe.

    Baker designed the flag from strips of colored cloth as a unifying rallying cry for a new civil rights movement. The year was 1978 and he was inspired by the urgings of his friend Harvey Milk, a San Francisco City Councilman and the first openly gay person elected to public office in the United States. Milk would be assassinated shortly thereafter, but the movement he helped lead grew and prospered Today, though we have a long way to go, we have traveled great distances – marching towards progress under the banner of the rainbow flag.

    Baker died earlier this year, but his spirit lives on and we as a global community are the better for it.

  • Tawreos

    It is always good to have a reminder to be thankful for those that came before and paved the way so that being gay could be easier today.

    • David Walker

      Easier for us and an identifier for those elsewhere in the world where it is anything-but-easy. Our flag has made an impression and it does bring out the best (courage beyond our imagining, love that is perfection for us) and inspires members of the tribe to claim their humanity, too. I’m glad that Gilbert lived to see the international significance of his creation. Thank you, kind sir.

  • TuuxKabin

    WhoTF is she?

    • hudson11

      Nice new avatar!

      • TuuxKabin

        WOOF! Just replied to your note. Thanks! oxo

  • i don’t understand why the two colors got dropped. anyone know?

    • unclemike

      I seem to remember it was because those two colors were harder and more expensive to procure? Or maybe it was just simplicity.

      I’m old.

      • David Gervais

        My recollection is similar, but it was that the colours did not reproduce well in print.

      • Adam Schmidt

        The story as I recall was that as Gilbert got so many orders for the flag, he went to flag manufacturers to get them made. But there aren’t really any flags out there that use hot pink and it was going to be costly to have the cloth made custom. I didn’t know the reason for the removal of the turquoise stripe so I looked it up…

        http://gizmodo.com/how-the-rainbow-pride-flag-lost-its-pink-and-turquoise-1714201920

    • MusicBear88

      For mass production, nobody made a pink fabric that was weatherproof (matching the others), so he took it out, leaving seven. Then when people wanted to use it on both sides of the street for a parade, the seventh stripe was removed to make it symmetrical.

    • Tor

      The responses below agree with my understanding. It is a bit murky, but it had to do with availability of materials. Or something.
      However, I do prefer the current, more simple version. I think it makes a stronger graphic statement. Tertiary colors are weak compared to primary and secondary.

  • hudson11

    This is lovely. Hubby and I just got back last night from London. A favourite ‘must do’ is the Design Museum. A new exhibit just opened and guess what? Its on design in California- a large portion of it devoted to social activism. In its collection, the museum has one of Gilbert’s original flags. I’ll admit to getting a lump in my throat and happy to say it garnered a lot of attention. It is so beautiful. Anyone in London this summer ought to make an effort to see the exhibit. In my opinion, one of the best I’ve seen them put on.

    The Cartier exhibit is incredible as well. There’s a whole lot more to those watches than pretty faces and straps. A surprising history comes with them.

    • B Snow

      Thanks! The DH and I will be in London this summer. I’ll add this to my list.

  • andrew

    Awesome. That Rainbow Flag represents freedom and equality for LGBT people around the world. That flag waves in the large cities and little villages in many parts of the world.

  • Lars Littlefield

    I like our rainbow flag. I smile every time I see it