chillhouse2009 6:33pm, 6 June 2009
the rainbow flag is the symbol of gay pride. you can't change that; it just is. the flag doesn't need to be redesigned, because it's not a new symbol that we should be looking for, it's the voice of leadership sorely missing from the fabric. sew that into your pipe and smoke it!

the flag used as symbolizing gay pride was designed by gilbert baker (friend of harvey milk) and many variations have been used through the years. sure, other groups have ripped it off as well - just like the ribbons thing (remember the original, a red ribbon symbolizing AIDS awareness?). but nothing could come close to our flag in it's ability to represent of such a large and diverse group of people all over the world.

it's sacred; people have literally died for openly displaying it. it's history should be respected, and it should be left alone.
pri.studio360 7 years ago
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Our contest is meant to be lighthearted and fun. We're not seeking to denigrate the rainbow flag at all, and recognize the history behind it. We'd like to offer the opportunity for some creative thinking on how else gay pride could be expressed aesthetically today. We're opening this up to everyone to be imaginative and come up with a visual representation of what pride means to them. The flag was designed in 1978... but if it were created in 2009, perhaps it would look different. Maybe the rainbow can't be beat, but we'd like to see what other ideas might bubble up.
chillhouse2009 7 years ago
there is nothing "lighthearted and fun" about this "contest". it's offensive to us gay peeps and OUR community as a whole. and it is MY community - not yours.

you should apologize and move on to some other idea for an episode, because this one straight up sucks. and if you don't understand why it's so offensive, well, my calling in life is not educating straight people on their ignorance - although at some times in life i guess it's inevitable.

and thanks for your comment, brother danveradc.
divaboy1 7 years ago
Chillhouse, chill! As a gay activist in Chicago, I find nothing wrong with this exercise. In fact, I applaud S360 for bringing awareness to the rainbow flag as a symbol and for creating a forum through which designers, activists, straights, gays and others can discover symbols associated with the gay community, discover cultural similarities across demographics and explore unity through artistic expression.

Ultimately the rainbow flag [and the pink triangle and the bear flag and the SM flag and all of the other myriad symbols used by various segments of the gay community] will not be replaced or become obsolete through this contest.
huguenard2009 [deleted] 7 years ago
Greetings. I agree with divaboy1. The challenge is simply an exercise that will hopefully create more in dialogue than an imaginary symbol for gay pride had it been created in 2009 instead of 1978. The Rainbow will never be replaced.

That said, this new flag or symbol for gays in the year 2009, as the new context, will not involve Gay Pride. Many gays were not proud in 1978. They were in the closet. Today, the reasons for staying in the closet are not what they were nor do they exist in the same degree as back then. Pride was chosen as our mantra as much as Black Power was chosen by African Americans. Power was the goal and so was Pride. I'd have to say that in 2009 were out and sincerely PROUD! As much as Black Power sounds dated, so does Gay Pride.

Chillhouse2009, you've got a good nose. We're lacking leadership. We don't need another Gay Pride parade. We need a coalescent direction. Perhaps Gay Rights? Build a flag or symbol around the context of gays and lesbians in the year 2009 and see how we can bring ourselves together socially, spiritually and politically in a effort to improve the lives of gays, lesbians and everyone else that, yes, we will forever continue to educate, just less than we did in 1978.
colleen2328 7 years ago
You go, chillhouse2009!
While we're at it, shall we redesign the Stars and Stripes? Because there are more than 13 states now. And the Stars and Bars - that's so Nineteenth Century!

Gilgamesh is not one of the Village People. The strength of the rainbow is because it's an archetype that resonates throughout history. It's not specific to any culture. After the tempest comes the rainbow. It's what gets you through the storm.

Rebranding will combat homophobia, Prop 8, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" how, exactly? And anyway, the flag's already had 2 makeovers, fined down from 8 colors to 7 to 6.

It ain't broke. Don't fix it.
chillhouse2009 7 years ago
i smell what is, perhaps, a generational divide ... and/or perhaps an urban america vs. rural america divide as well.

"I'd have to say that in 2009 were out and sincerely PROUD! As much as Black Power sounds dated, so does Gay Pride" ...

huh? last time i checked, we are not allowed to serve (openly) in the military, hate crimes are on the rise, homosexuality is still a criminal offense in many parts of the world, and here in the USA most of us can't adopt kids (even the children of our partners), many of us have no legal protections whatsoever for basic equal rights and can be denied housing and employment, and the list goes on and on. Fortunately i haven't lost a friend to AIDS or hate crime for quite a few years, although there are plenty of instances in which gays are denied or unable to get health care or coverage for our partners, so who knows how many of us have died because of that.

I moved to San Francisco from Oklahoma at the tender age of 19 in the wake of the white night riots. I lived there through the AIDS crisis, the reagan years, jerry fallwell's bullshit, Prop 64 (which would have forced quarantine of AIDS patients), countless candlelight marches, hate crimes, murder, police brutality, and the list goes on and on. That flag perhaps means more to me than some, true enough .. I recognize the symbol as coming from the heart of a struggle and a people - and not some silly contest.

and when i heard Kurt Andersen compare the gay flag to "My Little Pony" ... well, honestly i wanted to punch him in the face! my PTSD is showing! sorry!
huguenard2009 [deleted] 7 years ago
Kurt's "My LIttle Pony" comparison was offensive; however, he has engaged America in an exercise. Why don't we take ownership and make the exercise positive and beneficial. Remember, Kurt wants to get an idea of what the flag would look like if a flag had never been created in 1978 and produced for the first time today. I believe his intentions are good despite a few forgivable blunders.

Also, let's not confuse Gay Pride with Gay Rights/Equal Rights. Hate crimes, criminalization, the military's position on serving gays and barriers to adoption don't make me any less proud to be gay.

Gay Pride is not a step that we can check off on a list, but we have gained such a measure of Gay Pride that we can focus energies elsewhere. What actions have been taken for the last thirty years that have furthered Gay Rights/Equal Rights? Too much to list here. I'd bet those actions started with Gay Pride.

We chose a flag and symbol that represented diversity and became accepted by the gay and lesbian community as a symbol for Gay Pride. Apparently we felt Gay Pride to be the highest priority thirty years ago (not the only priority, just the most important). What if we don't change the flag/symbol at all. What highest priority would we - should we attach to the rainbow flag as gays and lesbians today?
EditorsAtGayWisdom 7 years ago

Good fun is good fun, but there's been no reference whatsoever to the history of this symbol. It would be one thing to conduct some sort of "exercise" if there had been some effort to explain the history. But that hasn't happened. And to add insult to injury, Isaac Mizrahi is brought in like this is some sort of fashion statement.

People have fought and died under this symbol. Have some respect.
Tonky Designs 7 years ago
I empathize with the outrage expressed in this forum, however I don't see actual harm (other than hurt feelings) caused by an academic exercise. Let us keep in mind that Kurt Andersen is not colluding with violent and oppressive powers.

Studio 360 opens the door for us to think about flags as mere pictures. Flags are meaningless without the complexities of the movement/power behind them. Moreover, flags, just like words and other symbols have different meanings to different people. Some feel included and some feel excluded or separate.

If real, could this theoretical "re-design" help further the queer cause?

Could a new banner more accurately re-present the content of the movement at present?

Could it make the bible beating hicks more comfortable with the movement and thus likely to convince them to mind their own business?

Or would new art unduly dilute an already potent and ubiquitous symbol?
operadirector 7 years ago
I have to agree with Chillhouse. I'm offended by this contest. It is one thing to make a passing comment - but to actually solicit renderings is subversive. Further - saying that it is "lighthearted and fun" makes it worse. Please stop.
gilbertrainbow 7 years ago
I'm the creator of the rainbow flag, 1978. this contest is really silly- you you can't "design" a flag- a flag is torn from the soul of the people.
I like Issac M. love his clothes and style -but where the fuck has he been on LGBT rights for the last 40 years? riding on the shoulders of activists who actually fought for equality?
Smells like exploitation.
Besides it's old news redesigning the flag, a tired gimmick done before many times- not even an original idea.
The flag is about power and visibility. it works because it fits our diversity and is a visceral statement that transcends languages.
Issac, this is so high school.
I'm not buying it.
Gilbert Baker
Groups Beta