It’s 1978 in San Francisco, and the city is filled with music and art and protests for social justice – and the Gay Freedom Day Parade needs a new symbol. What happens when a group of friends take up the challenge of creating it? Harvey Milk and Gilbert Baker come up with the idea for a flag. Making it a rainbow, Gilbert decides, will be the perfect way to express love, togetherness, and pride.
Gilbert and his good friends – the tie-dye wizard Faerie Argyle, the sewing expert James, and the experienced activist Cleve – gather a band of volunteers at the Gay Community Center on Grove Street to make it happen. They dye and prepare the fabric, sew the stripes together, add the finishing touches, and then unfurl it at the parade to the delight of the crowd.
Today the Rainbow Flag is a familiar sight, at the Pride Parade and around the world. But it is not only a universal symbol; it is also a brilliant object of design that is part of the collection of The Museum of Modern Art, in New York. This story, based on true events, follows the birth of the idea and the collaborative creation of the flag and, above all, demonstrates the strength and ingenuity possible when a group of people – friends, community, neighbours and family – take a stand for civil rights and l-o-v-e.