Gilbert Baker has died, the creator in 1978 of the first rainbow flag that’s become a worldwide symbol for Gay Pride. Friends, including City Supervisor Harvey Milk, knew him as a longtime activist and maker of clever banners for protest marches, and asked him to create a symbol for the movement. Baker gathered volunteers in the attic of the San Francisco Gay Community Center and dyed strips of cloth, which he sewed together; dozens appeared that first year. Activist Cleve Jones told The New York Times, ““We stood there and watched and saw the flags, and their faces lit up. It needed no explanation. People knew immediately that it was our flag.” In later years Baker took to calling himself “the Gay Betsy Ross.” Above: carrying a giant version in Stockholm for Pride Day 2003. (Fredrik Persson/Agence France-Presse)

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