The gay pride flag was recently modified to include people of color, who are “marginalized, ignored and even intentionally excluded, according to the More Color Pride website.
The revamped gay pride flag, with a black and brown stripe, was meant to draw the gay community together, but instead is tearing it apart. Tierney, a Philadelphia-based design firm, and the Philadelphia Office of LGBT Affairs collaborated on the revised version of the flag.
Philadelphia’s gay community has experienced multiple race-related incidents in the past year. One such incident involved the owner of Philadelphia’s ICandy bar. A video uploaded to YouTube showed the owner utilizing racial slurs. Tavern on Camac and Woody’s, both in Philadelphia, allegedly utilized speculative dress code policies to discriminate against minorities. These incidents prompted city officials to force bar owners to participate in anti-racism training.
“The new design is a symbolic representation of Philadelphia’s commitment to centering the experiences, contributions, activism and dedication of black and brown members of our community,” Amber Hikes, executive director of the city’s Office of LGBT Affairs said during an interview with Newsweek.
Some LGBT activists do not think the addition was necessary.
Gilbert Baker designed the original version of the gay pride flag. Charley Beal, Baker’s friend, told NBC: “The stripes were not chosen for skin colors – they were chosen to reflect the spectrum of color in nature.”
In a Twitter post, Terence Brady wrote: “It includes 2 additional colors – black and tan. No white. Yes it’s racists. The rainbow flag is to be all inclusive of everyone.”
The colors on the original version of the flag represented spirit, harmony, art, nature, sunlight, healing, life and sex. For practical reasons, turquoise and pink were eventually eliminated, leaving purple, blue, green, yellow, orange and red.