Original Pride flag unveiled at GLBT Historical Society and Museum

On Friday, a remnant of one of the original Pride flags was added to the Gilbert Baker Collection at the GLBT Historical Society Museum and Archives in San Francisco. (Photo: Matthew Leifheit, courtesy of the Gilbert Baker Foundation.)

Created 43 years ago, the rainbow flag is the most widely recognized symbol of LGBTQ community around the world.

The first two rainbow flags were designed by Gilbert Baker and fabricated by a team of volunteers for the 1978 Gay Freedom Day Parade in San Francisco.

Measuring nearly 30-feet-by 60 feet, the enormous banners flew over United Nations Plaza. But the following year, one was stolen and the other was believed lost.

More than four decades later, a remnant of one of those two original flags measuring nearly 30-feet-by-13-feet has been located and authenticated.

On Friday, the historic artifact was added to the Gilbert Baker Collection at the GLBT Historical Society Museum and Archives in San Francisco.

It will be the centerpiece of the exhibition “Performance, Protest and Politics: The Art of Gilbert Baker.”

In a joint statement, Charley Beal, president of the Gilbert Baker Foundation, and Terry Beswick, executive director of the GLBT Historical Society said, “For LGBTQ people, there are few artifacts that carry the historic, political, and cultural significance of this seminal work of art, the original rainbow flag.

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