Last modified: 2019-08-02 by rick wyatt
Keywords: rainbow flag | canton | stars: 50 | star: 5 points (white) | yacht ensign | maryland | stripes: 6 | stripes: 13 | stars: 13 | anchor (white) | first navy jack |
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image by Željko Heimer and António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 January 2000
The gay pride rainbow flag with a U.S. canton is an often seen variation.
Steve Kramer, 6 May 1996
These flags were a regular production item at the Paramount Flag Co. before 1978 and the subsequent adoption of the rainbow as a symbol of Gay Pride. It was popular with the "Rainbow Children" and other similar counter culture groups. It still is, and as they are quick to point out, "They had it first!". They were used at Rainbow Gatherings. They were also made by Colors of the Wind in Santa Monica in the 1970's (I think theirs started with a purple stripe). It is called "New Glory" and predated the "Gay Nation" rainbow by at least six years, probably longer. Also available was a Rainbow First Navy Jack before 1978.
James Ferrigan, 20 August 1999
The Rainbow Family has used the "New Glory" flag for many years. The canton of stars represents all of the constellations - united, or the U.S. depending on who you talk to. The stripes of many colors represent all of the tribes of the earth. The symbolism being that all of the different peoples or tribes can come together in peace and harmony. At least in a flag! And hopefully in person. The "Rainbow Family of Living Light", also known as the "Rainbow Family" is an international, non-hierarchical, non-organized, loose-knit group of hippies. Ages vary from 1960´s flower power veterans to new-borns. All decisions are made by consensus. Anyone who cares about the earth and their fellow man is automatically a member. That includes you! Of course, membership lists are not kept, acceptance of a person is automatic upon that person showing up at a "gathering". Sort of a hippie camporee! Or peace festival. National gatherings in the U.S. draw about 20 to 40 thousand people. It is not a gay organization. Gays are of course included, but as human beings, brothers and sisters, not as predominant or exclusive, or even excluded. Just more people. In about the same proportions as the general population — whatever that may be! I am including a couple of URLs for background information, and a better explanation. One of which shows the Rainbow "New Glory" flag in use:
image by Željko Heimer and António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 Jan 2000
I was at this years Halsted Street Marketdays again yesterday. I noted one flag worth mentioning, the U.S. flag
with the 50-star canton as usual, but the stripes were the gay colors (six of them) plus with white stripe between those colors where only the red would appear in a U.S. flag.
Steve Stringfellow, 16 Aug 1999
image by Tomislav Todorovic, 5 February 2011
Another gay pride variation of the U.S. flag has red stripes repainted into seven colors of rainbow. The topmost one, being red, actually remains unchanged. The dark blue stripe is in the same shade as the canton. The flag was used at a rally in Dallas, Texas, on 2008-11-15, and its photos can be seen here and here. The webpage showing the second photo actually contained no data about the place, but the same photographer took more photos of the same event, and one of them shows several other sexual orientation flags - this one not among them - and the flag of Dallas farther behind, which helps to identify the place.
This flag was also used in San Francisco, California, during the 2009 Gay Pride parade. A photo, taken on 2009-06-28, can be seen here.
Tomislav Todorovic, 5 February 2011
This is not a new variant, and its origins predate the gay use of the rainbow.
James Ferrigan, 8 February 2011
image by Tomislav Todorovic, 5 February 2011
There is another variant, with the topmost red stripe repainted into pink, the next one remaining red, and the succeeding ones repainted into the succeeding rainbow colors, starting with orange and ending with purple at the bottom. The single blue stripe is much lighter than the canton. The flag was photographed in San Francisco, California, on 2008-07-12 and on 2008-11-10.
Tomislav Todorovic, 5 February 2011
image by Tomislav Todorovic, 2 June 2013
A similar variant, which replaces stars with pink triangles, is offered for sale at eBay. It was flown at the Las Vegas LGBT Equality Rally on 2008-11-15.
Tomislav Todorovic, 2 June 2013
image by Tomislav Todorovic, 12 June 2015
Another variation replaces the stars with pink triangles, the canton is black
and the stripes are in rainbow colors, purple at the top, then changing twice
from red to purple. Two photos of the flag, taken in Norfolk, Virginia on
2009-08-19, can be found here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/10037267@N08/3838724496/ and here:
The first of these photos clearly reveals that the flag was home-made - note how the bottom edge of canton is not aligned with the partition line between purple and red stripes.
Tomislav Todorovic, 12 June 2015
image by Tomislav Todorovic, 27 May 2015, after the image from Wikipedia
This rainbow version of the Betsy Rose 13-star Stars and Stripes Flag is currently being sold at various internet outlets. An example would be (here).
Pete Loeser, 26 May 2015
image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 6 September 2007
The rainbow variant of the U.S. First Navy Jack already existed before the creation, in 1978, of the Gay Pride Rainbow Flag - its current use by gay activists wishing to make a U.S. Navy related statement being therefore derivative of a previous, though surely less massive, similar use by groups using also a striped rainbow flag.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 6 September 2007
image by Rick Wyatt, 2 December 2001
This is the six-striped Rainbow Flag with a canton similar to the U.S. Yacht Ensign
— blue, with thirteen white stars in a ring around a white fouled anchor. The example I saw was nylon, and I believe the dimensions were 2x3' (61 cm x 91 cm).
Steve Kramer, 16 Mar 1999
image from Tomislav Todorovic, 23 October 2013, after the image from Wikipedia
The gay rainbow flag with the addition of rattlesnake and inscription DONT TREAD ON ME was recently introduced. Most of its photos are still from the online shops, like here or here, but the examples of its use are also appearing, like this one from Columbus, Ohio, on 2013-06-22. Large version of the of the same photo can be found here (image) and more photos from the same event can be found here. While online shops describe the flag as having the ratio 3:5, the photos reveal that it is actually 2:3 or very close. The rattlesnake is depicted in black and white, settled on green grass which is placed on blue field, and white inscription is placed on purple field.
Tomislav Todorovic, 23 October 2013
This is a rainbow version of the Gadsden Flag. The original colonial design was by Colonel Christopher Gadsden of South Carolina, which was presented to the Continental Congress as a possiable new naval ensign in 1775. Since then it has been repurposed by political groups in a number of ways. Most recently it has become the most recognized flag of the modern Tea Party, and now apparently as a Rainbow Flag.
Pete Loeser, 12 June 2015
image from Tomislav Todorovic, 7 October 2017
The appearance of "Thin Line" flags which combine the Stars and Stripes
design in black and white with more than one Thin Line colors has eventually
inspired the Gay Pride variant, in which a white stripe is replaced with six
segments in rainbow colors. The flag is offered for sale at
While the photo confirms that the ratio is indeed 2:3, as stated at the page, it also shows that the flag looks as if it was originally 3:5 and subsequently shortened, for the red segment of rainbow-colored stripe is visibly shorter than the others. The relative position of the edges of canton and green segment is also the one which corresponds to ratio 3:5, which was therefore used for the reconstruction presented herein.
Tomislav Todorovic, 7 October 2017
image from Tomislav Todorovic, 29 July 2018
This flag was used at the counter-protest to the Free Speech Rally, a
rightist gathering which took place in Boston on 2017-08-19. The photo from this
event has remained the only one found online so far, so the details of the flag
creation still remain unknown. It is also not quite clear whether the flag was
named so by its users or by the photographer. Still the name matches the design
well: a derivation of the USA national flag, with additional vertical red
stripes along the hoist and fly edges (the first of these extending between the
canton and bottom corner and the latter one occupying the whole edge) and ten
vertical stripes in different colors, interlaced with the red stripes and arranged in the following order: gray (nearest to the hoist), pink, light brown, dark brown, black, purple, blue (same as the canton), green, yellow and orange (nearest to the fly). The design might have been partly inspired by the adding of black and brown stripe to the Gay Pride Rainbow Flag, which was done in Philadelphia in June same year.
The image above is derived from the SVG image of the USA flag in ratio of 2:3, which is found at the Wikimedia Commons:
 Flickr - Photo of the Diversity Flag: https://www.flickr.com/photos/robertkendall/36701054416/in/album-72157685299195190/
 Boston Free Speech Rally at Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_Free_Speech_Rally
 Flickr - Photo album from the counter-protest to the Boston Free Speech Rally: https://www.flickr.com/photos/robertkendall/sets/72157685299195190
Tomislav Todorovic, 29 July 2018