Harvey Milk was bearing a proud gay man. He fought his way straight and became one of the first gay US Congress members. When his political career ended, he continued to be active in the Gay community. In 1977, Harvey Milk began organizing a parade to celebrate the coming of the eighties gay rights movement. His efforts were met with a violently anti-gay legislation and attacks from the far right.
Harvey Milk believed that there should be a flag for gay pride because he felt that gay men should have the same dignity as other Americans. He designed the rainbow flag that is used today by GLAFA (Gay and Lesbian International) as an emblem to represent their community’s Pride. The original Pride Flag had a simple design but later was changed to the rainbow triangle to include more colors. It is the only flag that has ever been banned from the United States Congress.
In 1977, Harvey Milk was inspired to create the rainbow symbol by a camping trip he took with two other men. They happened to be passing through the woods and discovered what it looked like when it was raining. After discovering it, they decided to take it home and bring it back the next day. When they presented it to the American public, it immediately gained support from many people all over the world.
Because of its worldwide appeal, the Gay Pride flag has been adopted by many nations, states, and jurisdictions. The flag now flies above half of the floor of the San Francisco International Airport and can be seen by anyone who passes by. An airport display of the Gay Pride rainbow symbol can also be found at any US military base overseas. In Canada, British Columbia, the maple leaf is the most commonly displayed flag.
The gay rights movement did not end with the passing of the Sexual Minorities Act in 1969. It has remained active up until present. The gay and lesbian community has sought equal rights for gay citizens of the United States through the U.S. Supreme Court. Marriage equality is also a hot topic of discussion, although it seems that it will not make it to the White House in the current state of divided politics.
The rainbow flag is truly a timeless symbol of love and pride. Each year hundreds of thousands of people celebrate pride by parading through the streets in their colorful attire. Some of them wear matching colors and symbols. There are parades held regularly in major cities and in a few select locales. Parades are usually for a few hours each day and there is usually an entertainment stage set up to keep the crowd entertained.