COMMENT | Six Stripes Were Enough
Manchester Pride have this week unveiled the design of their new flag design.
The 2019 Manchester Pride Festival will use a design with eight stripes, which was flown outside Philadelphia’s City Hall in 2017, instead of Gilbert Baker’s classic flag design, which has become synonymous of the LGBT community across the world
Mark Fletcher, the chief executive of Manchester Pride, said in a statement to THEGAYUK: “We have seen that the iconic rainbow must adapt to reflect the modern society that we live in.
“A lot has happened but there is still a long way to go, especially in the recognition of people of colour in the LGBT+ community,” he continued.
The decision of Manchester Pride to release this as their 2019 design has received a backlash on social media, with many users questioning the inclusion of race in a flag that has for many years represented sexuality, with one user on Twitter commenting ‘When was sexuality about color? Never. You only just made it about color by adding that. Are you going to put white in there too?’
And they have a point. The six colour flag, created by Gilbert Baker, has developed over a number of years and has represented life, healing, vitality, nature, serenity and spirit, with the missing colour on the Pride flag to represent the lack of equality for the LGBT community.
The Pride flag has been used for the last forty years, without issue.
Despite the Chief Executive of Manchester Pride stating we ‘must adapt’ to reflect the society we live in, we need to remember the meaning behind the flag that has represented a community for this length of time; It’s about sexuality, rather than the race of individuals within the community.
A study last year found that 70 percent of gay people were opposed to the new flag, while most white people and members of the Baby Boomer generation were also against the move.
In contrast, Millennials, people of colour and trans people were more likely to be in favour of adopting a flag with black and brown stripes.