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New Google Doodle celebrates legacy of LGBT rainbow flag creator who died in April

2017-06-02

Google have paid a touching tribute to legendary LGBT+ activist Gilbert Baker with their latest Doodle. Baker, a former US soldier who created the iconic gay pride rainbow flag after becoming heavily involved in the early US gay rights movement, passed away in his sleep back in April aged 65. He would have turned 66 today (June 2). The celebrated gay activist shaped the look of LGBT unity, pride and defiance for decades to come after designing an eight-colour rainbow flag in 1978 for San Francisco’s ‘gay freedom day’, a precursor to what we now know as Pride. The original design consisted of eight colours, each representing a different aspect of humanity: Pink, sexuality; red, life; orange, healing; yellow, sunlight; green, nature; turquoise, art; indigo, harmony; violet, human spirit. The flag, which proudly flies on at LGBT venues and Pride events around the world, was later condensed down to six colours, with pink and indigo removed and turquoise put in place of blue. "We needed something beautiful, something from us," Baker said of his design before his death. "The rainbow is so perfect because it really fits our diversity in terms of race, gender, ages, all of those things. Plus, it’s a natural flag—it’s from the sky!" Two months on from his death, designers at Google decided to honour Baker's legacy with a stop-motion animation of real-life fabric strips coming together to create the flag. The team made a trip to local San Franciscan fabric shops and filmed the doodle in a tiny kitchen only a few blocks from the same spot where Baker and his friends constructed that first flag almost 40 years ago. Google said of the project: "Today we celebrate Gilbert Baker’s pride, creativity, and the lasting impact he’s had on strengthening and uniting people all over the world." More stories: It's official - 'Sense8' has been officially cancelled by Netflix Britney Spears pens heartwarming love letter to the LGBT community