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The creator of the rainbow flag, Gilbert Baker, has died aged 65

Joseph McCormick March 31, 2017

Pride flag designer Gilbert Baker (Getty)

The creator of the Pride flag, Gilbert Baker, has died aged 65.

Baker, a civil rights activist, army veteran and tailor created the Rainbow Flag 39 years ago.

Cleve Jones, also a civil rights activist, shared the news of Baker’s death on Twitter.

He wrote: “My dearest friend in the world is gone. Gilbert Baker gave the world the Rainbow Flag; he gave me forty years of love and friendship.”

A rainbow flag was flown at half mast at the City Hall in San Francisco to mark the passing of Baker.

Baker’s cause of death is unknown.

He created banners and flags for marches, as well as protests, and created the rainbow banner which was carried by Harvey Milk in San Francisco in the 1970s.

This PBS documentary also features Baker talking about the flag design.

Born in Kansas, Baker moved to San Francisco in 1972 after serving in the US Army for two years.

“Flags are about power,” Baker told ABC7 news.

“Flags say something. You put a rainbow flag on your windshield and you’re saying something.”

Of the rainbow flag, which is flown at Pride events and protests around the world, Baker said each colour represents something different.

“Pink is for sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sun,” He told ABC7.

“Green for nature, turquoise for magic, blue for serenity and purple for the spirit. I like to think of those elements as in every person, everyone shares that.”

After creating the iconic flag, Baker was commissioned by San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein to create the flag for her first elected inaugural.

He also designed flags for the Democratic National Convention in 1984.

Jones encouraged supporters to gather in San Francisco under the rainbow flag in the Castro at 7pm local time.

More: cleve jones, gilbert baker, pride flag, rainbow flag

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