UK

New rainbow 50p coin honours 50 years of Pride in UK with trans and POC inclusive flags

Maggie Baska May 18, 2022
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A picture of a 50p coin with one side depicting Queen Elizabeth II and the other side has an LGBTQ+ motif filled with rainbows

The Royal Mint is celebrating a huge milestone of Pride in the UK with the first-ever LGBTQ+ official UK coin. (Royal Mint)

A new 50p coin featuring the colours of the Progress Pride LGBTQ+ flag has been unveiled.

The Royal Mint is celebrating 50 years of Pride in the UK with the coin, announced on Wednesday (18 May).

It is the first time Britain’s LGBTQ+ community has been honoured on an official UK coin and is part of the Royal Mint’s commitment to celebrating inclusion. 

Dominique Holmes – a London artist, writer and LGBTQ+ activist – designed the rainbow 50p coin, which will be available to purchase later this summer.

The new 50p coin features the usual depiction of Queen Elizabeth II on one side, with rainbows emblazoned with the words protest, visibility, unity and equality on the reverse. 

The design includes black and brown stripes to represent Black, brown and people of colour in the LGBTQ+ community as well as pink, light blue and white to represent transgender Pride. 

Clare Maclennan, director of commemorative coin at the Royal Mint, said it was a “privilege to make 50 years of progress” and Pride in the UK with the new 50p coin. 

“This is the first ever UK coin dedicated to Britain’s LGBTQ+ community, with colour printing technology capturing the spirit of Pride UK with its iconic rainbow colours,” Maclennan said.

“It was an honour to host representatives from Pride in London at the Royal Mint recently to strike their own coins as part of the launch and discuss with them our commitment to diversity and inclusion within the business and show how we are reinventing for the future.”

Asad Shaykh, director of marketing and communications at Pride in London, said it was a “privilege” to work with the Royal Mint and “see our count being made”.

This July marks 50 years of the first ever UK Pride march, organised and led by the Gay Liberation Front in 1972.

In April, Pride in London (the group which currently organises the capital’s Pride events, founded in 2012) confirmed that it will be retracing the historic 1972 route for its 2022 march. It will kick off at Hyde Park, where the first post-march picnic took place in 1972. It was also the location where miner’s labour groups showed solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community in 1985. 

Pride in London has faced harsh criticism in recent years, and in 2021 saw its five most senior members, including its co-chairs, step down following damning claims of racism and bullying in the organisation.

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