Lynn Segerblom moved to San Francisco when she was 18, eventually joining The Angels of Light Theater Company, a troupe of artists that lived an alternative lifestyle. Falling in love with rainbows, colors, and tie-dyed fabrics, the troupe gave her the name "Faerie Argyle Rainbow". She would even get this name printed on her drivers' license.
In an account released after the death of Gilbert Baker (who is often attributed to the creation of the first rainbow flag), Segerblom claims to have been the one to bring the idea of the rainbow flags to the parade decorations committee. This claim has since been contested by the Gilbert Baker Estate. Either way, it's agreed that the inclusion of the stars and the reversal of the stripes on the second flag were Segerblom's ideas.
The stars were included on this flag to remind people of the American flag, which is a strong symbol in the United States. The pattern was created by creating a woodblock cutout, folding the fabric so that the circles appeared in that pattern, and then clamping it hard during the dyeing process to prevent the dye from reaching those areas. This pattern was unfamiliar to Segerblom, who was relieved when it all worked out. An additional star was added to the middle of the blue stripe, silver on one side and gold on the other, made from lamé fabric so there would be some glittering on the wind.
More details on the creation of these two flags is available on the Gilbert Baker Rainbow Flag page
Sources and acknowledgements
- The woman behind the Rainbow Flag
- THE RAINBOW FLAG: LYNN SEGERBLOM & LEE MENTLEY
- Rainbow gold mine: Early SF Pride Parade photos rediscovered in archive
- Flagging Your Page in History - The Pride LA
- Response to the above by the Gilbert Baker estate
The flag image used on this website is a recreation based on photographs by James McNamara and Vici MacDonald. This re-creation is released under a CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) dedication in honor of the creators of a flag that represent all.