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

Peter Castro
April 2, 2017

Gilbert Baker, designer of the rainbow flag - the enduring symbol of LGBT rights - has died at the age of 65.

Baker never sought a trademark on the flag because he considered it "his gift to the world", friend Cleve Jones said.

Jones asked people to gather for a memorial in San Francisco's famed Castro District Friday evening.

A fellow campaigner has tweeted saying his "dearest friend in the world is gone". "He gave the world the rainbow flag, he gave me forty years of love and friendship", wrote Jones.

His cause of death is not yet known.

Baker died in his sleep at his home here on Thursday night, BBC reported. Soon, he began making banners for gay rights and anti-war protests. The colors of the flag represents, sexuality (Pink), life (R), healing (Orange), sunlight (Yellow), nature (Green), art (Turquoise), harmony (Indigo) and the human spirit (Violet). Pink fabric was too expensive, Mr. Baker said, so it was removed, and turquoise and blue were combined into one color, royal blue.

Our thoughts are with Gilbert's friends and family during this hard time. For that parade, Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in the state of California, tasked Baker, an advocate and talented sewer, with designing a flag and a symbol for the event, according to Time Magazine.

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"He had hand-sewn 39 of these flags to commemorate the 39th anniversary of the creation of the Rainbow Flag, with plans for them to be displayed in San Francisco in June", the press release said.

Baker created many variations of his famed flag.

. When Milk's life was turned into a biopic, Baker was tapped to design versions of his original flag for the film.

Baker was born in Kansas and served in the U.S. Army from 1970 to 1972.

Lee said the rainbow flag is "more than just a symbol".

The iconic eigh-coloured banner made its premiere on San Francisco's gay pride freedom day in 1978.

In celebrating the 2015 Supreme Court's ruling to legalize same-sex marriage, the White House lit-up with the iconic color scheme of Baker's flag.

Baker also designed flags for civic occasions including the inauguration of Dianne Feinstein, now California's senior USA senator, as mayor of San Francisco.

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