Hoodline Highlights: RIP, Gilbert Baker, Creator Of The Rainbow Pride Flag

To close out the year, we've asked contributors to choose their favorite stories of 2017.

Steven Bracco selected RIP: Gilbert Baker, Creator Of The Rainbow Pride Flag, which ran on March 31st.

That day, Gilbert Baker, the creator and designer of the rainbow flag, passed away at age 65. "While Baker resided in New York, he spent time in San Francisco during the shooting of the ABC miniseries When We Rise in 2016," recalled Steve.

Because Baker's flag debuted at the city's first Gay Freedom Day Parade in 1978, he was present during the on-location shoot, which adapted a memoir by activist and Castro resident Cleve Jones.

Rainbow Flag at Harvey Milk Plaza. | PHOTO: STEVEN BRACCO/HOODLINE

"I was lucky enough to have met Baker on set of When We Rise and hear his stories about how the idea for the flag came about and how it was made in large buckets," Steve told us.

"Baker's loss leaves a huge hole in the LGBTQ Community, but it's only a matter of time before Baker will be memorialized along the Rainbow Honor Walk," he added.

Baker's flag made its debut at the Gay Freedom Day Parade in San Francisco on June 25th, 1978. Today, it's internationally recognized as the symbol for LGBTQ pride.

Baker was born in Kansas and served in the U.S. Army from 1970-1972. He was stationed in San Francisco at the beginning of the gay liberation movement, and became deeply involved in the community.

Baker hand-sewed the first rainbow flag and many of the ones that followed, including the flags used in the film Milk and this year's ABC miniseries "When We Rise."

"I thought it would be an iconic image," he said in a 2012 interview with the Bay Area Reporter. "You can't really design a flag; a flag is from the soul of a people. We own it, that's what gives it its power. It means so much to people all over the world."

Continue reading Steve's favorite story of 2017, RIP: Gilbert Baker, Creator Of The Rainbow Pride Flag.

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