That six-stripe Rainbow Flag was soon proudly flown outside many San Francisco homes and businesses. Indeed, wherever a symbol of pride and hope was needed, the rainbow appeared: on keychains, coffee mugs, T-shirts, bumper stickers – you name it.
In 1988, John Stout of West Hollywood, CA, sued his landlords for the right to display a Rainbow Flag on the balcony of his apartment. He won, as have many others since who have defended their right to display the Rainbow Flag. Recently, Gilbert Baker said,
“The flag is an action – it’s more than just the cloth and the stripes. When a person puts the Rainbow Flag on his car or his house, they’re not just flying a flag. They’re taking action.”
Baker went on to design flags for other events, including state visits to San Francisco by the President of Italy; the President of France; the Premier of China; the President of the Philippines; the President of Venezuela, and the King of Spain. He designed flags for the 1984 Democratic National Convention, the 1985 Super Bowl, San Francisco Symphony Black and White Balls, and stage and street decorations for the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parades from 1979 through 1993. In 1994 Baker created the history-making, mile-long Rainbow Flag for Stonewall 25 in New York to mark the 25th anniversary of the gay civil rights movement. The Guinness Book of World Records recognized the mile-long Stonewall 25 Rainbow Flag as the world’s largest flag.