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June 22, 2018

Philadelphia Museum of Art celebrating 40th anniversary of the Rainbow Flag

Do you know the origins of the colorful, LGBTQ+ symbol?

Pride Art
008   20161009_Outfest_Margo Reed.jpg Margo Reed/for PhillyVoice

Sara Gingras and Sara Flynn dance at Philly Outfest on Oct. 9, 2016.

The Rainbow Flag, a symbol of LGBTQ+ pride and community, was first used on June 25, 1978, at the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Freedom Day Parade.

Artist Gilbert Baker and 30 volunteers hand-dyed and stitched the two original flags to highlight LGBTQ+ issues as both a global struggle and a matter of civil rights.

This June, to mark the flag's 40th anniversary, the Philadelphia Museum of Art will install a Rainbow Flag in one of its galleries. The flag is "a significant example of contemporary design," according to the museum. 


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On Wednesday, June 27, there will be a party in the museum to celebrate the new addition.

The Philadelphia Voices of Pride will perform on the steps of the Great Stair Hall; board members of the Gilbert Baker Foundation will hold up a historic Rainbow Flag from their personal collection; Amber Hikes of the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office and the museum's design curator Michelle Millar Fisher will offer brief remarks; and Fishtown-based bakery Cake Life will provide celebratory cake and cupcakes.

Admission on Wednesday nights is pay-what-you-wish.

The Rainbow Flag will be on display in Gallery 124 from Tuesday, June 26, through Sunday, July 8.


Rainbow Flag Celebration

Wednesday, June 27
6-6:30 p.m. | Pay-what-you-wish admission
Philadelphia Museum of Art
2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19130