May 19, 2022 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: False Claims of Rainbow Flag Creator

Lynn Segerblom and her role in the creation of the Rainbow Flag. (In response to the Pride L.A.’s “Flagging Your Page in History”

Lynn Segerblom, also calling herself Faerie Argyle Rainbow, has recently positioned herself as the creator or co-creator of the Rainbow Flag, the global symbol of the LGBTQ community.

This is an erroneous statement that poses a disservice to the life and legacy of the true creator of the Rainbow Flag: Gilbert Baker.

In 1977, the legendary San Francisco politician Harvey Milk asked Gilbert Baker to create a new symbol for the LGBTQ community. Until then, the community used the pink triangle, used during the Holocaust as a symbol of Nazi oppression. Gilbert, inspired by the proliferation of American flags during the 1976 Bicentennial, decided the new symbol should take the form of a flag. While out dancing with his friend, Cleve Jones, Gilbert observed the diversity of his fellow dancers and conceived the idea of a flag that showcased the colors of the rainbow. Thus, the idea for the LGBTQ Rainbow Flag was formed.

Months later, Gilbert obtained $1,000 from the 1978 Gay Freedom Day Committee to make the first flags. He recruited two close friends for help: Lynn Segerblom, known then as “Faerie Argyle,” and James McNamara. Lynn coordinated the dyeing process for the fabrics, while James assisted in sewing the flags.

On June 25, 1978, the flags were raised for the first time at San Francisco United Nations Plaza. Gilbert spent the remaining 39 years of his life raising the Rainbow Flag all over the world, and watching it become a universal symbol of LGBTQ liberation. He was honored internationally for his creation. Gilbert Baker died in 2017.

One year after his death, Lynn Segerblom began a public campaign to rewrite history. In her statements to the media and public, she has identified herself as the sole creator of the Rainbow Flag, or sometimes as the co-creator. Her narrative continues to change. Lynn is now using her erroneous claims to solicit money for a documentary and a book.

Gilbert Baker always credited Lynn Segerblom as a cherished collaborator in the making of the flag. He fully honors her contribution in his memoir, Rainbow Warrior, to be published in June 2019. But we at the Gilbert Baker Estate object to her misleading statements. We have voluminous archival records from 1978 that refute her allegations.

Gilbert Baker’s legacy as an artist and activist is — and will always be — a gift given freely to people struggling for visibility and liberation. The Rainbow Flag he created is — and will always remain — a powerful symbol for LGBTQ people everywhere. The Gilbert Baker Estate remains committed to these principles.

Charley Beal

Manager of Creative Projects

The Gilbert Baker Estate

New York, NY

Related Posts

Alcohol a Factor in Griffith Park fatal Hit and Run of Senior Gay Cyclist

May 13, 2022

May 13, 2022

77-year-old Andrew Jelmert killed in April 23 hit and run training for AIDS/Lifecycle By Susan Payne The Los Angeles Police...

Kaiser Permanente Hospitals Receive LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader Designation

May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022

Kaiser Permanente’s 15 hospitals recognized by Humans Rights Campaign  By Susan Payne This year, Kaiser Permanente’s 15 hospitals in southern...

‘Match the Stars’ During MisMatch Game Performance Benefitting the LGBT Center

May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022

By Susan Payne An unstoppable comedy phenomenon is set to reach a $200,000 goal in money raised for the Los...

Confidential Settlement Made With Many LGBTQ Students at USC Over Alleged Doctor Misconduct

May 5, 2022

May 5, 2022

More than 80 former patients accuse Dr. Dennis Kel of sexual battery, harassment and inappropriate remarks By Susan Payne In...

Audio Meets Reality in ‘Being Trans’ Podcast Series Showcasing the Lives of Four Transgender Individuals of the LA Area

May 5, 2022

May 5, 2022

Through narrative-style storytelling, BEING Studios gives listeners an intimate, first-person access into the worlds of people they may not otherwise...

Orange County Man Faces Federal Charge on Suspicion of Making Anti-LGBT Threats Against Merriam-Webster

April 29, 2022

April 29, 2022

Jeremy Hanson of Rossmore charged in connection to October threats  By Susan Payne  An Orange County man faces a federal...

Palm Springs Approves Universal Income Pilot Program for Transgender, Nonbinary Residents

April 29, 2022

April 29, 2022

Payments to start in 2023 By Susan Payne A guaranteed income pilot program that would provide transgender and nonbinary residents...

Nobel Laureate and Education Activist Malala Yousafzai to Speak in Beverly Hills

April 28, 2022

April 28, 2022

May 15, 2022 at Saban Theatre Malala Yousafzai, the youngest-ever Nobel recipient and activist for education and equality is coming...

Compton Man Arrested for Allegedly Targeting, Robbing 20+ Gay Men He Met on Grindr

April 24, 2022

April 24, 2022

By Susan Payne Authorities have announced the arrest of a Compton man who allegedly targeted and robbed more than 20...

Mars Wright, ProjectQ Mural in Hollywood Illuminates “Trans Joy”

April 24, 2022

April 24, 2022

By Susan Payne A two-building mural in East Hollywood commissioned by nonprofit ProjectQ represents Trans joy designed and painted by...

L.A. County Business to Florida, Texas Banned Amid LGBTQ Policies

April 24, 2022

April 24, 2022

The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors has voted to ban all county travel to Florida and Texas due to policies...

Superior Court Rules Diverse Company Board Laws Unconstitutional

April 8, 2022

April 8, 2022

On the first of April, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ruled the law which requires California-based or headquartered...

Models of Pride Festival Returns in Person, Online

April 8, 2022

April 8, 2022

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” alum Mayhem Miller glanced at the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Models of Pride Festival crowd, ready to...

Anti-LGBTQ+ Attack in Pasadena Sparks Active Hate Crime Investigation

April 8, 2022

April 8, 2022

By Susan Payne The Pasadena Police Department needs public assistance in finding the individuals responsible for attacking three Ixtapa Cantina...