LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Another Defense for Rainbow Flag Creator

Photo: James McNamara. “The rainbow, to me, ecompasses everybody — doesn’t matter what your gender, your preference or your color,” Segerblom said.

A second response to a “Letter to the Editor” regarding the true identity for the historic rainbow flag creator

As a friend of Lynn Segerblom’s since 1975, a writer/activist since 1966, a participant in these events, and the author of a just-finished book on her, let me share a few easily verifiable facts re: Charley Beale’s recent letter disputing Lynn’s truthful claim to have designed the 1978 rainbow flags.
Gilbert Baker promoted the iconic 6-stripe flag heroically for decades but he didn’t design the original 8-stripe flags.

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I saw them created under the auspices of SF’s prominent gay activist Lee Mentley, the grandfather of the flag. I also performed under them onstage at the 1978 parade.

Assisted by Harvey Milk, Lee got $1000 to buy materials for those flagsAs an executive member of the Pride Foundation, he also gave approval for Lynn’s design, contradicting GB’s published claims. And since facts matter, Gilbert never named Lynn. Her 1976 California Driver’s license was issued for Faerie Argyle Rainbow.

James McNamara was the third central member of the flag-making team.Paul Langlotz- James McNamara’s then-partner, is quoted in the Advocate’s validating Lynn since they were all friends and/or roommates at the time

As one of the Angels of Light free theater group until 1979, Lynn, like myself, had to follow strictures forbidding members from taking any credit by name until 1980. Thus, getting personal recognition was impossible in 1978. That is why she never got due credit.

In 1971, Lynn began doing tie-dye and rainbows at age thirteen. By 1977, she was known in SF as “the rainbow artist,” designing clothes for Capezio’s. In February 1978, months before the Pride parade in June, she designed rainbow costumes for an Angels of Light show staged in early March. 

If the Baker archive has ‘voluminous’ evidence of GB being the flag’s designer,as claimed, in the interest of history, I suggest presenting it side by side with all these facts and other eyewitness testimonies for objective evaluation under the auspices of the ONE archive.

Adrian Brooks
San Francisco

(415) 252-5959