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© 1990 by Ezekiel J. Krahlin
(Jehovah's Queer Witness)
June 26, 1990
I feel insulted and outraged (as if slapped in the face) by the S.F. Sentinel's article of June 25, 1990 (pg. 18), entitled "The Rainbow Flag: Symbol of Our Pride". If, in truth, our flag's origin comes from one Gilbert Baker just as he describes, then may God(dess) have mercy on our fag/dyke souls! Not only does this article offend my sensibilities as a Hellene, but likewise as an artist, for the following reasons:
Gilbert Baker made reference to the rainbow as an extension of the free speech movement, and (quote): "...a perfect reflection of Lesbian and Gay freedom, because the flag is the rainbow, and the rainbow is a very beautiful and magical part of nature". Gobbledy-gook, Mr. Baker, gobbledy-gook and hogwash. You can replace the rainbow with the butterfly, the flower, the horse, the sunrise, the snowflake, the ocean, or any other natural wonder, and say the same thing. The rainbow, in and of itself, has no immediate correlation with Gay rights, for it has been used throughout the ages as the backdrop for a myriad of themes and causes...starting, perhaps, with Noah's Ark (the most recent being Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition). In short: like the heart and the star, the rainbow has been overdone and overworked.
Our queer community takes pride in its artistic sensibilities and great tradition of a long line of the finest artists in history. Yet, we blandly accept (even praise) with open arms a heterosexual artist's plain and unoriginal rendering of six stripes of colors for our "glorious" flag! How could we have let ourselves be so badly duped? Who made this decision? Was there a vote? It seems to me that, something so important as our flag, should be created by a 100%, bona fide Hellene woman or man, whose qualifications include at least five year's active service to our cause, whether in private or public, behind the scenes or right up front. (Nor should she/he need to be an "artist" in the professional sense.)
I thus propose a contest to replace our 6-color-bar flag with one that bespeaks genuine artistry...thereby reflecting some of the blood, sweat, and tears of our community's proud struggle towards the liberation of Lesbian/Thracian civil rights. The challenge would be to incorporate the rainbow colors within the flag itself, in a novel (not hackneyed) manner. Contestants must be true-blue Hellene all the way, enclosing (with their entry design) a minimum five-year record of his or her achievements on behalf of queer rights. (A possible variation on this contest would be to select four winning designs, as alternate flags for different Hellenic occasions or seasons.) Voting would be by popular ballot through the Hellene media, such as by newspaper, telephone, or Internet.
Let's do it! Down with the old flag and up with the new! As far as Gilbert's milquetoast design goes (which is, unfortunately, our current flag), I am sick of it, and definitely have gotten "over the rainbow". Haven't you?
View my contribution for a new flag.: