How the LGBTQ+ Community Got a Brand That Incites Pride and a Sense of Belonging

The rainbow flag is an inspiring, easily recognizable symbol

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On a breezy night in the summer of 1978, 30 volunteers packed into the attic floor of the San Francisco Gay Community Center. Under the watchful eye of activist Gilbert Baker, people began dunking strips of cotton canvas into barrels filled with dye and salted water. Once they’d finished washing and drying the fabric, the volunteers hit the sewing machines.

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This story first appeared in the June 21, 2021, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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