The Rainbow FlagS and their history
This week I read in several places on internet that the rainbow flag was an original creation and unique standard for gay pride, due to MoMA acquisition, the marriage equality in US, Gay Pride week, etc.
But in fact, before it was used by gay pride, the rainbow flag was already a symbol of hope, peace, pride amongst lost cultures and minorities. And that’s the reason why it was chosen to be also the flag to represent gay pride.
“A rainbow flag is a multi-colored flag consisting of the colors of the rainbow. The actual colors shown differ, but many of the designs are based on the traditional scheme of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet, or some more modern division of the rainbow spectrum (often excluding indigo, and sometimes including cyan instead).
The choice of the rainbow in the form of a flag harkens back to the rainbow as a symbol of biblical promise. According to the Bible, God first created the rainbow as a sign to Noah that there would never again be a world-wide flood, also known as the Rainbow covenant. The reformer Thomas Müntzer (1489–1525) connected socially revolutionary claims with his preaching of the gospel. He is often portrayed with a rainbow flag in his hand. The Thomas Müntzer statue in the German town of Stolberg also shows him holding a rainbow flag in his hand.
In the German Peasants’ War of the 16th century, the rainbow flag together with the peasants’ boot (“Bundschuh”) was used as the sign of a new era, of hope and of social change.” (from wikipedia “rainbow flag”)
Red is often associate with Life.
The Wiphala (image above) is a flag representing the native peoples of all the Andes that include today’s Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and parts of Argentina, Chile and Colombia. It represents the Inca Empire and each of its former four regions. The Wiphala consists of seven horizontal stripes representing the 7 colours of the rainbow. Here,Red represents The Earth and the Andean man, Orange: Society and culture, Yellow: Energy, White: Time, Green: Natural resources, Blue: The heavens and Violet: Andean government and self-determination.
The Buddhist flag (image above) is a symbol of all forms of Buddhism around the world. It consists of six vertical colored segments, the first five of which are usually blue, yellow, red, white, and orange, while the sixth is a combination of the first five.
The Pace flag (image above) in Italy was first used in a peace march in 1961, inspired by similar multi-coloured flags used in demonstrations against nuclear weapons. It became popular with the Pace da tutti i balconi (“peace from every balcony”) campaign in 2002, started as a protest against the impending war in Iraq. The most common variety has seven colours, purple, blue, azure, green, yellow, orange and red, and is emblazoned in bold with the Italian word PACE, meaning “peace”.
The LGBT pride flag (image above), sometimes called ‘the freedom flag’, was popularized as a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pride and diversity by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker in 1978. The different colors symbolize diversity in the gay community, and the flag is used predominantly at gay pride events and in gay villages. The colors were designed to symbolize: Red (life), Orange (healing),Yellow (sunlight), Green (nature), Blue (harmony), and Purple/Violet (spirit).
The Meher Baba‘s flag (above) is a rainbow flag designed by Meher Baba on April 23, 1924 and is still flown near his samadhi in Meherabad, India during the week of Amartithi. The flag has seven colors, representing the seven planes of involution, as well as seven kinds of sanskaras. Baba explained the symbolism, saying, “The colors in the flag signify man’s rise from the grossest of impressions of lust and anger – symbolized by red – to the culmination in the highest state of spirituality and oneness with God – symbolized by sky blue.” Meher Baba specified the positioning of only two colors, red and sky blue. The rest he left to personal taste, saying, “Red should be at the bottom of the flag and sky blue at the top. Arrangement of the other five colors is your decision.” Baba also suggested the number of colors be seven to settle a dispute. The Hindus said the color of the flag should be red, but an early disciple named Ramjoo objected, saying that red reflected only Vedanta, and that green was better. Then the Hindus took objection, arguing that green was typically an Islamic color. The Parsis and Iranis disapproved of both colors, and to bring about accord, Baba proposed, “The flag should be of seven colors.” However, this number is typical of most rainbow flag designs in use around the world.
Here above, the flag of the city of Cusco.
And ultimately, the Autism Spectrum is being represented by a rainbow flag as well, as a response for the use of a lost piece of puzzle that makes no sense because autistic people are not a missing piece. It’s a spectrum like the rainbow is.
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“The Sacred Book of G” is a stream of consciousness, a thought provoking intimate journal written by Gonzalo Bénard. After 3 days of brain death he reborn with a deep loss of memory. He reborn without any sense of his past — of his own roots — of his own self. Before that he’d spent his time creating defences to disguise his autism. He had lost it too. New born G had no memory and no defences.
“I, Energy” is a book on Cosmic Consciousness, Quantum Physics and Old Shamanism written by Gonzalo Bénard who not only lived in Himalayas with shamans and in a Buddhist monastery but also in the Western Sahara with old shamans. A guide on healing and transcendental meditation and how you can master your own mind.
Gonzalo Bénard is a lecturer, a tutor of autistic teenagers, and a visual artist. His photography has been part of the annual programs of several universities around the world, mainly about the series Oneness, Nudes and B Shot by a Stranger, and are in several private and public art collections such as Museum of Serralves, Cultural Centre of Cascais or Sir Elton John’s.
His photographs are also being used in Hollywood productions and TV series and you can see his work of photography at his webpage.
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