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The History of The Rainbow Flag

There are many kinds of rainbow images, including rainbow kites, window decals, vehicle bumper stickers, as well as rainbow flags. In the case of rainbow flags, there are two that are of primary notariety. One is of smaller notariety, the other of larger. The one that is of smaller notariety came first of the two in the timeline of history. The one of larger notariety came later, after the introduction of the elder image to the people who adapted the younger to resemble the elder.

The older image is the one that may be attributed to Meher Baba, of which the following story is told:


Bhau Kalchuri

To prevent stray cows and goats from destroying the jasmine saplings, a wire fence was erected on all four sides of the Jhopdi. Later it was proposed that a flag be flown near the Jhopdi and, on April 23rd [1924], a debate ensured about it. The Hindus said the color of the flag should be red, but Ramjoo objected, saying that red reflected only Vedant, and that green was better. Then the Hindus took objection, arguing that green was typically a Mohammedan color. The Parsis and Iranis disapproved of both colors, and to bring about accord, Baba proposed, "The flag should be of SEVEN colors."

Naval prepared a flag accordingly and, after it was sewn, it was hoisted near the Master's Jhopdi in the evening. As the flag stirred, Baba remarked, "Do you know why I suggested a seven-colored flag? The seven colors represent the seven planes of consciousness."

Meher Baba then specified the positioning of two colors: "Red should be at the bottom of the flag and sky blue at the top. Arrangement of the other five colors is your decision."

Then he later added: "Besides representing the seven planes of consciousness, these colors also represent SANSKARAS -- impressions. The colors in the flag signifies 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."

LORD MEHER, Vol. Two, p. 619
Copyright 1987 AMBPPCT

The younger rainbow flag, and one of larger notariety is the symbol of the Gay Community. It was adopted years ago, from what turned out to be its prototype.

The prototype was a take-off from Baba's flag, but it had a black square field in the top left-hand corner, over the rainbow, similar to the American flag in the way it is laid out. In the center of the black field, there was a 5-pointed white star.

The prototype was designed by Gary Cook in the early 70's in San Francisco. It was designed to honor Meher Baba but to signify conciousness coming to fruition, thru the spectrum of light, from the Abyss of ignorance. Gary Cook wanted to honor Meher Baba and Gay Pride by carrying the "prototype" in the first annual Gay Pride parade up Market Street to the Castro.

Thereafter, in each successive annual Gay Pride Parade, a series of rainbow flags came into popularity, and eventually settled to the more popular one that is seen today around the world, which usually represents the home, or vehicle of a gay person, when seen. This flag is only similar to Meher Baba's flag, whereas it is usually only 6 colors, the top one always being red.

           Meher Baba's Flag