In 1978, political activist and designer Gilbert Baker created, hand dyed and hand sewed two flags with eight coloured stripes (pink, red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, blue and violet) to be a positive symbol that would unite gay, lesbian and transgender people. He called it the Pride Flag and debuted it that year in San Francisco.
The community loved the flag. And organizers of San Francisco’s Pride Parade determined it would be a powerful look to line the entire route of the 1979 event with four colors on one side of the street and four on the other.
With $10,000 and an ask for 400 handmade flags, Baker went to work. But the flag company helping to make the flags could not come up with enough pink fabric, so he had to remove pink from the flag. To make it an even split for the parade reveal, he removed turquoise from the flag.
Forty years later, the six-colour flag remains the ultimate global symbol of unity among the LGBTQIA+ community. To celebrate Baker’s impact and memorialize his legacy, Nike partnered with the Gilbert Baker Estate, working hand-in-hand to create this year’s 2019 BETRUE collection. For the first time, the footwear, apparel and accessories all feature the icon’s original eight-colour flag, as well as other meaningful “Gilbert-y” touches and symbols of Pride.