SAVE THE RAINBOW FLAG
Join the Gilbert Baker Foundation and the ACLU in fighting back.
We are grateful for your help in this important battle.
Here are effective steps for pushing back against those trying to ban the Rainbow Flag in your town.
WE ARE HERE FOR YOU: Contact the Gilbert Baker Foundation/Save the Rainbow Flag using the form on this page. Report any attempts to ban the Rainbow Flag or other LGBTQ+ symbols from your community. We will add your information to our interactive tracking map.
TOOLS FOR SUCCESS: Information is strength. Download the Gilbert Baker Foundation Statement, ACLU legal guidance and sample letter on this page. These resources will prepare you for meetings and forums about flag bans.
REINFORCEMENTS: Utilize al materials on our site to strengthen your battle.
TEAMWORK: Organize like-minded citizens to help fight bans. Use our sample letter to write to your school or town council, or as a letter to the editor of local media.
SHOW UP: Be aware of scheduled community meetings about bans. Sign up to speak. Bring allies with you. Our opponents pack these meetings to spread their lies.
What should you say at these meetings?
Speak personally and honestly. That’s how you win hearts and minds.
HEARTS: Read the Gilbert Baker Foundation Statement. It explains why bans are an act of hate that will not be tolerated.
MINDS: Read the ACLU Legal Letter. This is your key weapon against any false legal arguments or threats by opponents. For greater impact, have a local lawyer present the ACLU brief with you. Make numerous copies of the ACLU Letter to hand out to officials at this community event. Hand them out to ban supporters.
TELL YOUR STORY: End your presentation by briefly explaining what the Rainbow Flag means to you and LGBTQ+ people in your area. Explain how a ban makes young people feel threatened.
PETITIONS: A powerful tool is a group petition. Create and circulate a paper petition against banning the flag Get as many supporters to sign as possible. Or create a petition at change.org. Deliver the petition at the hearing.
TALK TO THE MEDIA: Prepare a short verbal statement for local reporters. Speak calmly and briefly – no more than 45 seconds. Make your voice heard.
FIGHTING BACK WORKS: Visit our page of success stories. Be inspired by their tactics and victories!
STAY IN TOUCH: We are here to support and advise you! Keep reporting back to us with challenges and victories. Your help in this national grass-roots campaign will guarantee the Rainbow Flag continues to inspire LGBTQ+ people everywhere.
ACLU OPEN LETTER
GILBERT BAKER FOUNDATION STATEMENT
Statement on Restrictions on Flying the Rainbow Flag
Gilbert Baker created the LGBTQ+ Rainbow Flag in San Francisco in 1978. Since that time, it has become the most recognizable symbol of hope and diversity ever created by human hands
The Rainbow Flag celebrates LGBTQ+ visibility and liberation. Therefore, it has drawn scores of detractors, especially in our current era of conservative politics. We have seen a rise in people protesting and demonizing Gilbert Baker’s creation. Reactionaries in many countries, including the United States, have engineered a backlash, applying pressure on local, state and federal governments to ban flying the Rainbow Flag publicly.
To bolster their arguments, these factions create a specious argument: They label it “political” and compare the Rainbow Flag to offensive symbols like the Confederate flag and Nazi Flag.
These arguments are wrong on many levels. The Rainbow Flag is not political. Though politicians pass laws to discriminate against, or support, sexual and gender minorities, we are, in fact from all political backgrounds so the Rainbow Flag is apolitical by definition. The Confederate and Nazi flags are offensive because they represent ideas that are antithetical to democracy. The Confederate Flag was flown by a seditious rebellion that attempted to overthrow the United States government and protect the rights of slaveowners. The Nazi Flag reflects a fascist regime that murdered six million Jews and hundreds of thousands of handicapped and sexual and gender minorities. The Rainbow Flag, on the other hand, is a symbol of liberation and hope. There is no similarity.
Since 1978, the Rainbow Flag has inspired sexual and gender minorities to come out proudly. When these people live in shame and fear, this oppression leads to discrimination, depression, even suicide. The Rainbow Flag, instead, urges people to demand full equality, so they can live a free and happy life.
This is why the Rainbow Flag needs to be flown in public. For this reason, the Gilbert Baker Foundation has created numerous educational projects and exhibits to showcase the flag. The Foundation donates Rainbow Flags to museums and other institutions around the world. We stipulate that these donated flags be on public display. Visibility saves lives.
As soon as you try to ban the Rainbow Flag, or other beacons that celebrate sexual and gender minorities, you put those people back in their closet. You snuff out their pride. You eventually extinguish their very lives.
The Rainbow Flag has gained meaning beyond the LGBTQ+ community. It has international recognition and respect as a symbol of sanctuary and safe spaces. It is crucial that all public institutions be allowed to display the Rainbow Flag freely.
The White House is known around the world as a symbol of freedom and democracy. In 2015, President Barack Obama illuminated the White House in rainbow colors to let the world know that the United States stands in solidarity with sexual and gender minorities. Imagine how life-affirming this gesture was for millions globally.
Dictators also know the power of the Rainbow Flag, and that’s why they want it torn down. Earlier this year, Russia invaded Ukraine. The leader of that oppressive government, Vladimir Putin, declared that part of his motivation for invasion was the country’s LGBTQ+ organizations and Ukraine’s open display of the Rainbow Flag. Putin has vowed to “wipe the Rainbow Flag off the face of the earth”
We at the Gilbert Baker Foundation stand against homophobes when they attempt to ban the Rainbow Flag. From the Kremlin to your local city council, it is crucial to call out haters. Publicly denounce their cruelty. Their actions go against the very principles of freedom and democracy that we in America cherish. Those trying to tear down the Rainbow Flag have more terrible agendas.
Fly the Rainbow Flag openly and proudly. It embodies freedom and justice. Those who are against it oppose freedom and justice as well.
President of the Gilbert Baker Foundation
LOGO AND POSTER FILES
SAMPLE LETTERS FOR LOCAL OFFICIALS
The Rainbow Flag is under attack. Not just in foreign countries. But here in the United States.
Conservative politicians and Christian groups are trying to ban the Rainbow Flag on local and state levels. They have already been successful in over 20 school districts and city councils.
How did they succeed? These groups argue that the Rainbow Flag is political. If the Rainbow Flag flies, then why not the Confederate and Nazi flags? The towns are threatened with lawsuits and cave in. The result: LGBTQ+ people – especially teens – lose a symbol of support.
But the Gilbert Baker Foundation is here to support people as they push back.
That’s why we created the “Save the Rainbow” tool kit. We worked with the American Civil Liberties Union to provide talking points and legal info that will help you fight the haters and win!.
Working together, we can fight back against this blatant homophobic oppression.
If you know of an effort to ban the Rainbow Flag, tell us via our website. If you are fighting an anti-LGBTQ initiative in your area, let us know!
Today they come for our flag. Tomorrow they will come for our equal rights. We need to take a stand together now.