Philadelphia added 2 new stripes to the Pride flag. Here's what they stand for.

Before a Pride parade in 1978, artist Gilbert Baker designed the first rainbow flag.

He dyed strips of fabric in eight colors and stitched them together. The positive response was almost immediate.

"We stood there and watched and saw the flags, and their faces lit up," gay rights activist Cleve Jones told The New York Times. "It needed no explanation. People knew immediately that it was our flag."


Today the rainbow flag is a highly recognized symbol for equality, pride, and strength — not just for gays and lesbians, but the entire LGBTQ spectrum.

Gilbert Baker helps stretch the mile-and-quarter-long World's Longest Rainbow Flag from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic coast in June 2003. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

This month, the enduring symbol received a makeover to celebrate the intersecting identities within the LGBTQ community.

The city of Philadelphia advertising firm Trinity created a new Pride flag, expanding the colors to include black and brown stripes. The new stripes are a simple but effective way to honor people of color within the the city's LGBTQ community.

Image via City of Philadelphia/Tierney.

The flag was unveiled at the inaugural Pride Month kick-off event June 8, 2017, at Philadelphia City Hall. The event featured speakers, performances, and the first raising of the new Pride flag.

The flag is only a part of the work being done by the city and the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations to promote inclusivity.

In January, the PCHR issued a report detailing the long history of discrimination against people of color in the Gayborhood, the city's historically gay neighborhood. Since the report, new policies have been enacted requiring staff members at bars and nonprofits in the Gayborhood to participate in sensitivity training sessions. Additionally, these businesses and organizations may receive "cease-operations orders" if patterns of discrimination emerge.

Photo by Craig Allen/AFP/Getty Images.

Racism within the LGBTQ community is much bigger than Philly.

Many assume there would be a certain level of empathy for people of color within the LGBTQ community because these marginalized populations would have a lot in common. But in many circles, it's not the case.

LGBTQ people of color bear the burdens of homophobia and racism. Trans women of color are killed at alarming rates. LGBTQ people of color are often rejected or objectified while online dating, in bars, nightclubs, and even nonprofits created to serve the community. LGBTQ youth of color are less likely to come out to their parents and are at a greater risk of experiencing homelessness or harassment.

Isabelle Adon (left) and Sarai Montes embrace at a vigil for slain transgender woman Islan Nettles at Jackie Robinson Park in Harlem. Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images.

Couple this with LGBTQ representations in pop culture focusing on wealthy, white, cisgender, male narratives, and it further perpetuates the idea that the LGBTQ community is incredibly one-note. This erasure and lack of representation have consequences, but efforts like Philadelphia's policy changes and flag show we can do better.

Not in Philadelphia? Don't worry, new flag swag is available now near you.

Free high-resolution downloads of Philly's new Pride flag are available for printing or making your own wearables. Flags, stickers, decals, and banners should be available for purchase soon on the initiative's #MoreColorMorePride website.

The diversity and intersection of identities within the LGBTQ community is what makes it so unique, beautiful, and strong. Building on and celebrating this dynamic community through our flag is a small step that goes beyond words to action. This is a step in the right direction.

Know another flag that comes with its own hype video? Check out this short spot to see the passion behind the project.

More Color, More Pride

Join us at 3:30 p.m. today, June 8th, at City Hall to kick off LGBTQ Pride Month with the unveiling of a brand new Pride flag!

Posted by Philadelphia Office of LGBT Affairs on Thursday, June 8, 2017
More
Courtesy of Houseplant.

In America, one dumb mistake can hang over your head forever.

Nearly 30% of the American adult population — about 70 million people — have at least one criminal conviction that can prevent them from being treated equally when it comes to everything from job and housing opportunities to child custody.

Twenty million of these Americans have felony convictions that can destroy their chances of making a comfortable living and prevents them from voting out the lawmakers who imprisoned them.

Many of these convictions are drug-related and stem from the War on Drugs that began in the U.S. '80s. This war has unfairly targeted the minority community, especially African-Americans.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

Climate change is happening because the earth is warming at an accelerated rate, a significant portion of that acceleration is due to human activity, and not taking measures to mitigate it will have disastrous consequences for life as we know it.

In other words: Earth is heating up, it's kinda our fault, and if we don't fix it, we're screwed.

This is the consensus of the vast majority of the world's scientists who study such things for a living. Case closed. End of story.

How do we know this to be true? Because pretty much every reputable scientific organization on the planet has examined and endorsed these conclusions. Thousands of climate studies have been done, and multiple peer-reviewed studies have been done on those studies, showing that somewhere between 84 and 97 percent of active climate science experts support these conclusions. In fact, the majority of those studies put the consensus well above 90%.

Keep Reading Show less
Nature
via James Anderson

Two years ago, a tweet featuring the invoice for a fixed boiler went viral because the customer, a 91-year-old woman with leukemia, received the services for free.

"No charge for this lady under any circumstances," the invoice read. "We will be available 24 hours to help her and keep her as comfortable as possible."

The repair was done by James Anderson, 52, a father-of-five from Burnley, England. "James is an absolute star, it was overwhelming to see that it cost nothing," the woman's daughter told CNN.

Keep Reading Show less
Heroes

I live in a family with various food intolerances. Thankfully, none of them are super serious, but we are familiar with the challenges of finding alternatives to certain foods, constantly checking labels, and asking restaurants about their ingredients.

In our family, if someone accidentally eats something they shouldn't, it's mainly a bit of inconvenient discomfort. For those with truly life-threatening food allergies, the stakes are much higher.

I can't imagine the ongoing stress of deadly allergy, especially for parents trying to keep their little ones safe.

Keep Reading Show less
popular