Is It Too Late to Reclaim the Rainbow Pride Flag?

September 30, 2014 6:54 PM

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Is It Too Late to Reclaim the Rainbow Pride Flag?

When one thinks of rainbows in the United States, a few things immediately come to mind: pots of gold, Judy Garland, and gay pride. And if we're being honest, the last two may as well be one and the same. While other symbols have waxed and waned in popularity -- be it the lambda sign or the pink triangle -- the rainbow flag, Gilbert Baker's 1978 creation, certainly has staying power. Indeed, gay pride parades the world over are positively littered with a kaleidoscopic orgy of rainbow carnage. Above and beyond the radical origins of the flag, however, one force more than all others has worked to cement the rainbow flag as the symbol for the gay rights movement: capitalism.

Even a cursory glance at recent pride events show the uncomfortable union of capital and activism: whether it be a TD Bank float adorned with scantily clad gay men in rainbow thongs or the iTunes store selling Pride Playlists, the rainbow flag has been co-opted by the capitalist machine to squeeze t...

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