The rainbow flag has become the easily-recognized colors of pride for the gay community. The multicultural symbolism of the rainbow is nothing new -- Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition also embraces the rainbow as a symbol of that political movement. The Rainbow plays a part in many myths and stories related to gender and sexuality in Greek, Native American, African, and other cultures. In 1978, San Francisco artist, Gilbert Baker, designed the Rainbow Flag for the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Freedom Day Parade. Baker and 30 volunteers hand-dyed and hand stitched 2 prototype flags for the parade. These first flags had 8 stripes. Pink for sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sun, green for nature, turquoise for art, indigo for harmony and violet for spirit.

For the 1979 Parade Baker went to the San Francisco Paramount Flag Co. to mass-produce the Rainbow Flag. At that time hot pink was not available commercially, so pink and turquoise were removed and royal blue replaced indigo. This six-color version became the widely recognized symbol for Gay Pride and diversity. It is officially recognized by the International Congress of Flag Makers.

In 1994, a 30 foot wide by one mile long Rainbow Flag was carried by 10,000 people in New York's Stonewall 25 Parade.

Such things as Freedom Rings were inspired by the Rainbow Flag. There are many variations of the flag; one with a blue field of stars and versions with superimposed Lambdas, Pink Triangles, and other symbols.

Gender Symbols
Biological gender symbols are common astrological signs handed down from ancient Roman times. The pointed Mars symbol represents the male and the Venus symbol with the cross represents the female. Double interlocking male symbols have been used by gay men since the 1970s. Double interlocking female symbols have often been used to denote lesbianism, but some feminists have instead used the double female symbols to represent the sisterhood of women. These same feminists would use three interlocking female symbols to denote lesbianism.

Light and Music
Consider also, that the rainbow is actually the colors of light which we perceive as it is optically diffused and displayed.  In addition, musical tonalities roughly correspond to different harmonic nodes or frequencies.