Manchester Pride has announced that they will be adopting a new flag for their events and celebrations from this year. The new pride flag will include two more stripes of black and brown color in acknowledgement of LGBTQ people of colors. The pride flag has always been known globally as the unifying symbol of the LGBT+ community. While the LGBT+ community has always prided them in accepting and loving people regardless of their ethnicity or race, but in reality, many queer people, particularly queer people of color (POC) has always felt discriminated among the greater queer community.
“For many years, the LGBT+ community has collectively stood under the iconic six-stripe rainbow flag,” organisers said in a statement. “But in the 40 years since its creation, the community has evolved into many facets, with each one creating and identifying with their own symbols and flags.”
Mark Fletcher, chief executive for Manchester Pride, said, “We have seen that the iconic rainbow must adapt to reflect the modern society that we live in. “A lot has happened but there is still a long way to go, especially in the recognition of people of colour in the LGBT+ community. To highlight the importance of this we’ve decided to adopt the 8 stripe flag created by the city of Philadelphia, USA as part of our logo.”
The event also released a new video about 2019 Pride showcasing their new flag. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMs5Y5FxSoM)
Not everyone appreciates the new look to the rainbow flag. A poll released showed that 58% of respondents don’t like the addition of the black and brown stripes. Most of this opposition came from gay men, particularly older men over 50. In contrast, Millennials, people of colour and trans people were more likely to be in favour of adopting a flag with black and brown stripes.
White people also largely opposed the new stripes. The people who approved the new stripes were mostly those between the ages of 18 and 29.
It’s also not the only change to the rainbow flag. A Puerto Rican artist last year unveiled a new form of the flag, acknowledging both people of color and trans people in the community. A church in Calgary flew this flag design in August.
“BAME (Black Asian and Minority Ethnic) people have told us that they feel under-represented within LGBTQ+ spaces across the region so we have worked hard to ensure that they feel represented within our marketing and welcome at our events,” says Mark Fletcher.
Some people are saying that introducing more colors in the pride flag is more like a cynical publicity stunt or a misguided attempt at inclusion. The pride flag isn’t about race.
The colors of the original pride flag designed by Gilbert Baker represent the race-neutral themes of “sexuality, life, healing, sun, nature, art, harmony and spirit.” Adding colors does not make the flag more inclusive. The addition of black and brown colors to the pride flag turns an already-inclusive symbol into a divisive one.
Manchester Pride Live – formerly known as The Big Weekend – will take place over the weekend of 24-25 August at Mayfield, a disused railway depot and indoor venue close to Manchester Piccadilly Station
Source – dallasnews.com, pinknews.co.uk, attitude.co.uk, gaystarnews.com, rolereboot.org