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The rainbow flag is the modern day symbol for the LGBTQ pride movement.  It represents inclusiveness, diversity, and hope.  Historically, the flag has been a part of many different cultures and represented different ideas.  From its history in Europe, to Buddhism, to the Co-Operative movement there has almost always been the common theme of hope and inclusiveness associated with the rainbow.

The European history of the flag is associated with the Bible and it is said that God first created the rainbow so that Noah knew that there would never be another flood again.  Many reformers and social revolutionaries from the 14th-16th century are pictured with the rainbow flag to represent eras of hope and social change.  Moving forward in history, in 1885 Buddhists in Sri Lanka adopted the rainbow flag to represent the inclusivity of all forms of Buddhism around the world.  In the 20th century the Cooperative movement used the symbolism similarly to unite all different coops from around the world so that the movement would become more united throughout.

In the last fortyish years the rainbow flag has been adopted by the Peace movement as well as by the LGBTQ movement.  In 1961 the “PACE” flag (which means Peace in Italian) was used in a march to protest the development of nuclear weapons and has since been used to also demonstrate against the war in Iraq.  The most well known symbolism for the rainbow is that of the LGBTQ movement.  It was popularized in 1978 by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker.  Each color of the rainbow flag has a specific meaning; however the greater meaning of the flag is that of inclusion of all people.   The literal meanings of each color are red: life, orange: healing, yellow: sunlight, green: nature, blue: harmony, and purple: spirit.   The original flag also included pink to represent sex and turquoise to represent art/magic but since they have been removed for production purposes.

At Pride & Joy we sell an array of different rainbow flags including the “PACE” version.  As a store and as people we believe that all parts of the LGBTQ community should be included in the rainbow.  Fundamentally, the rainbow was developed to give people hope and make them feel welcome.  A rainbow means that every person can be a part of a community, even if they are a mix of a couple different colors on the rainbow or don’t necessarily know where they fit.  Pride & Joy is a place where all parts of the rainbow are welcomed with open arms and we hope to continue to be a place where all kinds of people can find merchandise that represents themselves and those who are closest to them.  Be sure to come in and check out our awesome selection of rainbow flags, big and small!

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Check us out online at: http://www.nohoprideandjoy.com/index.htm

Interested in getting a rainbow flag? Go here: http://www.nohoprideandjoy.com/browse.cfm/pride-rainbow-flags/2,119.html

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