The Absolutely Horrific Attempts to Improve on the Rainbow Flag


Straight out of a bad collection of ClipArt, the entries to Kurt Andersen’s Studio 360 radio show challenge to rebrand “gay” are looking awful. Anderson asked listeners to revamp that staid (but awesomely effective and recognizable) rainbow flag created by Gilbert Baker in 1978 for something new! fresh! chic! Creating a new symbol for gaydom isn’t a new idea — and as the following examples show, it isn’t a particularly wise idea, either.

Herewith, a gallery of horrible.

Description of the above flag:

I don’t think you can actually start from nothing. We have to acknowledge our history. One of the reasons that our current flag works so well is that it’s intrinsic message of inclusion is evident to all. So I keep the rainbow, at the pink triangle in the spirit of “never forget, never again” and close with a set of gender symbols in flesh tones.


Shockingly, that’s not the worst one. Flip to Page 6.

Jumping of from the supposition that one who knows a gay person is more likely to be sympathetic to gay rights arguments, this approach certainly “calls-a-spade-a-spade.” This subtle play on words, courtesy of playwright Philip Dawkins, is easily adaptable to other printed mediums, and allows for the insertion of word variations, including “Lesbian”, “Queer”, “Faggot”, “Dyke”, etc. Additionally, the text is “left justified” …

Additionally, the apostrophe is facing the wrong way.

Utilizing a heraldic banner shape, this flag incorporates the rainbow and pink triangle combined into a unifying, welcoming symbol. The variant shape of this flag draws the eye while reflecting the history of triangle symbolism.

This looks like an ad for Xerox Color Printing.

An updating of the “Purple Rhinoceros” from 1974 made famous in Boston by Bernie Toal and Tom Morganti. As Toal put it: “The rhino is a much maligned and misunderstood animal and, in actuality, a gentle creature.” But when a rhinoceros is angered, it fights ferociously.

All we’re seeing is a giant phallus, but maybe that’s just us.

In this concept, I am attempting to convey infinite gay pride. The breaks in the rainbow symbolize the constant challenges, such as marriage equality that our community faces daily in an attempt to become equal in society.

This looks too much like Barack Obama‘s logo, which should be kept as far away from gay rights as possible because, you know.

(No description given)

ASFD$^#$t^asdgf ASFDHJASLKFD2#%^&@#$65345235!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

More reckless toying with Photoshop here.