The creator of the Pride flag, Gilbert Baker, has died aged 65.
Baker, a civil rights activist, army veteran and tailor created the Rainbow Flag 39 years ago.
Cleve Jones, also a civil rights activist, shared the news of Baker’s death on Twitter.
My dearest friend in the world is gone. Gilbert Baker gave the world the Rainbow Flag; he gave me forty years of love and friendship. pic.twitter.com/titd3XZ0zD
— Cleve Jones (@CleveJones1) March 31, 2017
He wrote: “My dearest friend in the world is gone. Gilbert Baker gave the world the Rainbow Flag; he gave me forty years of love and friendship.”
A rainbow flag was flown at half-mast at the City Hall in San Francisco to mark the passing of Baker.
Baker’s cause of death is unknown.
He created banners and flags for marches, as well as protests, and created the rainbow banner which was carried by Harvey Milk in San Francisco in the 1970s.
Born in Kansas, Baker moved to San Francisco in 1972 after serving in the US Army for two years.
“Flags are about power,” Baker told ABC7 news.
“Flags say something. You put a rainbow flag on your windshield and you’re saying something.”
Of the rainbow flag, which is flown at Pride events and protests around the world, Baker said each colour represents something different.
“Pink is for sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for the sun,” He told ABC7.
“Green for nature, turquoise for magic, blue for serenity and purple for the spirit. I like to think of those elements as in every person, everyone shares that.”
After creating the iconic flag, Baker was commissioned by San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein to create the flag for her first elected inaugural.
He also designed flags for the Democratic National Convention in 1984.
The Freedom Flag was the inspiration for the newly painted Leeds Freedom Bridge (pictured above).