history LGBT flag

Man’s Use of Rainbow Flags

In the late 1400s, a Christian reformer, Thomas Muntzer (1489-1525) preached holding a rainbow flag in his hand.  A statue of Muntzer, holding a rainbow flag, stands in Stolberg, Germany.  In the 16th century, during the German Peasant’s War, a rainbow flag with an image of peasants’ boots was used to represent hope for social change.

There’s also evidence of a pre-Columbian rainbow flag, a Buddhist rainbow flag, a rainbow flag representing the Cooperative Movement of the 1920s and the Peace Movement of the 1960s.  Rainbow color flags were also used by the Bene Ohr Jewish movement, U.S.A. (1961), the Jewish Autonomous Oblast (1996) and Ecuadoran and Russian political parties.

It wasn’t until 1978 that San Francisco artist and drag queen Gilbert Baker popularized a multi-colored flag as the symbol of the gay community, which today has broadened to include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT).   Before that, the symbol of the gay movement was a pink triangle, which had originally been used by the Nazis in concentration camps to denote gay people and other sexual deviants. The gay movement had reclaimed the pink triangle during the 1970s, but some felt the symbol still had disturbing connotations.¹

Color Loss

Baker’s “rainbow flag” started out in 1978 with eight colors, each with symbolic meaning: sex (hot pink), life (red), healing (orange), sunlight (yellow), nature (green), art (turquoise), harmony/peace (indigo/blue), and spirit (purple/violet).  However the following year two colors were dropped.  

Eight to Seven

Following the assassination of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and openly gay Supervisor Harvey Milk, in November 1978, the  San Francisco-based Paramount Flag Co. began selling flags with seven colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet) as a symbol of the gay community.  These flags were actually the company’s surplus stock from flags originally produced for the International Order of Rainbow Girls ( a Masonic youth service organization). Clearly, the hot pink color (representing sex) was not included in these flags.

Seven to Six

In 1979, when flags were ordered for the Gay Freedom Day Parade “ the hot pink fabric was too rare and expensive to include.” The flag also lost its indigo stripe (representing harmony/peace) at that time.¹

The LGBT Flag Is Not a Rainbow Flag

The LGBT flag might be called by the name of God’s token of promise to all mankind, but it is NOT a rainbow flag.  It is simply a multi-colored flag because the LGBT flag has only six colors.  A rainbow always has had seven colors, and it always will, because God put the colors in the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet (notice hot pink/sex is missing and indigo/harmony, peace is included in God’s rainbow).   It’s also interesting to note that seven is God’s number of completion and perfection, and the number six falls short by one.  Six is the number of man (Read: The Meaning of Numbers in the Bible).

Throughout human history, we find that things which are in opposition to God’s will are often simply counterfeit copies.  Such copies might come close, but they always fall short.  All false religions have enough truth to sound good, but they teach subtle lies by twisting the truth.  That was Satan’s ploy in the Garden.  He twisted God’s Word, using subtle deception, and he created confusion and caused Eve to forget God’s words and to sin.

Satan never presents himself in truth — as the accuser that he is.  Instead, he is able to transform himself into an “angel of light,” and his minions are able to transform into “ministers of righteousness” (2 Cor 11:14-15), all with intent to deceive.  They may “look” good, but they are nothing more than “copy-cat” appearances of that which is good, and their desire is to lead people away from the One True God who is omnibenevolent (all good).

I hope you’ll never look at the LGBT flag in the same way again.  It is NOT a rainbow flag! It falls short in every way….especially in what it represents.

God’s Rainbow

Genesis 9:8-17  Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying: “And as for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you: the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you, of all that go out of the ark, every beast of the earth.  Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.  It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.

The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”  And God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.”

A Rainbow of Remembrance

God put the rainbow in the cloud as a reminder of His covenant.  God also spoke to Noah and said that He would look on the rainbow to remember His covenant.  Understand that this does not mean that God would forget His promise.  God is omniscient (all-knowing), therefore, His remembrance is different than that of man.  God cannot forget His promises, but man all too often does forget– and many have forgotten the true meaning of a rainbow in the sky.

Throughout the millennia, rainbows have appeared in the clouds and they are meant to be a token, or a sign (Gen 9:12-13), for all mankind.  The rainbow is given to remind us of God’s justice in judging sin and His mercy and grace in providing a way to be saved.  In addition, the multi-colors of the rainbow can remind us of the splendor of Heaven, and the glorious radiant colors around the throne  (as described by the apostle John in Revelation 4-5).

God’s rainbow has seven colors.  Interestingly, according to Strong’s Dictionary, even the Hebrew word “rainbow” has seven letters (qesheth).  We should think of God’s rainbow as representing these seven things: His love, mercy, and grace; His truth, promises, and faithfulness; and, of course, His longsuffering (patience) with sinners like us.  His desire is that all will repent and seek Him.  His true rainbow will never represent, nor can it ever celebrate any sinful behavior.

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