Gilbert Baker Google doodle celebrates LGBT-rights activists & creator of the iconic rainbow flag

Today’s Google doodle celebrates Gilbert Baker on what would have been the LGBT-rights activist’s 66th birthday.

In 1978, Baker assembled a group of 30 people at San Francisco’s Gay Community Center to hand-dye and sew together more than 1,000 yards of cotton to create a rainbow flag that would be used for protests and marches. For nearly 40 years now, Baker’s creation has evolved into a symbol of pride and freedom for the global LGBTQA+ community.

Google says Baker wanted to create something beautiful.

“The rainbow is so perfect because it really fits our diversity in terms of race, gender, ages, all of those things. Plus, it’s a natural flag — it’s from the sky,” said Baker about his choice to go with a rainbow as a symbol of the LGBT community.

Today’s doodle was designed by LGBT doodler Nate Swinehart. Google reports Swinehart worked with team members who felt a personal connection to the project and wanted to “… capture that same community spirit Baker treasured.”

From the Google Doodle Blog:

Together, the team decided the tribute would consist of a stop-motion animation of actual fabric strips coming together to create the flag. They made a trip to local San Franciscan fabric shops and filmed the doodle in a tiny kitchen only a few blocks from the same spot where Baker and his friends constructed that first flag in 1978.

The doodle leads to a search for “Gilbert Baker” and includes the usual sharing icon to post the image on social feeds or send via email.

Here’s today’s animated Gilbert Baker doodle that’s featured on Google’s US home page and a handful of its international sites:

Google also shared the following two early concepts for the animated image:

In addition to today’s doodle, Google is also celebrating Gay Pride Month by including rainbow flag imagery on LGBT-related search results.

As part of their writeup on Gilbert Baker and the doodle they created in his honor, Google spoke with Baker’s sister, Ardonna Cook.

She said her family is proud of her brother’s legacy of activism and artistry: “Gilbert led a bold and inspiring life by bringing The Rainbow Flag to life and it is that legacy which should guide us in respecting and celebrating diversity.”

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