In June 2017, in time with Pride Month, the city of Philadelphia did something outspoken that proved to be quite controversial among some of the larger LGBTQ community. The city decided to update the rainbow flag the queer community has come to know by adding a seventh and eighth stripe, one brown and one black. Now, for 2019, Manchester Pride has officially adopted this new rainbow flag “to reflect the modern society that we live in.”
The more-inclusive Philly Pride flag was created as part of a campaign called “More Color, More Pride.” The website for that campaign had this to say:
In 1978, artist Gilbert Baker designed the original rainbow flag. An iconic symbol of LGBTQ+ unity. So much has happened since then. A lot of good, but there’s more we can do. Especially when it comes to recognizing people of color in the LGBTQ+ community. To fuel this important conversation, we’ve expanded the colors of the flag to include black and brown. It may seem like a small step. But together we can make big strides toward a truly inclusive community.
That “small step” proved to be quite controversial to some queer people, many of whom took to the web to voice their anger that a symbol they’d come to know and love would dare be altered. Many more were in full support of the rainbow flag with two stripes for QPOCs, and also this “Progress Pride” flag that includes stripes explicitly representing the trans community.
As far as we know, Manchester Pride is the first European celebration to officially adopt the rainbow flag with added stripes for 2019. The flag with added colors is also part of Manchester Pride’s official logo, and it makes an appearance in this short video promoting Manchester Pride:
In a statement, Manchester Pride organizers said:
For many years, the LGBT+ community has collectively stood under the iconic six-stripe rainbow flag,. But in the 40 years since its creation, the community has evolved into many facets, with each one creating and identifying with their own symbols and flags.
We have seen that the iconic rainbow must adapt to reflect the modern society that we live in.
A lot has happened, but there is still a long way to go, especially in the recognition of people of colour in the LGBT+ community. To highlight the importance of this we’ve decided to adopt the 8 stripe flag created by the city of Philadelphia, USA as part of our logo.
In addition to the adoption of the Philly rainbow flag, Manchester Pride 2019 has announced a new venue for its annual music festival. It will no longer take place in the city’s gay village.
Manchester Pride Live will take place Aug. 24–25 August at Mayfield, an indoor venue and former railway depot near Manchester Piccadilly Station. Tickets for Manchester Pride Live go on sale here on Jan. 31.