Manchester Pride is adopting a new rainbow flag for their celebrations and events this year. The new rainbow flag includes a black and brown stripe in acknowledgement of LGBTI people of color within the community.
The eight-stripe flag will be their official banner for all 2019 events.
First adopted by the city of Philadelphia in 2017, the flag is a variation of Gilbert Baker’s original rainbow flag. As the original adopters in Philadelphia explained, the expanded flag ‘to highlight black and brown LGBTQIA members within the city’s community’.
Manchester Pride organizers released a statement about their adoption of the new flag:
‘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.’
Mark Fletcher, chief executive of Manchester Pride, added the flag must be a symbol that adapts to ‘reflect the modern society that we live in’.
He continued: ‘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.’
The event also released a new video about 2019 Pride:
‘Mine is the Pride, of a burning passion, a yearning inclusion of all,’ a voice says over the video. ‘We celebrate as one, campaigning, remembering, this battle’s not yet been won.’
The new eight-stripped flag can also be seen in the video,
It’s not the only change coming Manchester Pride’s way.
They also announced a change today to their musical format, including a new name and location. The event will now be known as Manchester Pride Live and take place at Mayfield, close to Piccadilly Station.
A controversial flag
Not everyone appreciates the new look to the rainbow flag.
A poll released last year showed that 58% of respondents don’t like the addition of the black and brown stripes. Most of this opposition came from gay men, particularly older men over 50.
White people also largely opposed the new stripes.
The people who approved the new stripes were mostly those between the ages of 18 and 29.
It’s also not the only change to the rainbow flag. A Puerto Rican artist last year unveiled a new form of the flag, acknowledging both people of color and trans people in the community. A church in Calgary flew this flag design in August.