Rainbow Symbol 'Hijacked' by Homosexuals, Says Pro-Family Group
(CNSNews.com) - The rainbow, considered by many to be a biblical symbol full of hope and promise, is used widely today by homosexuals as a symbol of their activism. And some conservative pro-family groups charge that the rainbow symbol not only has been hijacked, but that institutions like the University of Hawaii have caved in to homosexuals in order to be "politically correct."
"My first instinct when I see a rainbow, whether it's a flag, on a bag, or on a car is to assume that it's a symbol of homosexual activism rather than a sign of God's grace, which is what it's supposed to be seen as," said Heather Cirmo of the Family Research Council.
Cirmo said the Book of Genesis provides the first visible account of the rainbow. "Right after the flood, Noah and his family exited the Arc and God placed a rainbow in the sky and said this is a symbol that I will never destroy the earth again by water.
"The FRC is very distressed that now the rainbow is a symbol of homosexual activism rather than a symbol of God's grace," said Cirmo. "So many people now forget the origin of the rainbow."
In 1978, Gilbert Baker of San Francisco designed, dyed, and sewed six stripes into a flag featuring the colors of the rainbow to symbolize 'gay and lesbian' community pride, according to The Alyson Almanac: A Treasury of Information for the Gay and Lesbian Community . Baker explained that the six colors represented, respectively: sexuality, life, healing, sun, nature, art, harmony, and spirit.
Baker's flag was created the same year that San Francisco's first openly homosexual city supervisor, Harvey Milk, was assassinated by a gunman at City Hall. The Pride Parade Committee commissioned the rainbow flag during its 1979 demonstration of solidarity in the aftermath of Milk's death.
The design of the homosexual rainbow flag "may have been influenced by flags with multicolored stripes used by various left-wing causes and organizations in the San Francisco area in the 1960s," according to the Flags of the World (FOTW) website. The rainbow flag originally had eight stripes (from top to bottom: hot pink for sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sun, green for serenity with nature, turquoise for art, indigo for harmony, and violet for spirit.)
Despite the effort by the homosexual community to use the rainbow symbol for its own purposes, many Americans are still unaware of the issue, according to Rhonda Buckner, executive director of PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) Metro D.C. "The rainbow has been around for a long time. I don't think it's very universally known, even as a symbol of unity or anything related to gay issues."
"Last year at our gala, we honored the Cox Family Farm people ... [They] are pumpkin farmers outside of the Washington D.C. area and they have had their farm for many, many years.
About 15 or 20 years ago, they put a rainbow flag waving on their farm, not having any clue that it had anything to do with gay stuff. They just like the rainbow and thought it would be a fun thing for a pumpkin farm when people come every Halloween to buy their pumpkins.
They had this rainbow flag flying for years, and maybe 15 years after they put it up. A religious group identified it as a gay symbol and started harassing them to take it down, and threatened that their business would be ruined and they would boycott the farm and send e-mails from all kinds of churches around the area. A lot of people rallied around the family to fight bigotry as a result of it. PFLAG Metro D.C. honored them at their Gala of 2001," said Buckner.
Buckner believes many people in non-metropolitan areas, especially in the Midwest, are unaware of the flag's connection to "gay pride." "A lot of people still don't know that's what it stands for," she said.
Still, the criticism continues to mount over the homosexual community's use of the rainbow and its colors to promote diversity and civil rights.
"That's a major ploy of homosexual activists to liken their movement with the Civil Rights movement. And for them to say that "just as blacks and whites are now united but they weren't in the 1960s, someday we hope that homosexuals will be united with the rest of the country and even the world" and "that differences will not be a cause of division but actually unite us," Cirmo said.
"They're cloaking their goals in terms that were used by and still are used by civil rights activists. We reject that because homosexuality or homosexual behavior is not like skin color. It's not like your sex. You can't change your sex. People try to, but I still stand by the statement: you can't change your sex, you can't change your color, but you can change your behavior," she added.
"To liken homosexual activism to the civil rights movement is to elevate homosexual activism to a place it's not worthy of," said Cirmo.
The Family Research Council also believes the homosexual community's use of the rainbow symbol was enough to convince officials at the University of Hawaii to change the name of the school's football team. "After 77 years," the Family Research Council reported, the university's football team "changed their name from the "Rainbow Warriors" to just plain "Warriors."
The University's break from tradition was prompted by "questions about its relationship to a non-traditional community," reported the FRC. The University's Athletic Director told the FRC "the logo put a stigma on their program."
"There's definitely a lot of backlash against that symbol being hijacked by homosexual activists," said Cirmo. "[The] University of Hawaii caved to homosexual activists. It's unfortunate that the University of Hawaii would cave like that, but they don't stand alone."
The designer of the university's new logo, however, claimed the change from the rainbow flag to the new logo, a letter H and a tapa, or traditional Hawaiian cloth, was not precipitated by the symbol's association with the homosexual community.
"It had nothing to do with that. In fact, I dictated their direction and the direction was never based on that," said Kurt Osaki, designer of the new logo.
"The overall reason was just for a new update. I mean the logo's been around for almost 30 years, and it just was a new update process that they wanted to go through," Osaki said.
"Caving," Cirmo believes, is the result of political correctness. "Unfortunately, there's a real push to revise history or just to forget it ... We forget history, we forget the origins of things ... and things are so politically charged that we're willing to forget or renounce our history for the sake of keeping the peace."
Whitney Smith, whose Flag Research Center has studied the history of worldwide flags for over 40 years, offered two theories regarding the homosexual movement's use of the rainbow flag.
"One is there are many gay and lesbian groups that are using this as a common bond just as flags are used in other circumstances for various communities. And then, a lot of them are selling products, you know, clothing, jewelry, artwork and so forth," said Smith.
Homosexuals are using "the history of gay symbols, the rainbow and other ones in the hopes of making their websites interesting in the hopes that people will buy," according to Smith.