Check out new Nike BETRUE Air Max 90 sneakers
- Nike teamed up with activist and designer Gilbert Baker for BETRUE line of sneakers and accessories
- Baker was the original designer of the 1979 Pride Flag
- The Air Max 90 features a multi-layer swoosh
The Pride Flag as we know it today first debuted at San Francisco's Pride Parade in 1979.
Over the course of the past 40 years, the six-striped design has become a powerful symbol of unity and solidarity. But here's the thing—it's not the original design.
The first-ever Pride Flag made its way into the world in 1978, courtesy of political activist and designer Gilbert Baker. He made it by hand, right down to the dyeing and sewing. And the first iteration had not six but eight stripes in colors that each represented something specific.
Gilbert unveiled his creation to the community at the Pride Parade, and the organizers took note. They commissioned Baker to create a series of 400 flags to line the '79 parade route. But when it was time to produce those flags, the company he was working with couldn't come up with enough pink fabric. He had to remove it.
Removing the pink presented an issue, though: The seven-striped flag would be hung from the lampposts of Market Street, and those posts would obscure the center stripe. For the sake of symmetry and visibility, Baker also removed turquoise. And that, right there, is how the six-color Pride Flag made its monumental first appearance.
Now, 40 years later, Nike has teamed up with the Gilbert Baker Estate to create a collection that pays homage to the design that existed before logistical demands forced him to alter it. There's a mix of apparel, accessories, and sneakers in the lineup, and all feature the original eight-stripe design.
It's all part of the brand's annual BETRUE initiative.
BETRUE first started in 2012, led by Nike's own employees. It's since grown into an annual collection that launches in June in celebration of Pride Month.