The Pride Flag – one of the great graphics of our times.
Its simplicity, those particular colours, its inclusive meaning – no wonder the Pride Flag is so immediately recognizable and embraced by so many peoples for what has become a global summer festival. Variations will evolve to distinguish the nuances of its subcultures, to be raised more as political statements – but the rainbow Pride Flag is a keeper that keeps on spreading.
Its graphic power especially allows it to escape from the constraints of the flag format. Think crosswalks. And as artists and designers have appropriated its colours for more creative presentations, cities around the world have became outdoor galleries of splashy public pride-art. Sometimes just for association, sometimes for marketing, always for expression.
Here are some fine examples from Tel Aviv when it celebrated Pride for a week this June. (One gets the sense that the bold use of the colours is also a statement of secularity by its citizens.)
Vancouver is relatively unimaginative in its use of Pride regalia – mostly flags, banners, a bit of paint. So allow me to make a recommendation:
City of Vancouver, have a contest to decorate these trucks, Pride-style:
I get why you use them as giant metal bollards, to close off streets and prevent a terrorist event as happened in Toronto. But it makes the events they’re protecting seem like they’re in construction zones.
Commission some transformative ideas. Give some grants to make them happen. Let the artists and designers demonstrate their cleverness and creativity, using these lumbering canvases, to make them part of our festivals, parades and gatherings – not just a cheap, dumb solution to a policing problem.
Show some Pride.