The Rainbow Flag: Bright, Bold, and Beautiful

Museum of Modern Art. Oct. 2019. 40p. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781633450783.
K-Gr 2–The iconic rainbow flag, a symbol of LGBTQ pride, was created by a group of friends in San Francisco in the 1970s. A colorful spread shows townhouses, streetcars, musicians, and marchers with signs against a backdrop of the Golden Gate Bridge—images synonymous with San Francisco. Details include artist and flag designer Gilbert Baker’s fascination with flags and knowledge of color and fabric, and how the friends made a flag for the Gay Freedom Day Parade in 1978. The text explains that the parade “had once been a march, with people demanding the right to love whomever they wanted.” Marchers carry signs with supportive slogans like “Lesbian Liberation” and “Gay is Good,” but neither the narrative nor the illustrations go into depth about why “not everyone agreed with them.” The actual process of dyeing the cloth and assembling the flag is described. The strips of colored cloth are shown billowing from a rooftop clothesline, feeding through a sewing machine, waving overhead at the parade, and held in the hands of the friends. The narrative paints a story of friendship, cooperation, and community. Back matter includes an author’s note and suggestions for further reading.
VERDICT A positive addition to collections looking to offer age-appropriate LGBTQ topics for the primary grades.

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