Gilbert Baker Did Not Create the Rainbow Flag

Posted: April 3, 2017 in Thoughts on art ministry and life
Tags: , , , , , ,

(Please note the following post has nothing to do with sexual politics and everything to do with claiming things we “create.”)

I saw on Facebook the other day that Gilbert Baker had passed away. I hadn’t heard of him, but the next sentence told me who he was. He was the creator of the rainbow flag. That shocked me a little, because I am pretty sure he didn’t create it. It says he made it in 1978. This means he was at least 8 years too late. You see I think I created it around 1970. I was in first grade. My art teacher, Mrs Kreitler gave us some strips of paper, or crayons, I don’t exactly remember which, but she told us to put them in order, but not just any order, rainbow order. When I was done, I had a piece of art that looks suspiciously like the rainbow flag. Sorry Mr. Baker, but I had you beat, by eight years.

Of course, come to think of it, so did everyone in my class. Maybe it was more of a group effort, but then come to think of it, Mrs. Kreitler came in with the lesson plan. Maybe she is the creator. But what if someone taught it to her?

It’s this simple, some things are not able to be owned. They preexist all of us and to claim them as your creation is disingenuous at best. I’ve often fantasized that the quickest way to become the world’s first trillionaire would be copyright the articles. You know “a, an and the” after all if we did that, everyone would have to pay me a royalty every time they were used. Of course all my royalties would be eaten up when someone else figured out they could copyright the alphabet. Of course that’s absurd, but so is claiming to have designed something that has existed since before time began.

Please remember that I am not making this political, or anything, and any comments pertaining to that will be deleted. I’m just talking about what we can own and what we can claim to have created.


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