Virtual Pride Flag Created to Combat Bans in 40 Cities

The Gilbert Baker Foundation – which honors the legacy of the creator of the original Rainbow Pride Flag – announces the launch of a new phase of the #SavetheRainbowFlag campaign.

There are currently upward of 40 cities that have passed laws to ban the Pride Flag at government buildings (City Halls, Police Stations, Public Schools, etc.) That number is growing daily basis and the bans have lead to an increase in hate crimes.

To combat the bans, a #SavetheRainbowFlag virtual Augmented Reality (AR) filter is now available on Instagram, allowing anyone to raise virtual Pride Flags at particularly where the pride flag has been banned.

Developed by INNOCEAN USA and Tool, in partnership with the Gilbert Baker Foundation, supporters are being given the tools to raise awareness, and raise their own Pride Flags! The filter is available on Instagram @Gilbert_Baker_Foundationand. Please note that the filter is only available on mobile devices.

“The Gilbert Baker Foundation launched the Save the Rainbow Flag initiative in response to a wave of pride flag bans occurring across our country,” stated Charles Beal, President of the Gilbert Baker Foundation. “Partnering with the ACLU we created a Toolkit that local activists can use to fight back against this wave of hate and win! Using these tools, we’ve seen victories in California, New Jersey and Florida. If this is happening in your community, speak out! Reach out to us and fight back!”

Beale continued, “With the click of a button, anyone can use this filter to place an AR Pride flag in front of their City Hall, at a local school or in their own front yard. Once they capture the flag waving proudly they can post via Instagram, tag the location – #SavetheRainbowFlag – and spread awareness of the issue during Pride Month and throughout the year.”

“We are proud of the diversity we have in our employees at INNOCEAN. When one of our team proposed we do something bold to support the LGBTQ+ community, I was happy to see our team jump into action,” stated Steve Jun, CEO INNOCEAN USA. “This is about more than a flag. It’s about people coming together, using new technologies for good and standing up for each other. I look forward to seeing virtual rainbow pride flags across the country – if not the world!”

The virtual flag can be planted in any physical location through a digital toolset that allows someone to rotate, resize, and record a video or picture of the flag to share on social along with hashtag #SavetheRainbowFlag and their own messaging. They might even want to tag some influential people in their community. 

The Gilbert Baker Foundation tracks cities, counties and states that have banned the pride flag.

“We’re leveraging the tools people use most to spread awareness of this issue – through AR and social reach we can give even more visibility to the Pride Flag in the very places where it is being banned,” said Emily Fife, a member of the LGTBQ+ community and Tool’s creative director.

Gilbert Baker Foundation’s Beale concluded, “The new Augmented Reality filter is a perfect protest tool. It expands the Save the Rainbow Flag toolkit with a powerful visual aid. Take a picture in front of a building where the Rainbow flag is banned and put a waving flag into that photograph. Just point – tap – and Pow! You’ve planted a flag where it’s banned. And it looks real! Do you want to plant a rainbow flag in front of your house? Just tap! In your office at work! Just tap! It’s that simple!”