Creator of rainbow flag, symbol of gay rights, dies at 65

Posted at 12:58 PM, Apr 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-01 15:58:33-04

NEW YORK (AP) — The creator of the rainbow flag that has become a widely recognized symbol of gay rights has died at age 65.

Gilbert Baker's death was reported Friday to the New York City medical examiner's office. The cause wasn't known.

Baker was born in Kansas and served in the U.S. Army from 1970 to 1972.

He was stationed in San Francisco in the early days of the gay rights movement and continued to live there after his honorable discharge.

Baker's website says he taught himself to sew and began making banners for gay and anti-war marches. He created the rainbow flag in 1978.

San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee said in a statement that the flag "has become a source of solace, comfort and pride for all those who look upon it."