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Employees discover 'historic' Pride Flags in attic of Hillcrest nightclub

Employees discover 'historic' Pride Flags in attic of Hillcrest nightclub
Posted at 5:42 PM, Mar 28, 2023

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Staff at a Hillcrest nightclub made a ‘historic’ discovery in the form of several Pride Flags.

This past weekend, Eddie Reynoso and other employees at Rich's San Diego were in the attic looking for decor, when Reynoso walked by a bin with a large Pride Flag.

‘An employee said, ‘Oh, those flags are the wrong colors. They are going to be thrown away if nobody takes them home,’” said Eddie Reynoso.

Reynoso, a self-described LGBT history geek, took a closer look.

“I saw the pink and the turquoise, which instantly told me, this has to be a Gilbert Baker flag. There’s no mistaking it,” said Reynoso.

Gilbert Baker, known as the creator of the Pride Flag, was tasked by his friend, San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk, to create an alternative to the Pink Triangle.

Debuting in 1978, the flag had two extra colors: hot pink and turquoise. Eventually, for various reasons — including cost to fabricate certain colors — those two colors were dropped.

25 years later, to celebrate the anniversary, Baker designed a flag that stretched more than a mile long in Key West.

Afterward, the flag was divvied up to pride groups across the country, but not in San Diego.

Flag sponsor Absolut Vodka also received some of those signed sections.

“We believe the flags probably sat in storage with Absolute, until someone said, ‘Hey, let’s use these for Pride,’” said Reynoso.

Two of the 25-foot-long flags ended up at Rich's around 2008, but club staff were never told of their significance. And so they sat, mostly unused the Reynoso's discovery. Baker passed away in 2017.

“Range of emotions. Excitement, adrenaline, disbelief, tears of happiness,” said Reynoso.“They flags are important and need to be preserved … The colors of the flag are still relevant today because LGBT rights are still under attack.”

Reynoso says Rich's San Diego has decided to preserve one of the flags to be displayed on special occasions and to donate the other to a city without a Gilbert Baker flag.