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Rainbow Flag Maker Gilbert Baker Toasts Gayest Vodka Bottle Ever

Baker

A bedazzled Gilbert Baker, the inventor of the rainbow flag, is helping launch a new Absolut called 'Absolut Colors' and talks about the origin of the flag, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, at London's Village Bar.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. What a wonderful promotion from Absolut, no one knows anything about it, except for this brief promo. Absolut tells people trying to buy the rainbow cover that they don’t know anything about it or where they can by the bottle covers! Someone in London is selling one of the covers on E-Bay for 50 pounds ($100.00USD) Way to go Absolut!

    Posted by: ggreen | Jun 6, 2008 9:54:20 AM


  2. There is a mountain/pyramid of these in Selfridges in London retailing at £22.

    Posted by: Tim | Jun 6, 2008 10:02:04 AM


  3. Well....there is a duty on Absolut, which makes it more expensive than other brands. I'm not a rich drunk, darlins.

    Why can't they do a Rainbow bottle of Kentucky Bourbon--that'll last me longer. Vodka goes down like frickin' Kool Aid.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jun 6, 2008 10:13:22 AM


  4. Drink the kool aid, Derrick, drink it up. That bottle would look fab in my liquor cabinet, meaning the shelf of half empty bottles I keep under my kitchen sink.

    Posted by: davefromtampa | Jun 6, 2008 10:29:02 AM


  5. Derrick, I can throw a rainbow sticker on a bottle of Southern Comfort. Interested? Bidding starts at $12.

    Posted by: crispy | Jun 6, 2008 10:29:34 AM


  6. LOL@CRISPY & TAMPA DAVE,

    DAVE, you can keep your bottles half-full? Well, you'll never need AA...good. (Hell, maybe it's the Florida heat)

    CRISPY $12.! Hell, I want a fifth not a half-pint.

    This is Gay Pride Weekend in Philly. I better stay away from the damn bottles if I want to make to any events. We'll have enough drunks comin' over the bridge from New Jers....nevermind, I don't want to start no trouble.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jun 6, 2008 10:38:44 AM


  7. I know I will get a lot of haters for my comment...but I have ever liked the design of the rainbow flag.

    Posted by: sminca | Jun 6, 2008 11:38:44 AM


  8. Gilbert Baker is a gay American hero; the Betsy Ross of the gay community if you will.

    I can't help but think, as I listen to his eloquent words and hear his passion for justice, equality and acceptance, that he is the face of an ENTIRE GENERATION of gay men who were activists or future activists but were LOST to the AIDS epidemic right at the moment when the iron of gay rights advancement was hot for the striking. Between the hundreds of thousands of gay men who died and the masses of others who, faced with the backlash, fled into, or back into closets, who knows where we would be now had we not lost these souls and their voices.

    For those too young to remember the plague of the eighties and just how mind numbingly disastrous it was; or those who were closeted and not paying attention or too young to remember when the hard work that has brought us to where we are today was done, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE take the time and make the effort to read up and inform yourselves about this history. I often get the impression, when reading comments here, that some people don't have a clue about or an appreciation of the people or the work that came before.

    I think it's incredibly important that we not only know our history but that we pay homage to it and to those who fought in the trenches when things were a hell of a lot tougher than they are today. The keys to our future are found in our past.

    Thank you Mr. Baker for your DECADES of service to the gay community and for your enduring symbol of GLBT pride and solidarity.

    Namaste.

    Posted by: Zeke | Jun 6, 2008 12:05:51 PM


  9. rainbow flag...ugh. Can't we do better than this?

    Posted by: Ben | Jun 6, 2008 12:57:15 PM


  10. Well said Zeke! This is the first time I've written in Towleroad! I'm a 45 youngin that has been through the 80s and lost more friends than I care to count, some just missing the drugs that my HIV+ friends are taking now that are no longer detectable. I think there's a whole generation out there that has no idea what the 80s were to the gay population and hope they don't have to go through such a turbulent time.

    Posted by: JustKev | Jun 6, 2008 1:00:22 PM


  11. As I started to read your post, I guessed it was by you, Frere Zeke. : - ) And you are, once again, so very right on point!

    I get that not everyone is into history, per se, and ours can be so hard to find, or is so often sloppily researched or rewritten—both by homophobes who want to excise or ignore us out of it [e.g., obits of Susan Sontag, Father Mychal, Merv Griffin] or falsely filled in by pretend gay historians who exaggerate or make up "facts" [e.g., the myth of the lesbian black triangle in Nazi Germany] to needlessly gild our lily. The out patient clinic that is Bilerico.com frequently posts the hacked histories of someone who insists on labeling gays, lesbians, and bisexuals as "transgender."

    The images aren't glam or young, but the documentaries "Before Stonewall" and "Coming Out Under Fire" are worth renting. Books: "The Other Side of Silence" by John Loughery is excellent, particularly because it includes a number of gay men and women of color that many will not have heard of. "Out of the Past" by Neil Miller is a rich compendium although it has the random errors and makes the mistake most gay histories do of failing to acknoweledge the serious flaws of some it glorifies. E.g., a number of the famous American lesbian expats living in Europe were very antiSemitic.

    "Stonewall" by David Carter is the best of the books on that subject. The best on post Stonewall gay political activism is "Out for Good" by Clendinen & Nagourney. Almost any modern gay autobiography is worth reading for the examples they set [however poorly written many are]. That does not include "Here's What We'll Say."

    Strangely, there are very few written about specific activists by others. None speficially about Frank Kameny, Barbara Gittings, et al. Harvey Milk is the major exception, but it's been ages since I read it and having since learned how careless with the facts Randy Shilts could be I'm not certain I can recommend it without a box of salt. Accounts of Milk's life included in other general books probably suffice.

    In sum, look for your histories wherever you can find them. These brave and fascinating men and women are your ancestors as surely as anyone hanging from the limbs of your blood family tree.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Jun 6, 2008 1:20:21 PM


  12. ANDY: " Gilbert Baker, the inventor of the rainbow flag"?! There are tens of thousands of Quechuan citizens in Cuzco and across Peru who would disagree. The Inca rainbow flag is still in use across Peru. I love the idea of a gay flag -- the "Friends of Dorothy" rainblow idea is witty, and even a pink traingle at left of the rainbow stripes would have made it unique. Gilbert Baker is a great activist, but the flag still worries me -- it is the duty of a flagmaker to find out if a prevoius flag exists... embarrassing as it is to admit, our flag is more stolen than invented. :-O

    Posted by: Strepsi | Jun 6, 2008 2:10:54 PM


  13. Sorry, Strepsi. We disagree. The closest Andy came to an error, and it amounts to nothing more than an ellipsis in this context, was not to write "the inventor of the rainbow flag AS A SYMBOL OF GAY PRIDE."

    To further assert that it is "stolen" is silly. That's close to saying your Aunt Heiny owes an apology to Florescheim because she's using your Uncle Mortimer's shoebox to store her famous collection of mock apple pie recipes.

    If Baker claimed he invented the Incan rainbow wiphala flag or the Italian rainbow Peace flag or Meher Baba's 1924 spiritual evolution rainbow flag, etc., etc., then your indictment might have merit. But he doesn't so your absolutism is absurd.

    Charges dismissed.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Jun 6, 2008 2:29:27 PM


  14. Stepsi...

    I did a Google of the Inca rainbow flag, and it has seven stripes: red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, blue and purple (another version has white instead of turquoise).

    The original rainbow flag that Gilbert Baker created had EIGHT colours: hot pink, red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, blue and purple, but the hot pink and turquoise were dropped because the colours were had to mass-produce.

    There is also a rainbow Peace flag, which also have seven colours, in the reverse of the Inca one.

    Basically, they are alll similar, but the flag Gilbert Baker designed is unique, and each of the eight colours (now six) have a special meaning... it's too bad the Absolut bottle didn't go with the eight coloured flag, especially as it's to commemerate the 30th anniversary of it's creation.

    Posted by: Glenn | Jun 7, 2008 2:09:06 AM


  15. Thanks GLENN! I actually do think the differences are important, as it is really important for a flag to be unique... and to say someone Invented something is pretty serious... but GLENN's post cleared it up. Trust me MICHAEL, was I ever surprised in Peru to see what looked like EVERY hotel being "gay friendly"! A real rainbow has 7 colors Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo Violet (no one can agree on "indigo" it seems ;) ). Now hot pink I could get behind! Cheers to GIlbert Baker

    Posted by: Strepsi | Jun 7, 2008 5:01:56 PM


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