Redesigned pride flag recognizes LGBT people of color

The city of Philadelphia unveiled this flag in a ceremony last week.

Story highlights

  • New flag adds black and brown stripes to represent LGBTQ people of color
  • Philadelphia may be first city to symbolically recognize racism within LGBTQ community

(CNN)When the Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal nationwide two years ago, the White House was illuminated with rainbow lights reminiscent of the pride flag to celebrate.

For Amber Hikes and many others in the LGBT community, the lights were a powerful symbol of a government's support for a marginalized community that had historically struggled to be recognized, much less openly supported.
    Now Hikes, a black queer woman, is excited about a new gay-rights symbol: a pride flag with additional black and brown stripes above the rest of the rainbow. The stripes represent LGBT individuals of color, a group that can often be overlooked within the overall LGBT umbrella.
    The flag was unveiled at a recent Pride Month kick-off event in Philadelphia as part of a new campaign, More Color More Pride, which aims to recognize nonwhite LGBT communities as part of the broader pride movement, starting with the most visible and widely-recognized symbol of the LGBT community.
    The campaign was developed by Tierney, a local ad agency that worked with Philadelphia's Office of LGBT Affairs, where Hikes is the executive director.
    Hikes said she shed a tear when the flag was raised last week for the first time. Others at the event had similar reactions. To the best of Hikes' knowledge, Philadelphia is the first city to publicly and symbolically recognize racial discrimination within the LGBT community.
    "To see this at City Hall is such a profound statement," Hikes told CNN.
    Philadelphia's downtown gay neighborhood, called the Gayborhood, has faced multiple instances of racial discrimination within the past year, including discriminatory dress-code policies at local bars and a leaked video of a nightclub owner using a racial slur. The campaign and new flag are one way the city and the Office of LGBT Affairs are addressing those issues.
    Hikes said she has already seen the impact the new flag and event have had on residents in