Sydney, Australia is gearing up for the their annual Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras with Lord Clover Moore by unveiling a permanent rainbow crossing at Oxford Street’s iconic Taylor Square. 

“The new rainbow crossing is a hugely symbolic statement of support for the LGBTQ community after a tumultuous time with the marriage equality plebiscite. This beautiful gesture brings a smile to everyone who walks across it,” said the founder of community organization DIY Rainbow, James Brechney. 

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The symbol of the rainbow flag, first designed in 1978 by San Francisco gay rights activist and artist Gilbert Baker, holds an important meaning for the freedom and equality of all LGBTQ people around the world. Baker created the flag for the Gay Freedom Pride Parade that year at the request of Harvey Milk. 

The design of the flag has changed over the years. Originally, the flag contained 8 colors and now, for practicality reasons, has only 6. Each color also holds an important meaning to the gay rights social movement. 

  1. Pink — Sex
  2. Red — Life
  3. Orange — Healing
  4. Yellow — Sunlight
  5. Green — Nature
  6. Turquoise — Magic
  7. Blue — Peace
  8. Violet — Spirit

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“San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker’s rainbow flag has been a symbol of those first bloody struggles of the gay rights movement. The 78ers in Australia put up with brutal treatment during the first Sydney Mardi Gras, and the rainbow flag has come to represent the LGBTIQ community’s struggles for liberation, survival and equality,” said Lord Clover Moore in a statement to SBS News. 

The Sydney rainbow crossing shape also makes it extremely unique and the only arch-shaped rainbow crossing in the world.