A new children’s book, “Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag,” written by Rob Sanders and illustrated by Steven Salerno tells the story of famed gay activist Harvey Milk and his collaboration with Gilbert Baker, the man who in 1978 designed what has become one of the most iconic symbols for the LGBT community: the rainbow pride flag.
The book starts with the story of Harvey Milk — described as “an ordinary man” with “an extraordinary dream” — and his path to becoming in 1977 one of the first openly gay people elected to public office in the U.S. The story then goes on to describe Milk’s collaboration with Baker in the creation of the rainbow pride flag, which debuted on June 25, 1978, at San Francisco’s gay pride march.
Sanders stressed that it is important to share the stories of historical figures like Harvey Milk, who was assassinated in November 1978, and Gilbert Baker, who died just last year, to a new generation to ensure the impact of such individuals isn’t lost or forgotten.
“I think it’s important for kids to learn about history in general, and that our history as the LGBTQ community is part of that history, and this needs to be recognized,” Sanders said. “History is history, and we need to know and be informed about it.”
It is a feeling of hope that the author of “Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag” wants children to take away from reading the book.
“There are four words repeated throughout this book: equality, pride, hope and love,” Sanders said. “That’s a message I would like for kids to grab a hold of, that those four words are what Harvey and Gilbert and the flag are about, and that’s what we as a community are still striving to have.”