Friday, December 21, 2012

"Even a white Christmas should have a rainbow"

This 1978 JELL-O ad from Found in Mom's Basement is a timely reminder of the way symbolism changes over the years. When I was my son's age, rainbow imagery was used as a badge of being hip. You'd see rainbows on jeans pockets, posters, and ads.

However, the same year this ad was published,  San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker first unfurled the rainbow pride flag for the gay liberation movement.Twenty-two years later, the rainbow symbol was so completely associated with LGBT pride that the University of Hawaii reacted in a homophobic manner by changing its football team's name from "Rainbow Warriors" to just "Warriors".

Today, it's hard to remember the rainbow standing for anything else. But there was a time when this:

..would lead to no jokes whatsoever.

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