A rainbow-wreathed Pride flag flies above a field during the Utah Pride parade, Sunday, July 29, 2018, in Salt Lake City.
Utah Pride is an annual event that celebrates the LGBTQ community in Utah.
(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)The Pride flag was the focus of an online petition launched on Monday by LGBTQ-rights group Utah Pride that gathered more than 2,600 signatures, raising the issue of why Utah Pride flags were so often flown on the Pride parade.
The petition, titled, “Why are Utah Pride Flags so often the rainbow flags?
#RainbowWreaths,” was signed by more than 7,400 people, according to a statement from Utah Pride.
The Rainbow Wreaths were designed by artist Rebecca Sorenson, who wrote in a post on her blog, “I think the most beautiful thing about the rainbow is that it’s both beautiful and beautiful without being rainbow-y,” the statement said.
“But sometimes, it’s also very rainbow-ish,” the artist continued.
“It is very important to be able to celebrate the diversity of our community.
The Rainbow Wreath is a reminder of that diversity in the name of love, acceptance and inclusion.”
Sorenson said she made the decision to create the rainbow-colored flags after realizing that many LGBTQ-identifying people don’t want to dress in the rainbow flag in public.
“I think that people who identify as LGBTQ don’t feel comfortable in wearing a rainbow flag on their lapels,” Sorensons post read.
“I am a queer, and the flag has been a symbol of my identity since the beginning.
I wanted to create something that could make me feel comfortable with myself without being a sign of my queer identity.”
Sowden said the flag was designed to symbolize the LGBTQ-community as one united, proud, and vibrant family.
“There is a need for rainbow flags for people who are LGBTQ, to express their pride, and to affirm their love for their families, and I think that a rainbow is a really powerful symbol,” she said.
“There’s no need to be ashamed of who you are.”
While there are many ways to celebrate pride, Sowden and others said it was important for LGBTQ people to feel comfortable wearing rainbow flags, regardless of what the flag symbolized.
“To me, that’s the best way to celebrate that diversity, because that’s what we want for ourselves, not who we’re supposed to be,” Sowdsen said.
The rainbow flag was a first for the parade, Sorennsons Facebook post said.
It has also been a favorite of Salt Lake Pride parade participants.
“You could have a rainbow banner for all you want, but if you were in the LGBTQ crowd, that would be great,” Sorenson said.