American artist and gay rights activist Gilbert Baker was born in Kansas on June 2nd, 1951.
After serving in the Army in the early 70s, Baker taught himself how to sew, and began making banners and flags for gay rights and anti-war protest marches.
His major contribution, the Rainbow Flag, was created in 1978. Baker refused to trademark what he saw as a symbol of the LGBT community. The flag features eight colors, each symbolic, though the most common iteration of the flag uses six colors.
Curators at the Modern Museum of Art (MoMA) in New York have praised this international symbol, comparing its popularity to that of other universal symbols like the recycling symbol.