The raising of the rainbow-colored flag in celebration of Pride Month started at Berkeley Lab over 20 years ago. This year however, Lambda Alliance – the Lab’s Employee Resource Group and Activities Association that supports Sexual-orientation and Gender Minorities (SGMs) – opted to do something a little different to mark the beginning of Pride Month.
The rainbow flag has undergone many iterations since its inception in 1978. Some of these iterations were practical (see snippet below about the original colors of the Pride flag), whilst others have been made to focus attention on communities within the SGM group. The most recent iteration of the Pride flag, which was raised for the first time this year at the Department of Energy headquarters, is the Progress Pride flag which was first designed in 2018. You can read more about this flag in the glossary below. While the rainbow flag represents a spectrum of sexuality and gender identities, most sub-groups in the SGM community have also produced their own flags and/or color palettes to express their identity.
For 2021 and beyond, the Lambda Alliance wanted to make a banner that showcased a selection of these flags, many of which represent SGMs that employees identify with at Berkeley Lab. The banner was designed by Susan Brand of Berkeley Lab Creative Services who took the flags supplied by the Lambda Alliance and transformed them into the beautiful design which was hung inside Blackberry Gate to mark the beginning of Pride Month. The banner shows 20 flags representing different subgroups in the SGM community, in addition to a section of the
Progress Pride flag. The Progress Pride flag arrow is incorporated into the larger design, pointing forward to a more inclusive working environment. And, whilst each flag is distinct, all are enveloped in a fine color-gradient that represents the spectrum of SGM identities.
This banner embodies the vision we have for the Lambda Alliance going forward: an ERG that celebrates and respects the individual identities of the SGM community and works together with Berkeley Lab to ensure a more inclusive environment for everyone.
Below is a very brief glossary of the flags represented on the Lambda Alliance banner along with the dates when the design was first introduced. Some of the flags on this banner represent multiple subsets of the SGM community while others stand alone. It is important to remember that many gender identities and sexual orientations are not mutually exclusive and so an individual may feel a part of one or many of these communities.