The PEACE Flag Movement works to unite the world in the fight for equity and justice for all people. It starts with the flag, making the hope of change visible. And it grows when we turn education and conversation into action. Raising this flag is a promise to speak up, stand up, rise up.
It all began in June of 2016. A worldwide rise in violence. In homicides. Yet another mass shooting: a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Anger, grief, helpless, but not hopeless. Outside Boston, Maggie Sky flies a rainbow peace flag at half-mast on her home, her way to express the need for change—for people to stop killing, come together, care.
People passing by respond, they’re moved, there’s discussion, controversy, and comradery. Sky starts distributing flags to anyone who wants one. More flags fly, Common Street Spiritual Center becomes the first fiscal sponsor, and a movement is born and named the Rainbow Peace Flag Project.
Months later, nearby in Natick, MA, an LGBTQ family’s home is vandalized for flying a Peace Flag. In response, 60 neighbors display Peace Flags on their homes. Standing together as one community, they created a wave of solidarity that was felt for miles.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.”
– Margaret Mead
2018. Rainbow Peace Flag Project leaders recognize the need for a design change, as the flag is seen as an LGBTQ pride symbol, when it in fact stands for every Culture, Race, Spirituality, Gender, Sexuality, Age, and Ability. As they incorporate the input of people from many communities, artist Virginia Fitzgerald helps Sky to design a new flag symbolizing visual inclusivity, and in the name of racial justice, with new hues and black lettering. All colors now stand side by side, a symbol of equality—for all.
2020. Amidst a global pandemic, the world watches George Floyd’s killing at the hands of a police officer. Once again: anger, grief, helpless, but not hopeless. Black Lives Matter. Silence is violence. Complacency kills. We’ve reached a tipping point, people are ready to fight for lasting and systemic change. More & more flags fly. As the Movement grows, a core team of volunteers join Sky and with the guidance of a justice-focused, highly diverse advisory group, the Rainbow Peace Flag Project becomes the PEACE Flag Movement. We work to educate and inspire people to action—to speak up, stand up, and rise up for equity and justice. For all.