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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Explained: Why the rainbow symbol is sweeping a world under lockdown

By putting up handmade motifs of rainbows on their windows, children will be able to see them during their evening walks in the countries where exercising is allowed. This way, children can enjoy “a sense of community” during this time

By: Explained Desk | New Delhi | Updated: April 12, 2020 3:02:01 pm
coronavirus global, covid 19 cases, coronavirus cases, rainbow photos lockdown, coronavirus news,latest news A drawing of a rainbow with the word “Hope” by Logan age 6 is displayed in one of the windows of 10 Downing Street, London (Aaron Chown/PA via AP)

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, as millions of people are confined to their homes, various news reports have talked about the symbol of the rainbow appearing in windows in areas across Europe and the US. The trend, which is believed to have started in Italy, has caught up with residents in America and Europe too. It involves drawing a rainbow on a piece of paper since it is believed to be a symbol of hope, and taping it to the window to feel a sense of community with the rest of the world.

The BBC reported that by putting up handmade motifs of rainbows on their windows, children will be able to see them during their evening walks in the countries where exercising is allowed. This way, children can enjoy “a sense of community” during this time when they cannot meet their friends or go to the playground. Online groups by the name of “Chase the rainbow” have also surfaced recently across social media websites such as Facebook, where people can share photographs in a bid to lift the spirits of people during this time of disease outbreak.

Apart from the current crisis, the colours of the rainbow are also seen as a sign of diversity when it comes to sexuality. The rainbow flag has become a symbol of the LGBTQ rights movement. It is believed that the flag dates back to the year 1978, when the artist Gilbert Baker, a drag queen and a gay man designed it. According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, Baker later revealed that he was urged by Harvey Milk, who was one of the first openly gay elected officials in the US had urged him to create a symbol of pride for the gay community, whose the colours of the rainbow, something he thought to be the “natural flag” from the sky and assigned a different colour to each stripe of the flag.

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In fact, South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu coined the term “The Rainbow Nation” and used it as a symbol of the rainbow to talk about the diversity in South Africa, marking a new beginning for the country. “Look at your hands – different colours representing different people. You are the rainbow people of God. As you remember, the rainbow in the Bible is the sign of peace. The rainbow is a sign of prosperity. We want peace, prosperity and justice and we can have it when all the people of God, the rainbow people of God, work together,” he was quoted as saying in the book, “Giving Account of Faith and Hope in Africa”.

Here’s a quick Coronavirus guide from Express Explained to keep you updated: What can cause a COVID-19 patient to relapse after recovery? | COVID-19 lockdown has cleaned up the air, but this may not be good news. Here’s why | Can alternative medicine work against the coronavirus? | A five-minute test for COVID-19 has been readied, India may get it too | How India is building up defence during lockdown | Why only a fraction of those with coronavirus suffer acutely | How do healthcare workers protect themselves from getting infected? | What does it take to set up isolation wards?

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