World’s largest Gay Pride flag coming to Venice

Venice Pride and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation have partnered to create what they hope will be the world’s largest, free-flying Gay Pride flag, which will be flown at Venice Pride in June. Photo: Venice Pride.

VENICE — Venice Pride and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation have partnered to create what they hope will be the world’s largest, free-flying Gay Pride flag.

It will be flown for three days, starting June 1, in Venice for Venice Pride, and then will be sent to San Francisco from June 23 to 25 for the flag’s 40th anniversary, the same weekend as San Francisco Pride. The flag was created in 1978 to help unite San Francisco’s LGBTQ community.

“As individual Pride festivals, we exist separately, but this initiative will give us the opportunity to link with global Pride activities over the next couple of years,” Grant Turck, executive director-founder-president of Venice Pride, said.

After San Francisco, the giant Gay Pride flag will be sent to eight domestic and international cities for their Pride celebrations as part of a “United We Pride” tour. The flag’s last stop will be New York City in June 2019.

Gay Pride colors to stay on Venice Beach Lifeguard Tower forever

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation, an official healthcare partner with Venice Pride, will pay to manufacture the flag and send it around the globe.

The largest Gay Pride flag flown to date is one that measured 1,033 square feet and soared over Nelson Mandela Bay in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

It hasn’t been decided yet what will happen to the flag after it leaves New York City, Turck said.

In Venice Beach, the enormous Gay Pride flag will be hoisted at Windward Plaza at the Venice Beach Boardwalk.

Venice Beach made history last year when the Venice Pride Flag Lifeguard Tower, which initially was painted the rainbow colors of LGBTQ pride as a temporary art installation, became the first queer monument approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

At the same time the lifeguard tower was unveiled, a dedication ceremony took place for the the Bill Rosendahl Memorial Beach, which is named for the first openly gay man elected to the Los Angeles City Council. Rosendahl, who represented the 11th District, which includes Venice, died in 2016 from cancer. He retired in 2012 and Councilman Mike Bonin, Rosendahl’s former chief of staff, won the 2013 election for the open seat.

Here are the dates and cities for the “United We Pride” flag tour.

  • June 1-3 in Venice Beach
  • June 23-25 in San Francisco 
  • June 30 in Paris 
  • July 7 in London 
  • July 28 in Berlin 
  • August 5 in Vancouver 
  • March 2, 2019 in Sydney 
  • April 1-7, 2019, in  Miami 
  • April 26-May 5, 2019 in Tokyo 
  • June 14-23, 2019 in New York City 

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.