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Gilbert Baker, an artist based in San Francisco who created the rainbow flag as a symbol for the gay community, has died aged 65. He died in his sleep at his home in New York on Thursday night.

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He initially designed an eight-colour flag in 1978 for the city’s gay freedom day, the precursor to the modern pride parade. The rainbow flag has been raised in central San Francisco to honour him.

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It is flying near Harvey Milk Plaza, named after America’s first openly gay politician, a close friend of Baker before his assassination in 1978.

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