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In Support of Pride Month, “Save the Rainbow Flag” Campaign Uses Augmented Reality to Fly the Rainbow Flag in the Cities that Have Banned Them

#SavetheRainbowFlag AR Filter Available on Instagram @Gilbert_Baker_Foundation

Gilbert Baker Foundation Partners with INNOCEAN USA and Tool to Create #SavetheRainbowFlag Augmented Reality Filter on Instagram

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif., June 14, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —  On this “Flag Day,” the Gilbert Baker Foundation – which honors the legacy of the creator of the original Rainbow Pride Flag – announces the launch of a new phase of the #SavetheRainbowFlag campaign, a virtual Augmented Reality (AR) filter that allows anyone to raise virtual Pride Flags, particularly anywhere they’ve been banned.

There are currently upward of 40 cities who have passed laws to ban the Pride Flag at government buildings (City Halls, Police Stations, Public Schools, etc.)  That number is growing on an almost daily basis. The bans are leading to an increase in hate crimes in many of these markets.

To combat these bans, a #SavetheRainbowFlag virtual Augmented Reality (AR) filter is now available on Instagram, allowing anyone to raise virtual Pride Flags at government buildings, especially where the Pride Flag has been banned. Developed by INNOCEAN USA and Tool, in partnership with the Gilbert Baker Foundation, supporters are being given the tools to not just raise awareness, but raise their own Pride Flags!

The #SavetheRainbowFlag filter is available on Instagram @Gilbert_Baker_Foundation or via THIS LINK(Please note that the filter is only accessible on your mobile device.)

The #SavetheRainbowFlag filter is part of a wider initiative with the Gilbert Baker Foundation. They have made a toolkit available to  assist members of communities that are under attack to take action, to testify at city council and school board meetings and participate in civic discussions to reverse or prevent future bans.

“The Gilbert Baker Foundation launched the Save the Rainbow Flag initiative in response to a wave of pride flag bans occurring happening across our country,” states Charles Beal, President of the Gilbert Baker Foundation. “Partnering with the ACLU we created a Toolkit that local activists can use to fight back against this wave of hate and win! Using these tools, we’ve already seen victories in California, New Jersey and Florida. If this is happening in your community speak out! Reach out to us and fight back!”

With the click of a button, anyone can use this filter to place an AR (virtual) Pride flag in front of their City Hall, at a local school or in their own front yard. Once they capture the flag waving proudly, they can post via Instagram, tag the location and #SavetheRainbowFlag – spreading awareness of the issue during Pride Month and throughout the year.

This initiative first came to light by employees at INNOCEAN, an advertising agency based in Huntington Beach, CA. When the employees heard about the Pride Flag ban in the very city where they are based. They went to leadership with a plan to do something and partnered with TOOL, a creative production partner, who developed the custom AR filter allowing Pride Flags to fly anywhere and everywhere – including Huntington Beach!

(Since the initiative was developed, a ban on the Pride Flag has  been instituted throughout Orange County, CA where Huntington Beach is situated. INNOCEAN was also asked to remove a Pride Flag they displayed on their building.)

“We are proud of the diversity we have in our employees at INNOCEAN and when one of our team members proposed we do something bold to support the LGBTQ+ community, I was very happy to see our team jump into action,” states Steve Jun, CEO INNOCEAN USA. “This is about more than a flag.  It’s about people coming together, using new technologies for good and standing up for each other. I look forward to seeing virtual rainbow pride flags across the country – if not the world!”

The virtual flag can be planted in any physical location through a digital toolset that allows someone to rotate, resize, and record a video or picture of the flag to share on social along with the hashtag #SavetheRainbowFlag and their own messaging. They might even want to tag some influential people in their community.  The Gilbert Baker Foundation tracks cities, counties and states who have banned the pride flag HERE.

Emily Fife, a member of the LGTBQ+ community and Tool’s creative director, said “We’re leveraging the tools people use most to spread awareness of this issue – through AR and social reach we can give even more visibility to the Pride Flag in the very places where it is being banned.”

Gilbert Baker Foundation’s Beale concludes: “the new Augmented Reality (AR) filter is a perfect protest tool. It expands the Save the Rainbow Flag toolkit with a powerful visual aid.” Take a picture in front of a building where the Rainbow flag is banned and put a waving flag into that photograph. Just point – tap – and Pow! You’ve planted a flag where it’s banned. And it looks real!  Do you want to plant a rainbow flag in front of your house? Just tap! In your office at work! Just tap! It’s that simple!”

For Media: Photo & Video Assets showing the filter in use: LINK


  • Dustin Callif, President and Executive Producer
  • Kaili Kubpart, Head of Production
  • Jasmine Johnson, Producer
  • Emily Fife, Creative Director
  • Juan Ramon, Creative Technologist and Lead Developer
  • Sophie Langohr and Tool France, Lead 3D Designer


  • Steve Jun, CEO
  • Jason Sperling, Chief Creative Officer
  • Tony Kalathara, Group Creative Director
  • Courtney Betley, Creative Director
  • Joe Reynoso, Creative Director
  • Nicolette Spencer, SVP Head of Production
  • Melissa Moore, VP Executive Producer
  • Spyro Glaretas, VP Director Digital Production
  • Taylor Durrow, Project Manager
  • Jenn Kennedy, VP Executive Director Business Affairs
  • Tiffany Hill, Sr Business Affairs Manager
  • Lisa Dougherty, Business Affairs Manager
  • Candice Morson, Associate Business Affairs Manager
  • Derek Dintzner, Creative Technologist

Media Contact:
David Thalberg

Roberta Sklar, Gilbert Baker Foundation

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at