Rainbow crossing at Taylor Square to become more inclusive

Rainbow crossing at Taylor Square to become more inclusive
Image: Rainbow crossing at Taylor Square



City of Sydney Council has unanimously approved a motion to update the public rainbow flag street crossings at Taylor Square South and Prince Alfred Park. 

The motion, put forward by Councillor Adam Worling on Monday, called for the current rainbow crossing to be updated with the Progress Pride Flag.

Cr Worling, himself a proud and active member of the gay community, told City Hub that “this notice of motion is a fairly straightforward and simple one, but I believe its impact will be felt deeply across the City.” 

The Progress Pride Flag is an update on Gilbert Barker’s original 1978 rainbow flag design that has become synonymous with the LGBT community. Non-binary artist and graphic designer Daniel Quasar designed the flag in 2018. 

The black and brown of the chevron on the Progress Pride Flag represent Indigenous people and people of colour, whilst the white, pink and blue represents transgender, non-binary and gender-diverse people. 

The rainbow crossing at Taylor Square was painted in 2018, after the original on Oxford Street was controversially destroyed.

The rainbow was installed on Oxford Street in February 2013 to celebrate 35 years of Mardi Gras. It was approved as a temporary artwork until the end of March, but Mayor Clover Moore, and many others, wanted it to stay.

Then-Roads Minister Duncan Gay claimed that the rainbow crossing was a safety hazard due to people stopping to take photos amidst traffic, and had the road jackhammered, resurfaced and repainted overnight.

The original rainbow crossing on Oxford Street in 2013. AAP Image, Tracey Nearmy

Independent Member for Sydney Alex Greenwich told City Hub, “When the last government removed the rainbow crossing from Oxford Street on what it claimed were ‘safety concerns’, I worked with the Lord Mayor and City of Sydney to find a new location that celebrates the local LGBTIQA+ community.”

“The Taylor Square crossing is hugely popular and a wonderful sign of inclusivity,” he continued. 

Mr Greenwich asserted that he “welcomes Councillor Worling’s motion to investigate new places to spread the rainbow love.”

At 21.3%, the City of Sydney has the highest proportion of LGBTIQA+ people in all of Australia. Thus, the visibility that the public rainbow artworks provide for the community is paramount. 

“I love the mighty Rainbow crossing on Bourke Street at Taylor Square,” Cr Worling said. “It’s very near to my home and so I get the great pleasure of crossing it every day. I also see the rainbow path at Equality Green in Prince Alfred Park most days of the week.” 

“Though what is missing in these two locations, I believe, is the representation of our entire LGBTIQA+ community in all its brilliant diversity.” 

The implementation of the Progress Pride Flag design at Taylor Square South and Prince Alfred Park seems to be the natural course of action following the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras’ adoption of the flag back in 2021. 

The City of Sydney subsequently adopted the design going forward and in October last year, the Oxford Street LGBTIQA+ Social and Cultural Place Strategy was implemented, with one of its five priorities being increased visibility. 

Mayor Clover Moore told City Hub: “The City is committed to enshrining Oxford Street as the heart of LGBTIQA+ culture in Australia. This area has had many rainbow-themed additions by the City, including new Progress Pride street name signs and banners; rainbow lighting and several LGBTIQA+-themed murals.”

The push for increased inclusion and visibility through the public artworks has come at a significant time, following both the loss of the Voice to Parliament, and the unanimous nay vote from the Inner West Council in regards to endorsing the Trans Day of Resistance. 

Cr Worling said, “Ahead of Transgender Awareness Week, and the Transgender Day of Remembrance in November – and also after the devastating loss of the Voice To Parliament on October 14 – I thought it was a good time to table this Motion.”

“Its overall intention is to promote greater acceptance, inclusion, awareness and understanding.”  


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