That Rainbow Banner Pisses Me Off

(still better than a Confederate banner)

I see you there, Mx. Rainbow Banner. With your colours, and your lines, and your general vibe of tolerance and empathy for our fellow human beings. And I get all that, really I do: the idea to stick a pro-LGBT+ banner on such a big site as this one (as are the parallel ideas employed by Facebook and Twitter) are nothing short of highly admirable and wholly needed in a heteronormative society. That being said, it is ugly as shit.

My first problem with the rainbow banner is that it’s not a rainbow. Anyone with a basic understanding of colours knows the colours of the rainbow are, in order, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet (or ROY G BIV). But this banner shamefully ignores the last two colours, conflating them into a single, bastardised purple thing that is both an insult to indigo and violet, and gives unnecessary status to purple, a colour which looks like garbage anywhere other than the uniforms of the Minnesota Vikings.

But this is a problem among the LGBT+ community, not specifically WordPress’s adoption of their trademark symbol; somewhere, someone decided to give indigo and violent the shaft, and it’s a chromatographical problem that WordPress isn’t really responsible for. But what this site is to blame for is the silly placement of the banner atop the reader. WordPress’s colour is a rather industrial light blue, the sort of shade you’d find on the side of a heavy goods lorry after eighteen consecutive return trips from Barnstaple to Wellingborough, where its sides are all grotty and faded, all semblance of a chirpy, friendly image cooked up by a vaccumed PR department lost to the ravages of the elements. Or its the kind of colour you’d see on an old set of the game Battleship, a shade opposed to the enemy red that is both vibrant and attracted, but backboned with the steel and aggression befitting tiny plastic submarines. And, from a purely aesthetic point of view, this is a total clash with the bright, carefree colours of the rainbow.

At least Facebook and Twitter have the decency to abort their traditional colour schemes in favour of this rainbow-bannering: Facebook’s fabulised profile pictures are greyscaled before they are rainbowed, so there is no contrast between the original photo and its social justice-supporting colouring; and Twitter has abandoned its sky blue background for a rainbow background behind a neutral white bird, and white is a sweet accompaniment to any spectrum of colours. But WordPress insists on pushing its brand identity, and its progressive leanings, down your throat simultaneously, screwing up the design of what is normally a pretty, functional site.

I’m all for rainbow drapery – I’d love to see a temporary replacement of WordPress’s blue livery and the black trim on the WP Admin page with an appropriately exploded Skittle factory – but I can’t get my head around the design choice to smash two contrasting colours against each other. It’s baffling, stupid, and kinda hurts my eyes.

This is clearly the biggest problem facing the LGBT+ community.


One thought on “That Rainbow Banner Pisses Me Off

  1. Six colours instead of seven – that was the first thing I noticed too, especially since I had just finished submitting a rainbow photo to the WordPress Photo Challenge for, yes, ROY G. BIV.

    I tried to leave a comment on the forum, but wasn’t fast enough to get something posted before they shut each topic down. So, like you, I did a blog post, though not nearly as good as yours. My compliments!

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