The LGBTQ+ community is going to be celebrated on a British coin for the first time ever, as The Royal Mint has revealed a rainbow 50p to commemorate 50 years of the Pride movement in the UK.
The coin features all the colours of the Progress Pride flag, which includes the rainbow as well as the pale blue, pink and brown stripes representing the trans, non-binary and people of colour communities. Inscribed on the coin are also Pride in London’s values of Protest, Visibility, Unity and Equality. It was designed by east-London based artist and LGBTQ+ activist Dominique Holmes.
This is one coin you’re not going to be able to spend as it’s not going into circulation, but it will be available to buy in a range of metals when it arrives just before Pride month in June. According to Clare Maclennan, director of commemorative coin at The Royal Mint, hi-tech colour printing technology will be used to make the 50p.
Maclennan called the 50th anniversary of Pride UK ‘a milestone celebration’. The first UK Pride event took place in London in 1972. Back then it was a protest rally in response to the Stonewall riots in New York, which were sparked by police raiding a downtown gay bar. These days London Pride is still seen as a protest, but it is also a massive celebration that welcomes over 1.5 million people each year.
Asad Shayk, director of marketing and communications at London Pride said it was ‘a privilege’ to collaborate with The Royal Mint.
He said: ‘It humbles me greatly that the words that I coined for the brand – protest, visibility, unity and equality – will be on an actual coin, opposite the Queen. Nowhere in the world had this been possible, except the UK. Pride in London feels very proud today.’
He added: ‘This queer brown immigrant has come a long way, powered by hope, love and this city.’
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