For the first time in its 28 year history, the Australian National Maritime Museum will proudly raise a rainbow flag above at its Darling Harbour location to recognise and celebrate its commitment to telling the “hidden histories” of LGBTQI people at sea, as well as to the Museum’s diverse staff and guests.  The flag will be raised by members of the Museum’s rainbow community at 10:30am on Friday 15 February to coincide with the launch of Mardi Gras season and the opening of the Museum’s digital Sea of Rainbow exhibition that showcases stunning black and white photographs from the VI Gay Games in 2002 by Sydney-based artist Paul Freeman made famous for capturing nude portraits of sports stars in situ. 

The digital exhibition will launch at 12:01am Friday 15 February at 
Chasna Harper, Museum Education Officer, found the photographs “hidden” in a Museum closet and decided to let them bare all in a daring, beautiful digital exhibition. “Hidden histories have always been a passion point for me, and having long been an advocate for rainbow culture, since joining the Museum I have made it my mission to ensure as many of these hidden stories as possible are brought to light.”

“The Museum has a lot of ambition for exhibitions and installations that share the stories of LGBTQI people. Raising the rainbow flag is just one way, albeit a very significant and symbolic way, to demonstrate our commitment to diversity and equality.”  

The huge 4 yard (3.6 metre long) flag was commissioned by the Museum from Flags of All Nations in Queensland and arrived this week to the excitement of staff and volunteers, who are looking forward to proudly displaying their support for love and diversity high above the Museum’s prominent Darling Harbour location.