Where does come from?
The rainbow emoji was added to Unicode 6.0 in 2016. Apple first implemented the emoji under iOS 2.2 in 2008 for iPhones in Japan, where the cell phone carriers SoftBank and au by KDDI had featured early versions of the emoji since 2000 and 2003, respectively.
I love the rainbow emoji.🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈 pic.twitter.com/7v8aT3jp7i
— Nancy Tant Official (Nancycatsings)🌈 (@Nancycatsings) July 17, 2018
Across major platforms, the rainbow emoji displays as an arc with most of the traditional colors of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. Sorry, indigo. Facebook, however, does include an indigo band in its design, displayed in a blue sky. WhatsApp’s design has the rainbow emanating from a white cloud.
With its diverse colors coming together into one, the rainbow has been a symbol of LGBTQ pride since 1978. That year, San Francisco politician and iconic gay rights activist Harvey Milk commissioned Gilbert Baker, a drag queen and US military veteran, to create a new flag to represent the LGBTQ community.
In 2015, after the US Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage, self-described “queer trans feminist nerd” Noah Slater requested the Unicode Consortium—the organization that approves new emojis—add a rainbow flag that “unambiguously symbolizes queer pride.” Unicode took action in 2016, making available a rainbow flag emoji as a sequence of the white flag emoji 🏳️ and rainbow emoji 🌈, yielding 🏳️🌈.
Who uses ?
The rainbow emoji is often used, of course, when commenting on pictures of rainbows …
You know it's going to be a good day when … 🌈❎2️⃣ pic.twitter.com/f8cTkEmGsM
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 31, 2019
… or other moments of natural splendor.
— Lily Nelsen (@LilyNelsenMusic) February 10, 2017
Given that they are beautiful and special, rainbows, including in their emoji form, can express various positive feelings, such as happiness and togetherness.
literally no one:
us: HAPPY #WORLDOTTERDAY HERE'S 20 SEC OF SEA OTTERS EATING <3
everyone: 😍🥰🐾🌈💫❤️~*~ oMg DaY mAdE ~*~💜💕☮️🌈🤗😁 pic.twitter.com/7IdTXCJlNt
— Oregon Coast Aquarium (@orcoastaquarium) May 29, 2019
Rainbows also figure prominently in myth and story. They are associated with luck, thanks to Irish tales of leprechauns hiding pots of gold at the end of rainbows. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, rainbows are associated with hope, as God issued a rainbow after Noah’s Flood as a covenant never to destroy life. These associations may also come into play in uses of the rainbow emoji.
goodluck on your future guys 👏🏻 see you when i see you 🌈✨ i’m gonna miss you guys for sure 😭 pic.twitter.com/3HBPWaIAFX
— Alif Firdaus (@_aliffirdaus_) May 31, 2019
I never had enough validation growing up…I turned to God but did not find him in the world. After many years of seeking, soul searching and taking accountability His Fruit is beginning to blossom within me.💜🌺🌈🙏 pic.twitter.com/Rixn7DYi6Z
— Enyiah (@JEnyiah) May 28, 2019
Very frequently, the rainbow emoji is used for various LGBTQ content, including identifying as LGBTQ, LGBTQ activism, and celebrating LGBTQ pride, especially during Pride Month in June.
Happy PRIDE Month! 🌈❤️🧡💛💚💙💜 pic.twitter.com/LDZ5uJcgIb
— 눅눅 (@nnuknnuk) May 31, 2019