Rainbow Appears Over Orlando Nightclub, Creates Symbolic Moment

“Given the somber state of the city, seeing it emerge was surreal.”

Orlando residents took to Twitter to share photos of a rainbow over Pulse Nightclub.

Following a rainstorm on Tuesday, a rainbow appeared over the popular gay nightclub where Sunday morning’s mass shooting -- the deadliest in US history -- occurred.

Twitter users immediately began sharing photos of the colorful crescent against the gray sky:

Alexa Score, who noticed the rainbow while stuck in traffic due to road closures surrounding Pulse, was moved by the sight of it.

“Given the somber state of the city, seeing it emerge was surreal,” she told The Huffington Post. “And though it was only visible for 90 seconds or so, witnessing it on display was something special.”

She wasn’t alone in feeling this way:

Some people in Orlando, who were located in different areas, saw the rainbow shining over other symbolic buildings:

And some saw the rainbow as a metaphor for how the city reacted to the devastating tragedy:

The natural occurrence feels appropriately symbolic, regardless of where one saw it shine. The rainbow has been a symbol of gay pride since Harvey Milk, the openly gay San Francisco city-county supervisor asked artist and drag queen, Gilbert Baker, to design a flag for the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade in 1978.

“We needed something that expressed us. The rainbow really fits that, in terms of: we’re all the colors, and all the genders, and all the races,” Baker told Time about the flag’s design. “It’s a natural flag; the rainbow is in the sky and it’s beautiful. It’s a magical part of nature.”



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