San Francisco friends, meet me under Gilbert's flag tonight 7 p.m. Castro/Market. It is there that he pieced together the rainbow flag.
Baker died at 65 in his sleep at his NY home, said Jones, the longtime gay rights, and AIDS activist.
Baker, who lived a unique and extraordinary life as a gay rights movement leader was found dead in his home in NY on Friday.
In 1979, he worked at Paramount Flag Company in San Francisco and his flamboyant window displays caught the attention of Mayor Dianne Feinstein who commissioned him to design flags for her first elected inaugural.
Our thoughts go out to Baker's family and friends. "He will be missed", Lee tweeted.
"We stood there and watched and saw the flags, and their faces lit up", Jones told the publication.
Baker was heavily involved in the San Francisco LGBT rights movement. "He gave us his best and the rainbow flag will be an even more treasured keepsake of our history". The flag made its debut in a parade on June 25, 1978.
"We needed something to express our joy, our beauty, our power. The rainbow flag will always be his greatest work of art", Sheehy wrote in a statement. He was fascinated by the American flag and the way it was used as a symbol, he said. Just months before his assassination, Milk rode in the city's June pride parade under Baker's original flag, which featured eight colored stripes: hot pink, red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, indigo, and violet. It originally contained two extra colors than its modern iteration: pink and turquoise.
A few years ago, Baker suffered a major stroke that left him disabled, but he mostly recovered and taught himself to sew again, Jones told CNN. "Carrying rainbow flags and a banner that read "Rise and Resist", people marched down the street chanting "Long live Gilbert Baker" and "We love Gilbert Baker".
"It's an example of how one person can have an incredible and brilliant idea that reaches not just millions, but hundreds of millions of people", Jones added. His creation of the Rainbow Flag is in the public domain, as are all flags, and its explosion as a commercial product in endless variations began all most immediately.
State Sen. Scott Wiener (D- San Francisco) also confirmed Baker's death, calling the artist an LGBT icon who played a key role in defining the modern LGBT community.