Renowned artist Stik collaborates with Hackney for London Pride 2016

Stik’s two metre-high flag will fly from the ‘I Love Hackney’ black cab during the parade on 25 June

TWO people holding hands against a rainbow backdrop is the powerful symbol of love and equality that will adorn Hackney's London Pride parade float on 25 June, thanks to world-famous street artist Stik. 

The Hackney resident, whose singular stick figures are renowned across the globe, created the colourful bespoke banner especially for the Hackney Council contingent which will represent the borough at the Pride parade to advocate LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, plus) equality.

Stik’s two metre-high flag will be attached to the ‘I Love Hackney’ black cab, the focal point of the council’s walking group, as it makes its way along the parade route in central London on 25 June.

The image has also been published as a pull-out-and-keep print in the Council's newspaper Hackney Today, which is distributed free to every home and business in the borough. Residents are being urged to show their support by taking Stik’s artwork – which can be turned into a placard – to Pride. Stik will be joining the council float on the day, so come out and cheer everyone on.

Stik said: “I’m delighted to represent Hackney in the 2016 Pride in London parade. Our vibrant and varied community is known around the world and I am proud to live here.”

The artist is known for his socially-conscious murals, including the ‘Sleeping Baby’ at Homerton hospital, which he created to galvanise people to fight NHS privatisation. Prints of the Baby have so far raised over £75,000 for the hospital’s charity, Homerton Hope. 

His banner, manufactured by Flagmakers – which makes flags for the Queen – will go on display at Hackney Museum, in Reading Lane, after the parade. The Council will then auction the artwork, with all the money raised going towards a local LGBT+ charity or project. Residents are being asked to suggest ideas for what the money should go towards.

Mayor of Hackney, Jules Pipe, said: “In the light of the terrible recent events in Orlando, it is even more important that we come together to celebrate Hackney’s and the wider LGBT+ community, and to show our solidarity, as part of London Pride weekend. 

“We are very lucky that Stik has created this fantastic artwork for the event, which will be displayed as part of the Hackney delegation at the parade, and then sold to aid LGBT+ projects in the borough.”

The annual parade gives all people in the LGBT+ community ('+' meaning to include all identities) a chance to be visible, continue the fight for equality, and to challenge prejudice. 

An estimated one million people, and almost 300 groups will take part in the parade including charities, businesses, public and government bodies, and faith groups. The theme for this year's Pride is #nofilter – a call to live every day freely, as your true, authentic self.

A volume of all of Stik’s murals has been published by Penguin books.