World

For the first time, a rainbow flag that symbolises gay pride was sent into space via a high-altitude balloon.

The flag was launched by Planting Peace, a US-based non-profit group that seeks to “spread peace in a hurting world”, near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on 17 August.

The balloon captured video with a GoPro camera as it floated 21.1 miles (34.1km) above earth for three hours.

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Organisers said they wanted to declare space gay friendly, “in a peaceful, beautiful way”.

After capturing the striking footage that shows the planet’s surface from above, with the sun beaming behind the flag, the balloon and its flag returned to earth.

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“The primary purpose of this declaration is to support the ongoing fight for the fundamental human rights of our LGBTQ [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer] family, moving us closer to a universal understanding that all people deserve to live freely and love freely without fear and discrimination,” the non-profit group said.

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It added that the purpose of the stunt was to stress the need for the gay community to have a safe space in every corner of the universe.

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The non-profit organisation recently made headlines during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, with a billboard showed US presidential candidate Donald Trump and then-aspiring Republican nominee Ted Cruz poised to kiss, with the slogan “Love trumps Hate. End homophobia”.