Since the 70s, The Rainbow Pride flag has been flown to represent the LGBTQ+ community. The rainbow flag is mostly used to represent the whole LGBTQ+ community but there are are many different flags out there. Some example include the bisexual flag, pansexual flag, asexual flag, intersex flag, transgender flag, and gender-fluid flag, just to name a few. The most commonly seen Pride flag features the six colour rainbow flag. But how did this coloured striped flag become a symbol of the LGBTQ+ Community?
In 1978, artist Gilbert Baker, an openly gay man and drag queen from Kansas USA, designed the first rainbow flag. Harvey Milk, one of the first openly gay elected officials urged Baker to create a symbol of pride for the community. Baker said he saw the rainbow as a natural flag from the sky.
The original rainbow pride flag had eight colors each with its own meaning. When the rainbow pride flag was unveiled in 1978, its colors were hot pink, red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, indigo, and violet.
Baker said “Our job as gay people was to come out, to be visible, to live in the truth, as I say, to get out of the lie. A flag really fit that mission, because that’s a way of proclaiming your visibility or saying, ‘This is who I am!’”
On June 25 1978, The first rainbow flag was flown for the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day parade. Production issues meant the pink and turquoise stripes were removed and indigo was replaced by basic blue, which resulted in the six striped flag we see today (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet).
The Pride flag that also features black and brown stripes to specifically champion LGBTQ people of colour was first introduced by the city of Philadelphia in 2017. Black representing Diversity and Brown representing Inclusivity
There are many different varieties and specific flags as a way to recognize and give visibility to communities that may otherwise feel ignored.
The bisexual pride flag was designed by Michael Page in 1998 in order to give bisexual people a wider sense of community and visibility.
In 1999 the transgender Pride flag was created by Monica Helms, a navy veteran who came out as trans in 1987. The idea for the design includes three stripes – the blue for trans men, the pink for trans women, and the white stripe in the centre representing the non-binary community.
In 2018, Daniel Quasar designed a flag he called the progress flag. Quasar said of the flag that includes black and brown and transgender colours “I am a designer and I wanted to make a change where I saw there was an opportunity. A positive change, in my mind at least.” Quasar explained, “We need to always keep progress moving forward in all aspects of our community.”
Quasar also said that the arrow pointing to the right is used to “show forward movement, while being along the left edge shows that progress still needs to be made.”
The Lesbian Flag celebrates the L in LGBTQ+ and one variety including a red kiss in the corner to represent lipstick lesbians.
The Pansexual flag was designed as a symbol for the pansexual community to use. The flag has been found on various internet sites since mid-2010. Many people see pansexuality as either an attraction regardless of gender or an attraction to all genders.
The pansexual flag consists of three colours – magenta, yellow, and cyan. The magenta represents sexual attraction to those who identify within the female spectrum (regardless of biological sex). The yellow portion, found in between the cyan and pink portions, represents sexual attraction to non-binary people, such as those who are androgynous, agender, bigender and genderfluid. The cyan portion of the flag represents sexual attraction to those who identify within the male spectrum (regardless of biological sex).
The Asexual Flag was created according to the Asexuality Archive by a member as part of a contest in 2010 with the Asexuality Visibility and Education Network. Including four stripes each color having its own meaning.
The black stripe stands for asexuality, the grey stripe for grey-asexuality or demisexuality, the white for allies, and the purple for the asexual community as a whole.
Within the LGBTQ+ Community, there are flags ranging from different sexuality to kinks that have historic relationships with the LGBTQ+ community from Bear flag to Twink flag and Genderfluid to Intersex. When you attend a pride or an LGBTQ+ venue or event you may see some of these flags flying. Be proud of what you identify as and remember you are valid.