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A History of the Lesbian Flag

A History of the Lesbian Flag

A History of the Lesbian Flag

In recent years, the LGBTQ+ community has made significant strides toward increasing visibility and acceptance worldwide. A pivotal aspect of this progress has been acknowledging and celebrating diverse identities and orientations within the community. The lesbian flag, with its vibrant colors and rich symbolism, is an emblem of pride and unity for lesbians worldwide. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the history and significance of the lesbian flag, exploring the messages it conveys and its role in fostering a sense of belonging.

The Origin of the Lesbian Flag

The lesbian flag, sometimes known as the “Lipstick Lesbian Flag,” was created in 2010 by an anonymous designer who submitted it to the blog This Lesbian Life. The design features five horizontal stripes in various shades of pink and red, with a kiss mark in the top left corner. The colors were carefully chosen to convey specific meanings:

  1. Dark pink: Represents love and desire.
  2. Light pink: Symbolizes friendship and community.
  3. White: Stands for gender non-conformity and includes non-binary or genderqueer people.
  4. Red: Signifies power and passion.
  5. Dark red: Represents solidarity and connection to lesbians who have died.

What changes have been made to the ‘lipstick lesbian flag’?

2018 saw a redesign of the pink and purple flag to make it more inclusive. An updated version of the lipstick lesbian flag includes shades of orange. Every stripe was assigned a specific meaning by the creator, Emily Gwen.

What are the colors of the lesbian pride flag redesign?

There are seven stripes on the 2018 redesign of the “Orange-Pink” Lesbian Flag. Furthermore, each stripe has a unique meaning. According to Gwen, the creator of the updated lesbian pride flag, the stripes symbolize:

  • Red: gender non-conformity
  • Dark orange: independence
  • Light orange: community
  • White: defining womanhood in a unique way
  • Pink: serenity and peace
  • Mauve: love and sex
  • Magenta: femininity

What is the blue version of the lesbian pride flag?

A new lesbian pride flag was created in 2016—the “butch lesbian pride flag.” Instead of pink and purple colors, the butch lesbian pride flag uses purples (representing lesbians or women loving women), blues (representing masculinity), and whites (representing people of all genders and sexualities).

A Tumblr user named dorian–rutherford designed the blue flag. Despite the fact that the original post as well as dorian–rutherford’s blog appear to have been deleted, many butch and non-femme identifying lesbians continue to use the butch lesbian pride flag as a symbol of representation.

The Importance of Flags in LGBTQ+ Culture

Flags are powerful symbols of identity and pride within the LGBTQ+ community. They serve as visual reminders of the community’s struggles, triumphs, and diversity. The lesbian flag, with its unique color scheme and symbolism, fosters a sense of belonging and visibility for lesbians who may feel marginalized or overlooked.

Additionally, flags play a crucial role in LGBTQ+ celebrations and events, such as Pride parades. They serve as a unifying symbol, bringing together people from diverse backgrounds to celebrate their shared identity and progress made in the fight for equal rights.

Other Flags in the LGBTQ+ Community

6-Striped LGBTQ+ Pride Flag

There has been a six-color version of the flag in use since 1979. Initially, it was based on the original Pride flag. Originally envisioned by Gilbert Baker, the rainbow flag represents LGBTQ+ pride and social movements. Also, during a meeting in 1974 with Harvey Milk, an influential gay leader, Gilbert Baker was challenged to create a symbolization of pride for the LGBTQ+ community.

The Original LGBTQ+ Pride Flag

On June 25, 1978, Gilbert Baker designed the first Pride flag with eight stripes, which was flown publicly for the first time at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade. A total of thirty volunteers hand-dyed and stitched the first two pride flags for the parade. Also, among the colors, pink represents sex, red represents life, orange represents healing, yellow represents sunlight, green represents nature, turquoise represents magic and art, indigo represents serenity, and violet represents spirit.

Progress Pride Flag

In 2018, Daniel Quasar created another variation of the Pride flag known as the Progress Pride Flag to be more inclusive. Overlapping the traditional rainbow flag is a chevron design with the black and brown stripes from Philly Pride and white, pink, and blue from Trans Pride.

QPOC Pride Flag

As part of Black Lives Matter demonstrations across the country and the world, the QPOC Pride Flag has gained popularity in the broader queer community in 2020. The flag symbolizes queer people of color (QPOC) and how the black community and the queer community weave together. This is in reference to both currently and in the earlier days of the Queer Liberation Movement. 

In addition, as an expression of unity, strength, defiance, and resistance, the raised fist has historically served as an emblem of solidarity and support. Its use has mostly been in the digital sphere, but it flew at the 2019 San Francisco Pride festival. Also, the flag includes various shades of brown and a white stripe representing the various colors of the “human rainbow.” The creator of the flag has not been identified.


The lesbian flag is a beautiful and meaningful symbol that represents the rich tapestry of experiences and identities within the lesbian community. Its colors and symbolism convey messages of love, friendship, diversity, and solidarity, making it an essential emblem of pride for lesbians worldwide. As we continue to strive for increased LGBTQ+ visibility and acceptance, the lesbian flag reminds us of the progress we’ve made. It also reminds us of the work that still lies ahead in the pursuit of equality and inclusivity.

Follow our Lifestyle Guide for more LGBTQ+ news. Our blog is regularly updated with the latest LGBTQ+ and mental health news.

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