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A Complete Guide to Queer Pride Flags

A few of the many pride flags.

A Complete Guide to Queer Pride Flags

Every year for Pride Month, there are different types of flags hanging everywhere. Not only those in traditional rainbow colors but various flags representing different sexualities. In this article, we identify the pride flag in the queer spectrum.

Gilbert Baker Pride Flag

Gilbert Baker, an American artist, invented a symbol of pride for gay individuals in 1977. What did he come up with? The original Pride flag.

Gilbert was Inspired by “Over the Rainbow” by Judy Garland. They flew the flag in June 1978 during the Gay Freedom Day Pride celebration in San Francisco. Although some argue whether Baker was the sole designer of the flag that started it all, what it symbolizes remains the same. Each color celebrates a feature of queer Pride:

  • Yellow=Sunlight
  • Hot pink=Sex
  • Red=Life
  • Orange= Healing
  • Green=Nature
  • Indigo=Serenity
  • Violet=Spirit
  • Turquoise=Magic/Art

1978-1999 Pride Flag

After Harvey Milk’s assassination, most people wanted the Pride flag he authorized to pay tributes to his accomplishments for the LGBTQ+ community. However, the people’s demand was greater than the available fabric.

So, the Paramount Flag Company started selling this version of the flag, just like Gilbert Baker, who had a hard time getting a hot pink fabric.

Traditional Gay Pride Flag

This flag is more common than others. In 1979, the LGBTQ+ community landed on this six-color version hung on a lamppost in San Francisco. According to reports, several complications over an odd-number colored flag led to turquoise being dropped.

Philadelphia People of Color Inclusive Flag

Understanding that queer people of color are not well represented in the LGBTQ+ community, Philadelphia decided to add a black and brown color on top of the Pride flag. The city had faced racial discrimination accusations regarding its gay bars, leading to antiracism training.

Most white gay people did not like the flag, stating that all skin colors are included in the rainbow flag. However, when star Lena Waithe appeared donning it at the Met Gala, it indicated that the design will stay for a long time.

Read more: Experts Call for More Mental Health Supports for BIPOC Communities

Progress Pride Flag

This flag takes Philadelphia’s inclusiveness to the next level. It was designed by Daniel Quaser, who identifies as both queer and non-binary. Its brown and black colors represent people of color and those with AIDS. The white, pink, and blue represent the colors for transgender people.

Bisexual Flag

Michael Page designed this flag to bring visibility to the bisexual community. The flag shows the overlapping of the stereotypical colors of boys and girls. It was inspired by the “biangles,” overlapping blue and pink triangles, an old symbol of bisexuality.

Asexual Flag

The asexual flag was designed in 2010. The flag was inspired by the Asexual Visibility and Education Network logo. The Flag represents different identities, such as demisexuals (individuals who are not sexually attracted to people with whom they don’t have an emotional connection). It also represented graysexuals (individuals who are between sexuals and asexuals).

Labrys Lesbian Pride Flag

Ironically, this flag’s symbol was designed by a man. Sean Campbell, a gay graphic designer designed this flag in 1999. However, the flag is not commonly used among the lesbian community. The flag has a labrys, a weapon that resembles an ax used by the Grecian amazon.

Polyamory Flag

The flag features the symbol for the infinite number pi, which has the first letter of “polyamory.” The flag represents individuals who are open to polyamory. The letter is golden to represent the emotional bond between friends and romantic partners apart from sexual relationships.

Intersex Flag

This flag was designed in 2013 by the Organization Intersex International Australia. The flag is in non-gendered colors that represent non-binary people.

Transgender Pride Flag

This flag was designed by a trans woman, Monica Helms. A year later, the flag was flown at a Pride Parade in Phoenix. The light blue color represents baby boys, pink represents girls, while white represents those who are transitioning, those who have no gender, and those who are intersexed. The pattern of the flag is such that whichever way you fly it, it will remain correct.

Gender-fluid/ Genderflexible Flag

To embrace flexibility in gender-fluid persons, the flag has colors associated with masculinity, femininity, and anything else there can ever be. Pink is for femininity, white is for lack of gender, purple is the combination of masculinity and femininity. The blue represents masculinity while black stands for all genders, including the third gender.

Genderqueer Pride Flag

Marilyn Roxie designed this flag in 2011. Lavender represents androgyny, while for agender people, and green for non-binary people. Those who view queer as a slur refers to the flag as a non-binary flag.

Lipstick Lesbian Flag

This is the most feminine pride flag. Although it’s not widely used, it celebrates the femininity in the lesbian community, proudly called “lipstick lesbians.”

Leather, Latex, and BDSM Flag

Should the kink community be added to the LGBT acronym? Whether yes or no, there is no doubt that the community has several flags of its own. Tony DeBlase designed this flag for Chicago’s International Mr. Leather celebration in 1989.  The flag is not only for gay but for the leather and BDSM community.

Polysexual Flag

Polysexuality is the attraction of different genders but not all. It’s a kind of middle ground of pansexuality and bisexuality, based on the attraction of femininity and masculinity instead of gender itself.

The pink stands for attraction to females while the blue for males. The green represents attraction to individuals who do not conform to either gender.

Aromatic Flag

While purple indicates the lack of sexual attraction in asexual flags, aromatic flags use green to represent individuals who are not romantically attracted.

Non-binary Pride Flag

After feeling not adequately represented by the genderqueer flag, 17-year-old Kye Rowan designed this flag in 2014. It was, however, not to replace Roxie’s work but as an option.

The yellow is for gender non-binary. White, a mix of all colors, stands for more than one gender or all genders. Purple is for those who identify as male and female or gender fluid. Black is for the agender community, with no sexuality or color.

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Danielle Aubin (she/her), Online Clinical Social Worker/Therapist, Roseville, CA

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