Pride flags: All of the flags you might see at Pride and what they mean

Pride month is a time for protest and celebration, one when the LGBT+ community unite under the rainbow banner or their chosen Pride flag. From the bisexual Pride flag to the trans Pride flag, here’s a guide to all the different designs.

Each year in June, the queer community comes together to march through city centres honouring the diversity of our people – often, by waving or dressing themselves in flags.

Though Pride 2020 is largely taking place indoors, you can still be loud and proud by displaying your chosen flag at home, as your Zoom background, or on social media.

Some of these flags may not be familiar to everyone, so PinkNews brings you a look at the many wonderfully bright and diverse designs.

LGBT+ or Gay Pride flag.

Gay pride flag

Gay Pride flag (Creative Commons)

Let’s start with a familiar one.

The rainbow flag is seen at Pride events all around the world and is often used as a collective symbol for the entire LGBT community.

However, the design we are most familiar with has changed slightly from the original designed by Gilbert Baker in 1977.

Gilbert Baker's original design pride flag

Gilbert Baker’s original design (Creative Commons)

Baker, who died in 2017, said each colour in the flag represents something different.

According to Baker, pink is for sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sun, green for nature, turquoise for magic, blue for serenity and purple for the spirit.

“I like to think of those elements as in every person, everyone shares that,” he said to ABC7 news in 1972.

“Flags say something. You put a rainbow flag on your windshield and you’re saying something.”

Although the six-stripe flag we are all most familiar with was caused by difficulties in getting pink and turquoise fabric, that doesn’t mean the flag has finished changing.

In 2017, campaign group More Color More Pride added two extra stripes of black and brown to the traditional flag in order to tangibly include people of colour.

Pride flag for people of colour

More Color More Pride flag (Creative Commons)

The new flag sparked controversy, but it has a large host of supporters, including Lena Waithe who fabulously wore a cape version of the inclusive flag to the 2018 Met Gala.

Bisexual Pride flag.

Bisexual pride flag

Bisexual Pride flag (Creative Commons)

The bisexual Pride flag was designed by Michael Page in 1998 in order to give bisexual people a wider sense of community and visibility.

Page said that the message of the flag was the idea that the purple blends into both the blue and pink in the same way that bisexual people often blend unnoticed into both gay and straight communities.

The flag is reflected in the phenomenon of bisexual lighting.

Bisexual lighting is when producers use pink, purple and blue hues to make their stars shine, and has been spotted in a series of your favourite films.

The meme has appeared in several blockbusters including Black Panther, Atomic Blonde and Logan, as well as the wonderful music video for Janelle Monáe’s song “Make Me Feel.”

Trans Pride flag.

Trans pride flag

Trans Pride flag (Creative Commons)

The transgender Pride flag was created by Monica Helms, a navy veteran who came out as trans in 1987.

Helms came up with the trans flag in 1999, after she met Michael Page, and he told her “the trans community needs a flag too.”

The idea for the design came to her quickly, with the blue for trans men, the pink for trans women and the white stripe in the centre representing the non-binary community.

She carried the flag everywhere with her for years, including to over a dozen colour guard Pride parades, but it didn’t start gaining popularity until 2013.

Progress flag.

Progress pride flag

Graphic designer Daniel Quasar’s re-booted Pride flag (Kickstarter)

In 2018, a designer began a campaign to “re-boot” the Pride flag to make it more inclusive by adding a five-coloured chevron to represent queer people of colour as well as the trans community.

Daniel Quasar, who identifies as queer and non-binary, recently made-over the six-coloured rainbow flag, saying they added a five-striped arrow to reflect “all aspects of our community.”

Lesbian Pride flag.

lesbian pride flag

Lesbian Pride flag (Creative Commons)

It has to be said that you might not find many lesbian Pride flags out at marches, however, it is an important symbol for many lesbians online.

The flag celebrates the L in the LGBT community with the beautiful hues of pink, though many lesbians opt for other symbols including the interlocking venus symbol, or the rainbow flag.

You might see this flag adapted somewhat, either mixed with other flags or with a bright red kiss in the corner to represent lipstick lesbians.

Intersex Pride flag.

Intersex pride flag

Intersex Pride flag (Creative Commons)

Intersex means a person who is born with variations in sex characteristics including chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals that don’t fit the typical “male” or “female” definitions.

Designed by advocacy group Intersex Human Rights Australia in 2013, the intersex Pride flag intentionally stays away from traditionally gendered colours of blue and pink to celebrate the intersex community.

Explaining the meaning of the flag, the group states: “The circle is unbroken and un-ornamented, symbolising wholeness and completeness, and our potentialities. We are still fighting for bodily autonomy and genital integrity, and this symbolises the right to be who and how we want to be.”

Comments (0)

MyPinkNews members are invited to comment on articles to discuss the content we publish, or debate issues more generally. Please familiarise yourself with our community guidelines to ensure that our community remains a safe and inclusive space for all.

Loading Comments