The LGBTQIAP+ Community is a colourful one, and our Pride Flags are no exception!
Starting with the original, eight-colour Pride Flag in 1978, the number of Pride flags has grown over the years to represent the different spectrum of communities within the broader movement. Here you can find out what flag belongs to which community, and also a little history about each.
Click on the flag to read more about it!
The Rainbow Flag is probably one of the most widespread and easily recognisable of all the pride flags.
What you may not know is that when it was designed in 1978 by American artist Gilbert Baker (who died in 2017) it originally had eight stripes, each stripe colour having a specific meaning:
Hot pink for sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, turquoise for magic/art, indigo for serenity and violet for spirit.
After the assassination of US out-gay politician Harvey Milk in late 1978, demand for the rainbow flag greatly increased. To meet demand, flag-makers started issuing a standard seven-colour rainbow version of the flag (using the colours of the rainbow), and Gilbert himself started to issue a seven-stripe version of the flag because of a shortage of the hot-pink fabric.
The final version of the flag as we know it came in 1979 when the organisers of San Francisco Pride parade planned to use each half of the flag to decorate the pride route. But because seven stripes couldn’t be split evenly, they dropped the turquoise stripe from the flag.
The flag continued to gain prominence with the rise of the Gay Rights Movement in the USA and elsewhere. It is now a stable symbol of the LGBT+ community as a whole, and has now become instantly recognisable in the public sphere as synonymous with LGBT+ rights, due to the popularity of Pride parades and the struggle and acceptance of LGBT rights.
The Rainbow Flag has been adopted by LGBT and LGBT-friendly venues and has been incorporated into country flags for region-specific Pride Flags. There have also been variations of the Rainbow Flag for the modern era – such as the Philadelphia Rainbow Flag (featuring a black and brown stripe to show support for people of colour), and the Rainbow “Progress” Flag which incorporates both the black and brown stripes and the three colours from the Transgender flag.
Original designer Gilbert Baker himself revealed a new version of the flag in 2017 when he re-adopted the original eight-stripe version and added a lavender stripe to the top (bringing the total number of stripes to nine). According to Baker, the lavender stripe signified ‘diversity’.
Same-sex Attraction & Femininity
Attraction to both
Opposite-sex Attraction & Masculinity
The Bisexual Pride flag was designed in 1998 by Michael Page and unveiled on the 5th December that year.
Featuring three colours – magenta, purple and blue, divided into three parts measuring 40%, 20% and 40% of the flag respectively. The colours were adopted from another bisexual symbol, featuring two overlapping magneta and blue triangles, where the overlap was coloured purple.
The magenta represents same-sex attraction (magenta/pink long having been associated with the Gay Rights movement), the blue opposite-sex attraction and the purple an attraction to both sexes. It has also been interpreted in the modern age as purple representing ‘feminine’ attraction, blue for ‘masculine’ attraction and purple being the attraction to both.
Page’s ambition for the flag was to increase bisexual visibility within the gay community, which had long suffered from instances of biphobia and bisexual erasure within it.
Traditional colour for baby boys
Traditional colour for baby girls
Transitioning, neutral or no gender
Trans woman Monica Helms, an activist and author, designed the Transgender flag in 1999, and it was first flown at a Pride Parade in Phoenix, Arizona (USA) later that year.
The flag is made up of five equal stripes – two blue – symbolising the traditional colour for baby boys, two pink – symbolising the traditional colour for baby girls. and white in the middle for those who are transitioning or feel they are ‘neutral’ or no gender.
Helms also noted that the design is as such that no matter which way you fly the flag, it will always be correct. Helms noted this was in order to “symbolise us trying to find correctness in our own lives.”.
Over the last decade, the Transgender flag has gained significant prominence in the public sphere, due in part to the increasing push for Transgender rights and the many debates that have been initiated on the topic.
Asexuals & Asexuality
Grey Asexuals & Demisexuals
The Asexual flag was created in 2010 by AVEN (The Asexual Visibility and Education Network), after consultation with many Asexual groups around the world. It was inspired by AVEN’s logo and represents the many identities within the Asexual spectrum, including Grey Asexuals (or graysexuals) and Demisexuals.
It consists of four equal stripes, with the black representing Asexuals, the grey representing Grey Asexuals and Demisexuals, the white representing Asexual partners and allies and the purple representing community.
The flag has since gained prominence in the Asexual community and elsewhere.
Non-gendered, intersex colour
Non-gendered, intersex colour
The Intersex Flag is noteworthy because it was designed in Australia, by Organisation Intersex International Australia in July 2013. Consisting of a purple circle on a yellow background, the intention of the flag was to make one that was not derivative of the other Pride flags available, and to avoid the colours of pink and blue that are traditionally associated with females and males respectively.
The ring in the middle symbolises “completeness” and feeling “whole”.
Gender outside of the binary
Mix of binary female/male
The Non-Binary Flag was created in 2014 by fourteen year-old Kye Rowan, in response to non-binary people feeling improperly represented by the genderqueer flag.
It consists of four horizontal stripes, with yellow signifying gender outside of a binary, white representing a mix of all colours – and therefore all genders, purple representing a mix of both binary female and male (pink and blue respectively), and black for people who are agender.
The origins of the Pansexual Flag aren’t well-established, but it is thought to have been around since mid-2010. Its design was to establish visibility for the Pansexual community, and to separate it from bisexuality and polysexuality (although many bisexuals do not see such a distinction between bisexuality and pansexuality).
It consists of three horizontal stripes, with the pink signifying femininity, the yellow representing non-binary people and the blue representing masculinity.
Lack of gender
Non-binary/Outside binary genders
The Genderfluid flag consists of five horizontal stripes, consisting of the colours pink, white, purple, black and blue.
The pink represents femininity; the white represents a lack of gender; purple represents the combination of femininity and masculinity; the black represents all other gender identities that aren’t strict femininity or masculinity; and the blue represents masculinity.
We aren’t currently able to source where, when and by whom this flag was designed.
Mix of masculinity/femininity
Outside of binary
The Genderqueer flag consists of three stripes – purple, white and green.
It was designed in 2011 by Marilyn Roxie.
Although two other versions were first designed – the first consisted of a pale lavender flag with a green horizontal stripe and a white vertical stripe in the right-half, with the letters “GQ” (for Genderqueer) defaced on the left-side.
The second proposed flag consisted of three horizontal stripes – lavender, green and white respectively with a black border (the black representing all identities away from the binary).
After consultation with online genderqueer communities, the final version came to be consisting of three horizontal stripes, from top to bottom: lavender – to symbolise the mix of blue and pink, the traditional colours for masculinity and femininity respectively, with lavender being a colour traditionally associated with ‘queer’ identities; white to symbolise agender identities (as with the transgender flag), and green being the inverted colour of lavender, to represent those who fall outside of traditional binary definitions.
Independence & Community
Relationships Unique to Womanhood
Serenity, Peace, Love & Sex
In 2018, a new Lesbian Pride Flag was revealed, and was featured in a BBC News report about Pride in 2019, giving it much exposure.
It was designed after consultation on a Tumblr account called ‘The Search for the Official Lesbian Flag‘.
The original design for this version had seven stripes: consisting of three shades of orange (dark to pale), a white stripe, and three shades of purple (pale to dark). Each stripe had a specific meaning, from top to bottom – gender non-conformity, independence, community, relationships unique to womanhood, serenity and peace, love and sex, and femininity.
The flag was then condensed to five stripes. Those involved in designing and selecting the flag wanted a flag that was inclusive of all kinds of lesbians, including those who were ‘femme’ and those who are transgender.
Although there had previously been Lesbian pride flags, the only one to gain any prominence was one designed for “lipstick lesbians” – that is, lesbians that are feminine.
A version of the flag was later reproduced with the ‘lipstick’ sign removed that was intended to represent the entire lesbian community. However, when the designer’s blog was unearthed, some Queer advocates and lesbians themselves started to take issue with some of the contents of the blog, with some highlighting comments made by the designer that they described as being transphobic, biphobic, racist and even anti-butch.
The flag’s designer would later go on to deny being racist (citing that she was mixed-race herself), that she wasn’t biphobic because she “had dated more bisexuals than lesbians… but bisexuals tend to flip-flop too much” and said she worked with homeless people, many of whom are transgender.
Outside of the binary
The Polysexual Flag was designed in 2012 by a Tumblr user named Samlin, to represent the Polysexual community.
Samlin deliberately designed the flag to incorporate three horizontal stripes, with magenta at the top and blue at the bottom, to be like the Bisexual and Pansexual flags. As with both of them, the magenta stripe represents femininity and blue represents masculinity. The green stripe represents those genders outside and in-between the binary.
Openness & Honesty between all partners
Love and passion
The value of emotional attachment, π the Greek equivalent of “p”.
Solidarity with those who hide relationships.
The Polyamory Pride Flag was designed in 1995 by Jim Evans.
It consists of three stripes: blue at the top, representing openness and honesty between all partners; red representing love and passion; and black representing the solidarity with people who must hide their relationships.
The flag is defaced with a gold π symbol in the middle, π being the Greek equivalent of “p”, the “p” being the first letter of polyamory, and the colour gold being representative of the value of emotional attachment (as opposed to mere sexual attraction).
Absense of gender
Mixed genders and all-genders
Gender outside of male/female
The Agender Flag was created in 2014 by Salem on blogging platform Tumblr, and was made symmetrical in order to be like the Transgender flag.
Since its introduction, it has become more prominent across LGBT+ online spheres and parades.
It includes a black stripe representing an absense of gender, a grey stripe representing partial gender, the white representing mixed or all-genders, and a light green stripe to signify genders that fall outsider of the male/female binary.
The Aromantic Spectrum
The Aromantic Spectrum
Platonic Love & Relationships
The sexuality spectrum
The sexuality spectrum
The Aromantic Flag in its current form was introduced in 2014 by a Tumblr user named Cameron, and although other Aromantic flags have been proposed and used in the Aromantic community, it is this current flag that is used by the largest Aromantic group – AUREA (romantic Spectrum Union for Recognition, Education and Advocacy).
The original design of this flag replaced the white stripe with a yellow stripe, but the meaning remained the same.
Grey Asexual & Demisexual People
The origins of the Demisexual Flag can’t be ascertained, but it is designed using the same colour scheme as the Asexual Flag, but with a distinct design to signify the distinct separation.
The symbolism of the colours are much the same as with the Asexual Flag, except that ‘white’ represents ‘sexuality’ rather than ‘asexual partners’.
Inclusive of ‘black’ people
Inclusive of ‘brown’ people
In 2017, the City of Philadelphia, USA, added two stripes – a black and a brown one – to the existing rainbow flag to make people of colour feel more represented in the LGBT community, as part of its ‘More Colour, More Pride‘ campaign.
The ‘More Colour, More Pride’ campaign was in response to the reported racism within the LGBT community, and its aim to be more inclusive of non-white LGBT+ people in Philadelphia.
But the resulting flag was met with controversy – which somewhat proved the point behind the ‘More Colour, More Pride’ campaign. Some critics viewed it as unnecessary, as the original rainbow flag was meant to represent people regardless of colour, and original rainbow flag designer Gilbert Baker himself – not long before his death – had readopted the original eight-stripe Pride flag with an added lavender strip at the top to represent ‘diversity’. Some of the more harsher critics – indeed, the ones who might have been the reason for the ‘More Colour, More Pride’ campaign in the first place – demanded a white stripe be added.
The campain also arose from the reporting that eleven gay bars and nightclubs in Philadelphia were required to take anti-racism training after complaints that the venues were discriminating against non-white patrons.
Traditional colour of baby girls
Traditional colour of baby boys
Inclusive of ‘black’ people
Inclusive of ‘brown’ people
In 2018, designer Daniel Quasar further updated the Rainbow Flag to be even more inclusive, by including a chevron featuring the transgender flag colours, as well as black and brown to incorporate the stripes added by the More Colour, More Pride campaign.
The flag was reported on many LGBT+ websites and other news outlets, and was met with favourable reviews. Daniel’s ambition was to make a distinct flag to “shift focus and emphasis to what is important in our current community climate”, with the chevron pointing right-ways signifying ‘progress’.
Qasar mounted a crowdfunding campaign to make stickers and merchandise featuring the flag, and the crowdfunding far exceeded the goal.