Pride Guide: Know your LGBTQ+ Flags
Author: GLUE team
A Pride Flag is any flag that represents a segment or part of the LGBTQ+ community.
Pride Flags are important for many reasons.
Over the course of history, the LGBTQ+ community has adopted certain symbols for self-identification to demonstrate unity, pride, shared values, and allegiance to one another.
The Pride Flag has been constantly evolving since its inception, you can find out more by reading a brief history of the Pride Flag.
Although a rainbow is the most commonly known LGBTQ+ flag and symbol, there are many flag versions, each representing different identities within our beautifully diverse community. Every one important for symbolizing different fractions of the LGBTQ+ spectrum, to ensure that no one is excluded in the way that LGBTQ+ people have been excluded throughout history.
Here, in no particular order, is a* quick overview of individual flags within our community:
(*brief and not exhaustive, so if anything has been missed or needs adding, just drop the team a DM):
The Intersex Inclusive Progress Pride Flag (2021)
LGBTQIA+: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning/Queer, Intersex, Asexual, and all other identities that fall into the LGBTQA+ community across the gender, sexuality, and romantic spectrums.
QPOC: Queer People of Color. Members of the Queer community who are also People of Color.
An extension of the Pride Progress Flag, created in 2018. In 2021, Valentino Vecchietti of Intersex Equality Rights UK adapted the Pride Progress flag design to incorporate the intersex flag, creating this Intersex-Inclusive Pride flag 2021.
The intersex community uses the colours purple and yellow as an intentional counterpoint to blue and pink, which have traditionally been seen as binary, gendered colours. The symbol of the circle represents the concept of being unbroken and being whole, symbolising the right of Intersex people to make decisions about their own bodies.
Read the history of how we got to the now widely-used Intersex-inclusive Pride Progress Flag by clicking right here.
Transgender Pride Flag (1999)
Transgender: People whose gender identity doesn’t align with the sex they were assigned at birth.
Monica Helms, a transgender American woman, created the Trans Pride flag in 1999 and it was first shown at a pride parade in Phoenix, Arizona in 2000.
The light blue and light pink are the traditional colors for baby girls and baby boys, respectively, while the white represents intersex, transitioning, or a neutral or undefined gender. According to Helms, the flag is symmetrical so “no matter which way you fly it, it is always correct, signifying us finding correctness in our lives.” Over the years, several transgender flags have been adopted by various transgender individuals, organizations and communities, however this one remains the most recognized and represented version.
Bisexual Pride Flag (1998)
Bisexual: The physical or romantic attraction to two genders.
Created in 1998 by Michael Page, the bisexual pride flag has pink on the top and royal blue on the bottom, with an overlapping purple stripe in the middle. The pink is intended to represent same-sex attraction, the blue stripe represents attractions to different genders, and the resultant overlap color, purple, represents attraction to all genders / more than one.
Pansexual Pride Flag (around 2010)
Pansexuality: The attraction to people regardless of their gender identity.
The pansexual pride flag has three horizontal stripes (pink, yellow, and blue) and was created on the internet sometime around 2010 to differentiate between the bisexuality flag, which also has three horizontal bars. According to most definitions, the pink represents attraction to those who identify as female, yellow represents attraction to those who identify as genderqueer, non-binary, agender, androgynous, or anyone who doesn’t identify on the male-female binary, while blue represents attraction to those who identify as male.
Genderfluid Pride Flag (2012)
Genderfluid: People who have a gender expression/expressions or identity/identities that are not constant or fixed.
JJ Poole created this flag in 2012 to represent people whose gender identity and/or expression is fluid and may fluctuate at different times or in different circumstances. It has five horizontal stripes: Pink represents femininity, white represents lack of gender, purple represents a combination of both masculinity and femininity, black represents all genders, including genders that do not align with femininity or masculinity, and blue represents masculinity.
Non-Binary Pride Flag (2014)
Non-Binary: People whose gender identity does not fit within the traditional male/female binary. Non-binary identities have existed for many centuries, some people who are non-binary experience their gender as both man and woman, and others experience their gender as neither man nor woman.
Kye Rowan created the nonbinary pride flag, which has yellow, white, purple, and black horizontal stripes, in 2014. The flag was not created with the intention to replace the Genderqueer flag, but to be flown alongside it. The yellow stripe represents people whose gender exists outside of and without reference to the binary, the white stripe for people with many or all genders, the purple represents people whose gender identity falls somewhere between male/female or is a mix of them, and the black represents people who identify without a gender.
Asexual Pride Flag (2010)
Asexuality: The absence of sexual attraction to all genders. Asexuality includes a spectrum of many asexual identities under its umbrella.
In August 2010, after a period of debate over having a flag and how to set up a system to create one, as many asexual communities as possible were contacted and a design was decided on as the official Asexual Pride Flag. The flag consists of four horizontal stripes: black, grey, white, and purple from top to bottom. The black stripe represents asexuality, grey represents the grey-area between sexual and asexual, or Grey-asexuality and demi-sexuality, white represents non-asexual partners and allies, while purple represents community.
Lesbian Pride Flag (2018)
Lesbian: A female-identified person who is attracted to other female-identified people.
The original Lesbian Flag was a red kiss superimposed on six shades of red and pink colors with a white bar in the center and was introduced in a weblog in 2010. It was later modified by removing the kiss. In a 2018 article on Medium, an author proposed this flag, with the colors of red, purple, and pink representing traditionally ‘feminine’ colors, as “A Lesbian Flag for Everyone”. It has since been widely used, however there are many other variations of the lesbian flag, including ones specifically for butch lesbians.
Gay/ LGBTQIA Pride Flag
LGBTQIA+: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Questioning/Queer, Asexual, and all other identities that fall into the LGBTQA+ community.
Gay: A male-identified person who is attracted to other male-identified people.
Gilbert Baker created the Gay Pride flag in 1978, inspired by the lyrics of Judy Garland’s Over the Rainbow, it originally had eight stripes. The colors in order, were hot pink to represent sex, red for healing, yellow for sun, green for serenity with nature, turquoise for art, indigo for harmony, and violet for spirit. In the years since, the flag has been reduced to six colors: the flag no longer uses hot pink, and the turquoise and indigo have been replaced with royal blue.
Philadelphia Pride Flag (2017)
LGBTQIA+: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, and all other identities that fall into the LGBTQA+ community across the gender, sexuality, and romantic spectrums.
QPOC: Queer People of Color. Members of the queer community who are also people of color.
The QPOC inclusive LGBTQA+ Pride flag is based on the current widely accepted LGBTQA+ Pride Flag, the 6 color rainbow flag, first created by gilbert baker in 1978.
The QPOC inclusive LGBTQA+ flag or “ Philadelphia Pride Flag” was unveiled in 2017 at a Pride event at Philadelphia City Hall. The Philadelphia Pride flag adds two stripes, black and brown, to the traditional six of the rainbow flag.
Intersex Pride Flag (2013)
Intersex: A person born with physical sex characteristics that don’t fit the traditional definitions for male or female bodies.
Created in July 2013 by OII Australia, the intersex pride flag utilizes yellow and purple. Purple and yellow because they’re both seen as a gender neutral colors, while the circle represents wholeness, completeness and intersex people’s potentiality. The purple circle is “unbroken and unornamented, symbolising wholeness and completeness, and our potentialities.”
Ally Pride Flag (late 00’s)
Ally: People who aren’t themselves a member of the LGBTQ+ community, but support people who are.
The Ally Flag was created sometime around the late 2000’s to represent heterosexual and/or cisgender individuals who support equal rights, gender equality, and LGBTQ+ movements, and who challenge homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, and any discrimination against the LGBTQA+ community.
The A stands for allies, while the rainbow colors represent the LGBTQ+ community, and the black and white bars represent heterosexual and/or cisgender people.
Agender Pride Flag (2014)
Agender: People who identify as having no gender or as gender neutral. The term Agender can be literally translated to ‘without gender’. Agender people may have any type of expression and use any set of pronouns or no pronouns.
The agender pride flag, created by Salem X in 2014, has seven horizontal stripes. The black and white stripes represent an absence of gender, grey represents semi-genderlessness, and the central green stripe represents nonbinary genders.
Genderqueer Pride Flag (2011)
Genderqueer: People whose gender identity does not fit within the male/female binary.
Designed in 2011 by Marilyn Roxie, a genderqueer writer and advocate, the flag features a lavender, white, and chartreuse stripe. According to Roxie, the lavender stripe is a mix of blue and pink — colors traditionally associated with men and women — and represents androgyny as well as queer identities. The white stripe, like in the transgender pride flag, represents agender or gender neutral identities. The chartreuse stripe is the inverse of lavender and represents third gender identities and identities outside the gender binary.
Polyamorous Pride Flag
Polyamory: A form of consensual non-monogamy which can involve relationships with more than one person with the consent of everyone involved.
The original Polyamorous Pride Flag was created in 1995 by Jim Evans, who sought to create an anonymous symbol for the community that could be acknowledged and shared by those who knew it. As the internet increased in popularity with the introduction of the World Wide Web, people began to discover the flag and it grew in popularity and use.
A modified version was created by the University of Northern Colorado Poly Community in 2017, including the infinity hearts symbol, a common symbol of the Polyam community, in place of Evans’ original pi symbol.
Blue represents the openness and honesty of all parties involved in the relationships, red represents love and passion, black represents solidarity with those who must hide their polyamorous relationships from the outside world, yellow to show the value placed on emotional attachment to others, while the Infinity Heart Sign represents the infinite love for multiple partners at the same time.
Demisexual Pride Flag
Demisexual: Feeling sexual attraction to someone only after forming a deep emotional bond with them. Part of the broader asexual community.
The black represents Asexuality. Grey for Asexuality and Demi-sexuality, white represents Sexuality, while Purple is for community.
Two-Spirit Pride Flag
Two-Spirit: An umbrella term to identify queer Indigenous North American and First Nations people to represent those who possess both masculine and feminine spirits.
The Two Feathers represent masculine and feminine identities, the circle represents the unification of masculine and feminine identities into a separate gender, while the rainbow colors represent modern LGBTQ+ identities.
Polysexual Pride Flag (2012)
Polysexual: Someone who is sexually attracted to multiple, but not all, genders.
The colors and design of the flag are based off the bisexual and pansexual flags, and the flag itself was designed by Tumblr “Samlin”.
Pink represents attraction to female-identified people, green represents attraction to people who identify outside the traditional male-female binary, while blue represents attraction to male-identified people.
Demiromantic Pride Flag
Demiromantic: Feeling romantic attraction to someone only after forming an emotional bond with them. Part of the grey-romantic and broader aromantic community.
Aromantic: Little to no romantic attraction to others.
Black represents the sexuality spectrum, Grey for grey-aromanticism and demiromanticism, White for platonic and aesthetic attraction, as well as queer/quasi platonic relationships, and Green representing the Aromantic spectrum.
Aromantic Pride Flag (2014)
Aromantic: Someone who does not experience romantic attraction, or does so in a significantly different way than is traditionally thought of.
The third and most recent design for the Aromantic Flag is the most widely accepted version, replacing the yellow of a previous flag to a white stripe. This flag was designed by Tumblr user Cameron in 2014.
Dark green represents aromanticism, Light Green represents the aromantic spectrum, White represents platonic and aesthetic attraction, as well as queer/quasi platonic relationships,
Grey represents grey-aromantic and demiromantic people, and Black represents the sexuality spectrum.
Butch Lesbian Pride Flag
Blue represents masculinity, White represents people across the gender and sexuality spectrums more broadly and Purple represents lesbian and woman-identified individuals.
Leather Pride Flag (1989)
Originally intended for members of leather subculture, this flag was then embraced by the wider BDSM and fetish community. Designed by Tony DeBlase for Chicago’s International Mr. Leather celebration in 1989 to mark the 20th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. The symbol represents people involved with kink and includes those who are heterosexual and/or cisgender. DeBlase indicated that, with regards to design, he wanted to “leave it to the viewer to interpret the colors and symbols.”
Bear Brotherhood Flag (1995)
Members of the International Bear Brotherhood, an alliance of gay men with a specific set of physical traits, such as facial hair and a bear-like build, developed their own flag back in 1995. The dark brown, orange/rust, golden yellow, tan, white, gray, and black stripes of the flag represent the fur colors of animal bears.
Rubber Pride Flag (1995)
In 1995, co-designers Peter Tolos and Scott Moats of the rubber and latex fetish community, created this flag to represent the community. The black color on the flag is said to represent leather, the red is a symbol of the group’s “blood passion for rubber and rubbermen”, the yellow stands for their “drive for intense rubber play and fantasies”, and the design itself is a kink.
Drop us a line for anything that needs adding or updating. And why not peep a brief history of the Pride Flag.