18 Pride Flags explained

Update June 2024 – design origins and meaning of all colors explained

Rainbow Pride Flag

1978, Gilbert Baker→ Origin and design→ The Flag was designed in 1978 for Gay Freedom Day in San Francisco. Today, the eight, or since 1979 six colours of the rainbow stand as a common and unifying symbol for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, inter* and queer communities (LGBTIQ*).

The meaning of the colours → It is often assumed that the colours stand for the different sexual orientations. However, they stand for Red = Life, Orange = Healing, Yellow = Sunlight, Green = Nature, Blue = Harmony/Serenity, Purple = Spirituality

Straight Ally Pride Flag

Origin and design →A straight ally is a heterosexual, cisgender (opposite of transgender) person who actively supports the difficult struggle of the LGBTIQ* movement for equal rights and acceptance. It is often the first step for a straight ally to recognise injustice and grievances and to address them. They are important allies for LGBTIQ* people.

The meaning of the colours → The colours black and white are taken from the Heterosexual Flag. The colours of the Rainbow Pride Flag are added stylised as A for Ally.

Bear Pride Flag

1995, Craig Byrnes→ Origin and design→ Bears are queer men, whether cis or trans*, with strong physiques and beautiful body hair, characteristics that are associated with bears. There are now subcategories such as Cub = young bear and Otter = also hairy but rather slim.

The meaning of the colours → The different stripes and colours represent the different fur colours of bears and also stand for inclusion.

Pansexual Pride Flag

2010, Jasper V (tumblr)→ Origin and design→ Pansexual people are attracted to others regardless of their gender identity. Pansexuality falls within the spectrum of bisexuality. The difference between bisexuality and pansexuality is fluid. Some people feel more comfortable with the term because it doesn’t include the term bi (for two). For others, it feels newer and therefore more modern. Some pansexual people also state that they cannot form a preference for one gender identity and therefore often describe themselves as ‘gender-blind’.

The meaning of the colours→ Pink = attraction to people who identify as female, blue = attraction to people who identify as male, yellow = attraction to those who fall between or outside these categories

Leather Pride Flag

1989, Tony DeBLase→ Origin and design→ The Flag was designed as a symbol of the proud leather subculture and leather fetish scene. The flag is also worn by the BDSM community and other fetish communities. DeBlase presented his design for the first time at the election for International Mister Leather on May 28, 1989.

The meaning of the colours → DeBlase says the following about the design: “I will leave it to the viewer to interpret the colours and symbols.”

Lesbian Pride Flag

2018, Emily Gwen (tumblr)→ Origin and design→ The flag consists of seven colours and stands for women and women-aligned people who are attracted to other women and women-aligned people, usually exclusively. It includes all different forms of lesbian life (including trans*, dykes & butches = masculine lesbians) and therefore replaces the previously best-known Lesbian Pride Flag.

The meaning of the colours→ Dark orange = gender non-conformity, orange = independence, light orange = community, white = unique relationships to womanhood, light pink = inner peace/tranquillity, pink = love/sex, dark pink = femininity.

Gay Pride Flag

2019, gayflagblog (tumblr)→ Origin and design→ This flag consists of seven stripes and was designed as a counterpart to the lesbian pride flag. The flag stands for men and male-alined people who are attracted to other men and male-alined people, usually exclusively.

The meaning of the colours→ Green = community, turquoise = healing, light green = joy, white = trans* men/non-binary people with a connection to masculinity/gender non-conformity, light blue = love in all its forms, purple = the courage of the activists who have fought for equality and the courage it takes to live authentically, dark purple = diversity/inclusivity.

Bisexual Pride Flag

1998, Michael PageOrigin and design→ The flag was designed to address the invisibility and discrimination of bisexuals within the LGBTIQ* community. The bisexual flag comes from a time when most of society had a binary conception of gender. Whether bisexuality was actually viewed in this binary sense by the people who lived it back then is hard to understand today. Today's definition of bisexuality goes back to Robyn Ochs: bisexuality means attraction to more than one gender identity. Today, it is therefore also an umbrella term for all forms of non-monosexualities, including pansexuality or sexually fluid individuals.

The meaning of the colours→ Pink = homosexuality, blue = heterosexuality and purple = everything in between.

Progress Pride Flag

2018, Valentino VecchiettiOrigin and design→ The Flag puts the focus on the inclusivity of marginalised communities like black, indigenous, and people of colour (BiPoC), inter* and trans* people who were involved significantly in the Stonewall Riots in June 1969 and thus helped to found the modern Pride movement.

The meaning of the colours→ The colours of the Rainbow Flag are complemented by the colours of the Inter* Pride Flag, Trans* Pride Flag and the colours black and brown as a representation of non-white people and people of colour. Black also reminds us of people with HIV/AIDS and those we have lost to AIDS. The arrowhead symbolizes the direction of the collective Pride movement: forward.

Nonbinary Pride Flag

2014, Kye RowanOrigin and design → Nonbinary is also abbreviated as enby and is part of the trans* identities. It is an umbrella term for people who do not or do not exclusively identify as male or female, or who identify outside the binary gender system.

The meaning of the colours→ Yellow (gender-neutral colour) = people whose gender identity lies outside the binary gender system, white (combination of all colours) = people who identify with many or all genders, purple = the fluidity of gender/people whose gender is a mixture of female and male, black = people who do not assign themselves to any gender (agender).

Asexual Pride Flag

2010, standup(Asexuality Visibility and Education Network)Origin and design→ Asexuality describes the absence of sexual attraction to, or sexual interest in other people. Asexual people have relatively little or no desire for sexual play. However, this does not automatically mean that asexual people do not seek and experience interpersonal closeness, romantic connections or tenderness.

The meaning of the colours→ Black = asexuality, grey = grey area between sexuality and asexuality, white = sexuality, purple = companionship.

Aromantic Pride Flag

2014, cameronwhimsy (tumblr)Origin and design→ This flag replaced the previous one since it was too similar to the Jamaican flag. Aromanticism describes the absence of romantic attraction to, or romantic interest in other people. Aromantic people have relatively little or no desire for romantic relationships. However, this does not automatically mean that aromantic people do not seek and live out interpersonal closeness, platonic connections or other forms of love.

The meaning of the colours→ Green (seen as the opposite of red, usually associated with romance) = aromantic spectrum, white = platonic love/friendship, grey and black = spectrum of different sexualities.

Inter* Pride Flag

2013, Morgan CarpenterOrigin and design→ The word "inter" originates from Latin and means "between". It refers to people born with physical sex characteristics that do not correspond to the common social and/or medical notions of male or female bodies (reproductive organs, chromosomes, hormones, etc.). These variations in sexual characteristics are manifestations of human sexual diversity.

The meaning of the colours→ Yellow acts as a gender-neutral colour – in contrast to blue for male and pink for female. The purple circle symbolises the wholeness and potential of intersex people. It also symbolises the right for every person to be who they are and want to be.

Trans* Pride Flag

1999, Monica HelmsOrigin and design→ The word "trans" is latin for "beyond". Trans* is an umbrella term for people who do not or only partially identify with the gender they were assigned at birth. There are many different self-designations: transgender, man or woman, non-binary/abinary, transsexual and others. It is important to ask people what terms they use to refer to themselves and to respect this.

The meaning of the colours→ Blue = masculinity, pink = femininity, white = all people who are inter*, are currently on the path to transition, or otherwise cannot or do not want to categorise themselves. The pattern has been designed so that the flag is always the right way round, no matter what way you turn it, symbolising the rightness of trans* people in their lives.

Genderqueer Pride Flag

2011, Marylin Roxie Origin and design→ Genderqueer is an umbrella term for people who do not fit into the gender binary norm and, for example, do not or do not exclusively identify as male or female. The colours are very similar to the "gender critical" flag but have
nothing to do with it.

The meaning of the colours→ The purple stripe stands for the mixture of pink/female and blue/male and thus stands for androgyny. It also stands for the "queer" in "genderqueer", as purple has long been the colour of queer people. The white stripe stands for agender people. The green stripe is the opposite colour to the purple stripe for people who place themselves outside the gender binary.

Genderfluid Pride Flag

2012, JJ PooleOrigin and design→ The term genderfluid stands for people whose gender identity is not fixed but is constantly changing. Although "genderfluid" is a non-binary gender identity, genderfluid people can also temporarily categorise themselves as binary (male/female). Some people switch between a few clearly defined genders, for others it is only clear that something is changing.

The meaning of the colours→ Pink = femininity, white = the absence of gender, purple = a mixture of femininity and masculinity, black = all gender identities apart from masculinity and femininity, blue = masculinity.

Agender Pride Flag

2014, Salem XOrigin and design→ Agender stands for people who do not feel they belong into any gender category or who cannot relate to the concept of gender at all.

The meaning of the colours→ Black and white = the complete absence of gender, grey = stages in between, i.e. semi-gender, green = non-binary gender identities, as it is the complementary colour to purple, the colour mixture of pink/female and blue/male.

Polyamory Pride Flag

2022, Red HowellOrigin and design→ The flag replaced the blue, red and black flag of 1995 since many people did not like the design. Polyamorous people can fall in love with more than one person simultaneously. The opposite of this is monogamy. There are many different forms of the polyamorous lifestyle from sexually open relationships to multi-person relationships. The important thing is that all the people involved are in agreement.

The meaning of the colours→ The white angle shows the growth of the non-monogamous community. The asymmetry reflects the non-traditional style of polyam relationships. The golden heart reminds that love is the foundation of non-monogamy and represents the energy and perseverance of the non-monogamous community. Blue = openness/honesty, red = love/attraction, purple = the union of the polyamorous community.

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