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Here Are 12 Pride Flags, Their Meanings, and Who They Represent
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Here Are 12 Pride Flags, Their Meanings, and Who They Represent

Today kicks off Pride Month, so let’s ensure that if homophobes insist on crying about rainbow flags, they at least know what exactly they’re outraged about.

It doesn’t matter if you’re celebrating Pride Month in Toronto, New York, or Berlin; you’ll see a lot of different flags that represent a lot of different groups. In addition to the traditional Rainbow flag used by many members of the LGBTQ2+ community, other groups have created their own flags they believe better represent themselves.

This is not an exhaustive list of Pride flags, as many other Pride flags exist, including those from countries around the world. Additionally, there has been some disagreement about what flags are considered “official,” and some controversy about their origins and meaning.

Many feel that the traditional Rainbow flag should represent the entire LGBTQ2+ community (like a national flag), while others believe that each group should have a flag that represents them (like a state flag).

The Rainbow flag is ultimately intended to signify the diversity of sex, sexuality, attraction, and gender identity of LGBTQ2+ people.

Gilbert Baker Pride Flag

Gilbert Baker was challenged by Harvey Milk in 1977 to come up with a symbol to represent gay pride. The result was the first Pride flag. A tribute to Judy Garland’s “Over the Rainbow,” these colours were seen at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade on June 25, 1978. It is disputed whether Baker really created the flag on his own.

1978-1999 Pride Flag

In the aftermath of Harvey Milk’s assassination, many wanted to purchase Pride flags to commemorate his contributions to the community. Because of limited fabric and hot pink die, companies began selling a modified version of Gilbert Baker’s original design.

Traditional Gay Pride Flag

This six-colour version of the flag was adopted by the gay community in 1979. The majority of people are familiar with this flag. According to reports, turquoise was dropped due to multiple complications with having an odd number of colours.

Philadelphia People of Colour-Inclusive Flag

Noting that queer people of colour are often not fully included in the LGBT community, the city of Philadelphia added black and brown to the Pride flag in their honor. A number of white LGBTQ2+ members were upset by the modified flag, claiming the original flag was meant to represent people of all races.

Progress Pride Flag

Daniel Quasar designed this flag incorporating a chevron of white, pink, and light blue, representing the transgender flag, as well as brown and black, representing people of colour and those lost to AIDS. This chevron is placed over the traditional flag.

Bisexual Flag

Michael Page designed the flag as a way of bringing visibility to the bisexual community through the intersection of stereotypical colours for boys and girls.

Lesbian Flag

A new lesbian flag was introduced in 2018. The dark orange stripe represents gender non-conformity, the orange stripe represents independence, the light orange stripe represents community, while the white stripe represents marriage, motherhood, and community, while the dusty pink stripe represents love, romance, and femininity.

Transgender Flag

Monica Helms, a trans woman, designed this flag in 1999. The light blue is the traditional colour for boys, pink is for girls, and the white in the middle is for those who are transitioning, feel they have no gender, and those who are intersexed.

Pansexual Flag

Created in 2010, this flag has colours that represent interest in all genders as partners. Pink represents women, yellow nonbinary and gender nonconforming people, and blue represents men.

Asexual Flag

Also created in 2010, this flag was inspired by the Asexual Visibility and Education Network logo. The flag represents a wide range of asexual identities.

Intersex Flag

Designed by Intersex International Australia in 2013, this flag represents living outside of the binary by embracing nongendered colours.

Genderfluid/Genderflexible Flag

This flag features colours associated with femininity, masculinity, and everything in between. The pink colour represents femininity, white represents the absence of gender, purple represents the combination of feminine and masculine traits, black symbolizes all genders, and blue represents masculinity.

So this Pride Month, if you’re outraged about city hall raising one of those “queer” flags, at least now you know who you hate! As for the gays, we’ll be arguing about which flag is the most inclusive and socially responsible.

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