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Freedom Requires Wings FRW The #1 QUILTBAG opinion blog on the web. We aim to open minds and help the queer community. News, blogs, video, worldwide suicide prevention and more. Worldwide

Do You Have a Flag?

Freedom Requires Wings | by on




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There are numerous symbols, colours and events that are significant to people of different sexual orientations and gender identities. If you have been to Pride, you’ll probably have seen the most enthusiastic of these – the flags. They are numerous, and all equally recognisable if you know what you’re looking for. They might be in flag form, or knitted into a hat, scarf, or gloves. They might be put into a piece of jewellery or onto a sticker. The colours and patterns remain the same in most cases, so even if it’s not flag shaped then you can still see what it’s meant to be showing.

Thus I bring to you this post on how to find and identify different flags. We’ll start with the most common of them all:

The Rainbow Flag

Part of the Spectrum it represents: Homosexuals in particular, but has also been adopted as the flag for the unified queer spectrum.

Pattern: Six Horizontal Stripes

Colours (in order from top): Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet

Meaning: The red represents life, the orange represents healing, the yellow represents sunlight, the green represents nature, the blue represents serenity and harmony, and the violet represents spirit.
History: Designed and then hand-dyed by Gilbert Baker in 1978 for the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade, it originally had eight horizontal stripes, each representing a different meaning. The two stripes that are now missing were turquoise (representing magic and art) and hot pink (representing sexuality). Due to lack of fabric availability, these colours were removed, and the original indigo was changed to the blue we now see.
The Bisexual Flag

Part of the Spectrum it represents: Bisexuality

Pattern: Two wide horizontal stripes bordering a thin horizontal stripe

Colours (in order from top): Red, purple, blue

Meaning: The red stripe represents homosexuality, the purple stripe bisexuality, and the blue stripe is heterosexuality. The purple stripe was made by mixing the red and blue together. The ratios between the stripes are not fixed, so don’t be surprised if some bisexual pride flags look a bit different.
History: Designed by Michael Page in 1998, it was intended to increase the visibility of bisexuals in society and within the QUILTBAG community, and also to give the bisexual community a symbol like the rainbow flag.

The Pansexual Flag

Part of the Spectrum it represents: Pansexuality

Pattern: Three horizontal stripes

Colours (in order from top): Pink, yellow, blue
Meaning: The pink stripe represents female gendered people, the gold stripe represents those who identify as mixed gender, genderless, or third gender, and the blue stripe represents male-gendered people. This encompasses the genders that pansexual people are attracted to – that is, everyone!
History: It appeared on the internet in the middle of 2010. The original creator is unknown.

The Asexual Flag

Part of the Spectrum it represents: Asexuality

Pattern: Four horizontal stripes

Colours (in order from top): Black, grey, white, purple

Meaning: The black represents asexuality, the grey stripe demisexuality and grey-asexuality, the white stripe allosexuality, and the purple stripe represents community. 
History: After a competition on AVEN in August 2010 (and a subsequent vote on a non-AVEN site), this flag was eventually chosen to represent the asexual community.

The Trans* Pride Flag

Part of the spectrum it represents: Trans* people; it can also be used as the flag for the united gender orientation spectrum.

Pattern: Five horizontal stripes

Colours (in order from top): Light blue, pink, white, pink, light blue

Meaning: The two blue stripes represent males; the two pink stripes represent females. The white stripe represents those who are intersex, transitioning or consider themselves having a neutral or undefined gender. The stripes are arranged so that it is impossible to fly the flag the “wrong way”, which symbolises trans* people finding correctness in their lives.
History: It was designed by transgender woman Monica Helms, and was first shown at a pride parade in Phoenix, Arizona, USA in 2000.

The Genderqueer Flag

Part of the Spectrum it represents: Genderqueer or non-gender conforming people

Pattern: Three wide horizontal stripes

Colours (in order from top): Lavender, white, green

Meaning: The lavender colour is a mixture of the blue and pink found on the trans* pride flag, and this represents androgynes and androgynous people. The white is, again, taken from the trans* pride flag, and represents agender identities. The green shows “third gender” identities, and is the true colour inverse of the lavender at the top of the flag.
History: Designed and created by Marylin Roxie. Their site's page about the flag itself has a more detailed description of what the thought process behind it was.
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