Guide to Pride Flags

Introduction

In 1977, Harvey Milk challenged Gilbert Baker, an openly gay activist, to create a symbol for the gay community. Baker made an 8-color variation on the rainbow flag, a prominent symbol of peace. Problems sourcing materials eventually condensed it back down to the classic 6-stripe rainbow in 1979.

It started a tradition of striped queer Pride flags. The next two weren’t until the bi flag (1998) and the trans flag (1999). In 2009, Natalie Phox’s Intersex flag is posted to Wikimedia commons. It is the first flag unveiled online. With the exception of the Philadelphia City Hall flag, every flag since has been unveiled online.

Some, like the Asexual flag, are collaborative community efforts that may not have been possible without the Internet. As different online communities flourish, as new ways of thinking about identity form, flags pop up like mushrooms in the fertile soil.

Tumblr was founded in 2007. Amid it’s tumult and broken code, a queer community begins to form there. In 2010, Evie Varney, justjasper, posts the pan flag to Tumblr. Of the 17 flags in the current collection, 8 were posted to Tumblr. Countless more lesser known flags have been posted there. Tumblr has played an incredibly important role in an ever more vibrant, connected, and proud queer community.

I am writing this after Tumblr announcement about curtailing “adult content.” Born out of a combination of not believing they can sell ads next to “porn,” a desperate attempt to not be sued under SESTA/FOSTA in the US, and prepare for Article 13 in the EU. The chilling effect these laws are having on queer discourse has already begun. I worry very dearly for our future, and for the flags we might not be able to save from these fires of censorship.

As we collected Pride flags from various sources for our patches, we became keenly aware of all the context missing from the reposts. Who had made these flags? How old were they? What community did they incubate in? Why were they made and what did they mean to their creator? Was the current community meaning now different (see the bi flag)? In our keenness to disseminate them, we were losing important parts of our history.

This, then, is our attempt to collect what we do know about the flags that have made the biggest impacts in the community. We’ll add to it over time as we obtain new information or collect flags.

Our research is the primary source for information marked with *.

Agender flag with 7 horizontal stripes: Black, light grey, white, light green, white, light grey, and black.

Agender

Created by Salem X in 2014

Unveiled at transrants.tumblr.com.

Agender definition.

Aromantic flag with 5 horizontal stripes: green, light gree, white, grey, and black.

Aromantic

Created by CameronWhimsy in 2014.

Unveiled at cameronwhimsy.tumblr.com.

Aromantic definition.

Asexual flag with 4 horizontal stripes: Black, grey, white, and violet.

Asexual

Created by the AVEN Community in 2010.

Unveiled at asexuality.org.

Asexual definition.

Bisexual flag with 3 horizontal stripes: a thick hot-pink stripe, a purple stripe, and a thick blue stripe.

Bisexual

Created by Michael Page in 1998.

Unveiled at BiCafe's first Anniversary Party.

Bisexual definition.

Genderfluid flag with 5 horizontal stripes: salnom-pink, white, hot-purple, black, and blue.

Genderfluid

Created by JJ Poole in 2012.

Unveiled at genderfluidity.tumblr.com.

Genderfluid definition.

Genderqueer flag with 3 horizontal stripes: lavender, white, and dark chartreuse green.

Genderqueer

Created by Marilyn Roxie in 2011.

Unveiled at genderqueerid.com.

Genderqueer definition.

Intersex flag with a yellow field and a purple ring in the center.

Intersex, IHRA/OII 

Created by Morgan Carpenter in 2013.

Unveiled at ihra.org.au (formerly OII).

Intersex definition.

Inersex flag with 5 five horizontal stripes colored (top to bottom) lavender, white, a double-width stripe with a gradient from blue to pink, white, and lavender.

Intersex, Natalie Phox

Created by Natalie Phox in 2009.

Unveiled at commons.wikimedia.org.

Intersex definition.

Lesbian flag with 5 horizontal stripes: dark turquoise, light turquoise, pale purple, light purple, and purple.

Lesbian, Anurtransyl 

Created by Anurtransyl in 2018.

Unveiled at anurtransyl.tumblr.com.

Lesbian definition.

Butch Lesbian flag with 7 stripes: dark red-orange, mid red-orange, light red-orange, cream, light yellow-orange, mid yellow-orange, and dark yellow-orange-brown.

Lesbian, Butch 

Created by Butch Positivity in 2017.

Unveiled at butchspace.tumblr.com.

Lesbian flag with 6 horizontal stripes: Hot pink, mid pink, light pink, yellow, yellow-orange, and orange.

Lesbian, Dawn*

Created by Bridgette Rome in 2018.

Unveiled at twitter.com/bridgette_rome.

Lesbian definition.

This flag was named in a private message with us. More information will be in the long entry.

Lesbian flag with 7 horizontal stripes: dark pink, mid pink, light pink, white, pale red, brick red, mid red. Across the upper left corner are hot-pink lips.

Lesbian, Lipstick

Created by This Lesbian Life in 2010.

Unveiled at thislesbianlife.wordpress.com.

Lesbian definition.

Current LGBT Pride flag with 6 horizontal stripes: Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet.

LGBT Rainbow

(Gay Pride Flag)

Created by Gilbert Baker in 1978.

Unveiled at San Francisco Pride Parade.

LGBTQ+ definition.

Gay definition.

Nonbinary flag with 4 horizontal stripes: yellow, white, purple, and black.

Nonbinary

Created by Kye Rowan in 2014.

Unveiled at thejasmineelf.tumblr.com.

Nonbinary definition.

Pansexual flag with 3 horizontal stripes: hot pink, yellow, and turquoise.

Pansexual

Created by Evie Varney* in 2010.

Unveiled at pansexualflag.tumblr.com.

Pansexual definition.

Evie Varney's name was provided to us in an interview with her which will be up on our blog soon.

Philadelphia City Hall flag with 8 horizontal stripes: black, brown, red, organge, yellow, green, blue, and purple.

Philadelphia City Hall 

Created by Terney (ad agency) in 2017.

Unveiled at 1st Annual Pride Month Kick-Off at Philadelphia City Hall.

The Tierney ad agency was commissioned by the Philadelphia's Office of LGBT Affairs (city agency) to "highlight black and brown LGBTQIA members within our community."

Transgender flag with 5 stripes: light blue, pink, white, pink and blue.

Transgender

Created by Monica Helms in 1999.

Unveiled at the 2000 Phoenix AZ Pride Parade.

Transgender definition.

Most of the identity definitions on this page are from The Trans Language Primer. It is a fabulous resource. Please consider giving them some love on Patreon.

This is an ambitious project. Web hosting and site building tools aren't cheap. Gathering information, designing useful ways to explore it, and making it accessible all take time. Donations are greatly appreciated.

If you have information you'd like to contribute, please send us an email through the contact form. Note that at this time we have collected more flags than we have documented here. Comments are disabled because every similar project I've seen with comments includes harassment, and I have no interest in providing a space for that.