Here’s What the Different LGBTQIA+ Flags Represent


Here’s What the Different LGBTQIA+ Flags Represent

June 7, 2022
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June 7, 2022
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When we think of Pride Month, the first image that typically comes to mind is the classic rainbow flag. However, many people don’t realize that along with the Rainbow Pride Flag, there are an array of different identifiers that represent the diverse queer community. While many in the LGBTQIA+ community identify with the all-encompassing rainbow flag, each group has its own flag to represent its unique contributions and stories within the community. Here’s a rundown of the different flags and what they represent.

The Gilbert Baker Pride Flag

The original rainbow pride flag was designed by Gilbert Baker in 1978 at the request of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in California. Gilbert chose the rainbow as it represents a symbol of hope. 

Original flag colors and meaning: 

Pink: sex; Red: life; Orange: healing; Yellow: sunlight; Green: nature; Turquoise: magic; Blue: harmony; Violet: spirit.

Rainbow Pride Flag 

This is the iteration of the Pride Flag that we all know today, used to symbolize the overall LGBTQIA+ community. In this version, the pink and turquoise were excluded from the flag so it would be easier to mass-produce.  

Queer People of Color Flag

While the designer is unknown, the flag represents the crossings of the Black and queer communities in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. 

Philadelphia’s People of Color Inclusive Flag

Created in 2017, this version adds black and brown to the rainbow flag to represent the unique challenges faced by Black and brown people in the LGBTQIA+ community. 

Transgender Flag 

Created in 1999 by Monica Helms, according to Pride, an online publication dedicated to queer pop culture and entertainment, the pattern on the flag was created in a way that no matter how you fly the flag, it will always be correct. 

Flag colors and meaning:

Blue represents boys; Pink represents girls; White represents those who are transitioning, have no gender, or are gender-neutral.

“Progress” Pride Flag

Designed by Daniel Quasar, this flag adds the colors and stripes from Philadelphia’s pride flag (black and brown) and the ones of the transgender pride flag (pink, blue, and white) to the original pride flag. Many now use this as the symbol of Pride Month. 

Bisexual Flag

Since bisexuality comes in many forms, the colors on this flag are meant to symbolize the different types of attraction that exist. According to Pride, Michael Page, the flag creator, wanted to create something bisexual people feel a connection to. 

Flag colors and meaning:

Magenta: same-sex attraction; Royal blue: opposite-sex attraction; Lavender: attraction to both sexes.

Lesbian Flag 

Designed by Emily Gwen, this flag initially had a red lipstick kiss mark on it; however, over time, this version was phased out, and a new iteration was introduced with orange stripes to represent those that are gender-nonconforming. 

Flag colors and meaning:

Dark orange: gender nonconformity; Mid orange: independence; Light orange: community; White: unique relationships to womanhood; Light pink: serenity and peace; Middle pink: love and sex; Dark pink: femininity.

Intersex Flag

Intersex is defined as those whose bodies do not align with the gender binaries of males or females. This includes those with both genitals or other differences. The flag’s colors of yellow and purple were chosen as they are typically seen as nonbinary colors. 

Asexual Flag defines the term asexual as having a lack of sexual attraction. Those who identify as asexual feel sexual attraction infrequently, in certain scenarios, or only if there is a strong emotional connection.

Flag colors and meaning:

Black: represents asexuality as a whole; Gray: represents gray asexuality and demisexuality; White: represents sexuality; Purple: represents community.

Nonbinary Flag

Created in 2014 by Kye Rowan, the nonbinary flag represents those who are nonbinary and identify as neither male nor female. 

Flag colors and meaning:

Yellow: represents genders outside of the gender binary; White: represents people who identify with many or all genders; Purple: represents genders that are a combination of male and female; Black: represents people who are agender.

Pansexual Flag

According to the Human Rights Campaign, the Pansexual Pride Flag emerged in approximately 2010 with the aim of raising awareness within the community. Its creation sought to provide a distinct symbol for pansexuality, differentiating it from bisexuality.

Flag colors and meaning:

Hot pink: Represents attraction to women; Yellow: Represents nonbinary attraction; Blue: Represents attraction to men.

Straight Ally Flag

The combination of the rainbow with black and white stripes represents allies’ support of the LGBTQIA+ community. 

Happy Pride Month! Is there a flag that’s missing? Sound off in the Comment section below and tell us what that flag means to you. 

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Here’s What the Different LGBTQIA+ Flags Represent

  • Dave McDonald

    Director of Social Media Twitter Profile

    Dave McDonald is director of social media in BU’s Office of Public Relations, managing all University social content and strategy. He holds a bachelor's degree in public relations from Quinnipiac University. In his free time he enjoys running, concerts, and all things geeky. Profile

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There are 36 comments on Here’s What the Different LGBTQIA+ Flags Represent

    1. I agree there’s to many flags and to many meanings why can’t we just stick w/t one? I’m twelve and there’s a lot of pressure trying to memorize all these flags why can’t we just stick with one?! We are the Queer community and we are proud of that!!!!!

  1. I like the general rainbow as a catch-all for all types of people, in general. Lots of people seem to be caught up in having their “own” colors included in these various flags, which in a sense have become more meaningless and complicated every year that a new one emerges, each with their own sense of importance. Some people are missing the point here. The colors don’t have to represent any singular groups specifically. Impossible to remember them all. Just stick with the one rainbow flag and it’s a much more powerful as a symbol of diversity. Keep it simple.

    1. THANK YOU!!! It’s about time someone stood up and said this.
      The original flag was and is for everyone who isn’t straight.
      No one can keep up with all these different flags every year nor do they want to. BUT, everyone the world wide over remembers and knows what the original flag is and stands for.

    2. I agree there’s too many flags too many meanings I’m 12 years old and a lesbian and it’s really hard to memorize all the flags and all their meanings I would really appreciate it if people just narrowed it down to one flag it’s just that simpler as the other person said we all know that it just makes our lives easier if we all just know the one flag we add a queer community and we should not be afraid to stand up to people and say hey where this gender or I identifies this just because we’re different

    1. Depends on if you strictly dress as the “opposite” gender or if you feel a different gender than your assigned gender fits better. Could be gender fluid, genderqueer, trans, or none of the above. Many people “cross dress” and that’s where it ends. Society’s definition of what clothes should be assigned to which gender is arbitrary, at best. For example, women wear menswear every single day and no one bats an eye. And men wear kilts in Scotland and flowing religious garb in all kinds of cultures, and it has no bearing on their gender identity.

  2. are you going to update this to show all the other flags like gay or pan and I have another question do I identify as poly if I like two people at the same?

    1. yeah there are a lot of flag mixes but the one I remember most is asexual / bisexual. (Cuz thats me. Im ace, bi, non binary and abrosexual)

  3. There is no all inclusive pride flag. Where are the straight people represented in the LHBTQIA+ flag??? They aren’t.
    If you want full inclusivity stop inventing new kind of people.
    There is only one kind of people : Humans are unique in their diversity and divers intheir uniqueness.

    1. I’m bisexual, non binary, asexual, and abrosexual (my sexual attraction changes, genderfluid is often mixed with abrosexual, which is where your gender changes) and I find this really heartwarming since a lot of kids at my school are homophobic. Most of my LGBTQ friends are leaving next year, and the others are quite rude, so it’s just kind of nice to find kind and supportive people in the world.

  4. There’s also a flag that has the colors of orange, yellow, white, sky blue, and navy blue. What sex does that represent?

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