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LGBTQ+ Pride Flags and What They Stand For

June is #Pridemonth. This is the most colorful month of the year since the LGBTQ+ pride is celebrated. The RAINBOW flag is used widely but it is not the only flag that people in the community connect with. Did you know that there are more than 20 different Pride Flags? Ambassadors of Volvo Group’s internal LGBTQ+ network called V-EAGLE tell us what they stand for.
Pride Flags | Volvo Group

Volvo Group thrives to leave society in a better shape for the next generations. This applies to our transport solutions and also to the way we work with people, employees and partners alike. With equal job opportunities and LGBTQ+ inclusive workplace, we seek to create an environment where you can bring your true unique self to work every day.

Everyone has their personal story and reason for using a pride flag. For some it gives a feeling of belonging, for others it might be a way of coming out, and for others it is a way to show their support for the LGBTQ+ community. It all started in 1977…

15 Pride Flags and what they mean?

Gilbert Baker Pride Flag

Gilbert Pride Flag , the flag that started it all… 
It was created in 1977 by Gilbert Baker, an artist, activist, and openly gay military veteran. Tasked by Harvey Milk, a historic figure in the fight for LGBTQ rights, to create a flag for the queer community, Baker created a rainbow flag with eight different colors. 
Inspired by the classic song "Over the Rainbow" from the 1939 film The Wizard from Oz, Baker created a rainbow flag to represent LGBTQ folks. Each color in the flag also had a specific meaning.

Hot Pink symbolizes sex
Red equals life
Orange symbolizes healing
Yellow stands for sunlight
Green represents nature|
Turquoise equals magic & art
Indigo stands for serenity
Violet represents the spirit of LGBTQ people

 

6-Color Pride Flag

The 6-Color Pride Flag is one of the most well-known and used LGBT flags throughout history. This flag includes the colors red, orange, yellow, green, indigo, and violet on it.
Hot pink wasn´t included in the fabrication of these flags, because the fabric was hard to find. As the demand for the flag started to rise after the assassination of gay San Francisco City Supervisor Harvey Milk on November 27, 1978.
In 1979, the flag was modified again. Aiming to decorate the streetlamps along the parade route with hundreds of rainbow banners, Gilbert Baker decided to split the motif in two with an even number of stripes flanking each lamp pole. To achieve this effect, he dropped the turquoise stripe that had been used in the seven-stripe flag. The result was the six-stripe version of the flag that would become the standard for future production.

 

Philadelphia Pride Flag

The Philadelphia Pride Flag came out in response to the demand of more inclusivity across the LGBTQ+ community. The flag launches in 2017 as part of the "More Color More Pride" Campaign in Philadelphia and was designed by a small Philly-based PR agency.

The addition of black and brown stripes to the traditional pride flag symbolized people of color, who historically were not always included in aspects of the mainstream gay rights movement.

Lena Waithe, an American actress, wore the Philadelphia Pride Flag as a cape at the 2018 Met Gala. She is a powerful advocate for black people within the entertainment industry and this flag spiked in popularity after she elevated its visibility.

 

Transgender Flag

The Transgender Flag was first created in 1999 by Monica Helms, a transgender woman. Light blue and pink are featured because they’re the traditional colors associated with baby boys and girls, respectively. The white stands for those who are intersex, transitioning or those who don´t feel identified with any gender.
Transgender people have a gender identity or gender expression that differs from the sex that they were assigned at birth. According to Amnesty International, 1.5 million transgender people live in the European Union, making up 0.3% of the population. And more than 1.4 million trans adults living in the U.S., which is about 0,5% of the population.
Violence against the queer community affects trans people of color the most. Therefore, the Transgender Flag is so important! The trans community needs representation and resources to be visible without fear. 

 

Progress Pride Flag

Given the evolving nature of the LGBTQ+ community and society at large, the Progress Pride Flag integrates many of these flags into one. Thankfully, it has been redesigned to place a greater emphasis on “inclusion and progression.” Our community is such a huge umbrella of different kind of people and that is what makes us so special, that is what makes us so unique and that is what makes us so powerful.
The modern pride flag now includes stripes to represent the experiences of people of color, as well as stripes to represent people who identify as transgender, gender nonconforming (GNC) and/or undefined.
Daniel Quasar’s flag includes the colors of the trans flag, as well as black and brown stripes harkening back to 2017 Philadelphia Pride Flag, which sought to further represent the queer and trans identities of black and brown people. Those two stripes also represent those living with HIV/AIDS, people who have passed from the virus and the overall stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS that remains today.

 

Nonbinary Flag

In 2014, Kye Rowan created the Nonbinary Pride Flag to represent people whose gender identity does not fit within the traditional male/female binary. The colors of the nonbinary flag are yellow, white, purple, and black. The colors each symbolize a different subgroup of people who identify as nonbinary.
Yellow signifies something on its own or people who identify outside of the cisgender binary of male or female. A cisgender person would be a person whose gender identity matches their sex assigned at birth. White, a color that consists of all colors mixed, stands for multi-gendered people. Purple, like the lavender color in the genderqueer flag, represents people who identify as a blending of male and female genders. Finally, black (the absence of color) signifies those who are agender, who feel they do not have a gender.
Some non-binary/genderqueer people use gender-neutral pronouns. Usage of singular 'they', 'their' and 'them' is the most common.

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Intersex Flag

This flag went through a variety of iterations before the current Intersex Flag emerged. Previous versions embraced the rainbow that is often associated with queer pride, while others used colors like blue and pink, which are found on the transgender flag.
In 2013, Morgan Carpenter chose the colors yellow and purple for the intersex flag. Morgan moved away from the rainbow symbolism and selected these colors because neither is associated with the social constructs of the gender binary.
The circle, perfect and unbroken, represents the wholeness of intersex people. It is a reminder that intersex people are perfect the way they are or choose to be.

 

Asexual Flag

The Flag for the Asexual Community was created in 2010 by the Asexual Visibility and Education Network. Asexual is the lack of sexual attraction to others, or a low interest in sexual activity, but asexuality can mean different things to different people, it is best to ask each individual what it means to them. For some people, it may mean that they rely on other types of attraction instead of or in place of sexual attraction.
Asexual can be an umbrella term and each color in this flag also represents something unique. Black stands for asexuality. Gray represents demisexuality, for those who develop sexual attraction to someone only after forming a deep emotional bond with them. White stands for the allies of the community. Purple represents the entire community of asexual folks

 

Bisexual Flag

The Bisexual Pride Flag was created in 1998 by Michael Page. His idea for the flag represents pink and blue blending to make purple. The way that bisexual people can blend into the straight community and the gay community.
The colors of the flag also represent attraction to different genders. The pink symbolizes attraction to the same gender, while the blue represents attraction to a different gender. The purple represents attraction to two or more genders, the definition of bisexuality.

 

Pansexual Flag

The Pansexual Flag was created in 2010. Pansexuality represents those people who feel attracted to a person without thinking about gender. Pansexual people may refer to themselves as gender-blind, asserting that gender and sex are not determining factors in their romantic or sexual attraction to others. This means that they can feel attraction to those who identify as women, men, both or neither.
The pink on the flag represents attraction to women, blue represents attraction to men, and yellow stands for attraction to those who don’t identify with either gender.
Pansexuality may be considered a sexual orientation or a branch of bisexuality, to indicate an alternative sexual identity. Because pansexual people are open to relationships with people who do not identify as strictly men or women, and pansexuality therefore rejects the gender binary, it is often considered a more inclusive term than bisexual.

 

Lesbian Flag

The Lesbian Flag is one of the flags fewer people know about. This flag features different shades of pink and sometimes comes with a red kiss on it to represent lipstick lesbians. 

This flag was created by Natalie McCray in 2010. Some lesbians oppose this flag because of its exclusion of butch lesbians but no other flag has as much popularity as this one.

In the new flag, the colors represent the following:


Darkest Orange: Gender nonconformity
Middle Orange: Independence
Lightest Orange: Community
White: Unique relationships to womanhood
Lightest Pink: Serenity and peace
Middle Pink: Love and sex
Darkest Pink: Femininity


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Abrosexual Flag

The Abrosexual Pride Flag has existed since 2015. The flag was created by Mod Chad of pride-flags-for-us after another anonymous person requested it. It is unknown why this person chose these colors specifically. 
Abrosexual refers to an individual whose sexuality is changing or fluid. For example, someone could be gay one day, then be asexual the next, then polysexual the next. While it is possible - and even common - for a person's sexual identity to shift or change in some way throughout their life, an abrosexual person's sexuality may change more frequently, over the course of hours, days, months, or years. Because of their inconsistent attraction, some abrosexual people may not feel compelled to seek out a relationship or may prefer a wavership.
The timing of the fluctuations is different for every person; for some the fluctuations may be erratic and for others they may be regular. The sexualities that a person fluctuates between also varies. Some abrosexual people may be fluid between all sexualities, while others may only be fluid between a few.

 

Gay Men’s Pride Flag

The Gay Men’s Pride Flag is another lesser known pride flag. It features different shades of green, blue, and purple.
This modern gay men’s pride flag is a revamp of an earlier gay men’s pride flag that featured a range of blue tones. That version was problematic because it used colors that were stereotypical of the gender binary.

This updated flag is inclusive of a much wide range of gay men, including but not limited to transgender, intersex, and gender nonconforming men.

 

Heterosexual Pride Flag

The Heterosexual Pride Flag. Straight is most viewed as men attracted to women and women attracted to men. The term "straight" is used to describe for both straight men and straight women. While straight is often used to describe non-LGBT people it is possible for straight people to be part of the LGBT community. For example, they might be transgender. They also might be, asexual heteroromantic, or aromantic heterosexual, which also makes them LGBT.

However, some believe “straight pride” events are simply the latest manifestation of anti-LGBTQ bigotry. Heterosexual pride parades exist as a response to societal acceptance of LGBTQ visibility and originated in campuses in the 1990s as a backlash tactic. Straight pride is a slogan that arose in the late 1980s and early 1990s that has primarily been used by social conservatives as a political stance and strategy. The term is described as a response to gay pride adopted by various groups (later united under the moniker LGBT) in the early 1970s, or to the accommodations provided to gay pride initiatives.

 

Drag Feather Pride Flag

The Drag Feather pride flag is an earlier, somewhat obscure version of the Drag pride flag. It was created in 1999 by Sean Campbell and was then called the Feather pride flag. It has a phoenix in its center, which symbolizes the drag community's rebirth and the fire of passion they use to raise awareness and funds for different causes. 

The phrase "to drag" refers to a performance of masculinity, femininity, or other forms of gender expression – it is to dress up or exhibit yourself in a way that differs from your everyday expressions. For example, a drag queen is someone (usually male) who performs femininity, while a drag king is someone (usually female) who performs masculinity.

 

Maverique Pride Flag

The Maverique pride flag was first created on Tumblr by Vesper H. (queerascat) in 2014, who coined the term "Maverique" to describe their gender. The term combines the English words "maverick" and the French suffix "ique." Maverique is a non-binary or abinary gender with significant gendered experiences but is neither male nor female. However, it is not a lack of gender; it is defined by autonomy and inner conviction about a gender that is unusual and exists outside the standard conceptions of gender. Maverique individuals are free to use whatever pronouns they prefer and present themselves however they want.


The colors of the Maverique pride flag are yellow, white, and orange. The yellow represents non-binary gender – as yellow is a primary color (meaning it isn't obtainable from combining any other colors and is entirely independent of other primary colors, cyan (blue) and magenta (pink), Vesper H believed it was the perfect analogy for maverique's relationship with masculinity and femininity. Non-binary genders are also frequently related to the color yellow. White represents autonomy or independence from the gender binary and the spectrum of genders created by the combinations of cyan/blue (masculinity) and magenta/pink (femininity). White is a blank slate upon which maverique is based. Orange represents the inner conviction of what a maverique feels regarding their gender. It also describes the unorthodox and individualistic nature of mavericks.

 

Bigender Pride Flag

The Tumblr user no-bucks-for-this-does created the original version of the Bigender pride flag; the creation date of the flag is unknown but is assumed to have existed before July 30th, 2014. It features different shades of pink, blue, and purple. The meaning of the colors is unknown, but it is often speculated that blue represents masculinity, pink represents femininity, and purple represents a mix of genders or androgyny. The white at its center symbolizes the nonbinary nature of bi-gender.

There is, however, another commonly used variation of the Bigender pride flag, which features four horizontal lines in four different colors – pink, yellow, white, purple, and blue. The creator is unknown, and so is the colors' meaning – but it is assumed that the colors have the same meaning as the original flag and that yellow is added to represent non-binary. It was created either before or on August 23rd, 2015.

A bigender individual is a person having or experiencing two different genders of any combination. For example, a bigender person could be both a woman and a man, or be agender and a woman simultaneously. The genders may be binary or non-binary, can be experienced simultaneously or alternately, and may not be experienced equally or in the same way. 

 

Graysexual Pride Flag

Milith Rusignuolo created the first version of the Graysexual pride flag in 2013. It features two lines of purple on the top and bottom of the flag, two grey lines further in, with a white center line. The colors are supposed to represent someone starting with no sexual attraction (purple - asexuality), then going through an episode of attraction (grey to white), with white indicating allosexuality from the asexual flag, and then returning to asexuality once again.

Graysexual is used to describe a person who identifies themselves asexual but does not fall into one of the primary kinds of asexuality.

 

Genderflux Pride Flag

There are multiple variations of the Genderflux pride flag; however, the original version is most commonly used – it is unknown who created it, and it is speculated to have been created sometime between 2014 and 2015. It has six horizontal strips and six colors where dark pink represents women, light pink represents demi girls, grey represents agender, light blue represents demi boy, dark blue represents men, and yellow represents non-binary genders.

Genderflux is a catch-all phrase for gender identities where an individual's gender or sense of the intensity of their gender changes over time.

 

Gender Queer Pride Flag

The Gender Queer pride flag was created by the advocate and genderqueer writer Marilyn Roxie in 2011. The flag has three horizontal stripes: lavender, white, and dark chartreuse green. The lavender, a mix of pink and blue which traditionally represents women and men, expresses queer identities and androgyny. White represents gender-neutral and agender identities. Chartreuse represents identities that aren't in the gender binary and the third gender. 

A genderqueer does not subscribe to conventional gender distinctions but identifies with neither, both, or a combination of male and female. Gender queer is similar to non-binary but has a slightly different meaning. It is sometimes used as an umbrella term to cover any identity that isn't cisgender.

 

Demiboy Pride Flag

The Demiboy pride flag was created in 2015 by the Tumblr user Transrants. While Transrants did not explicitly explain the colors, the demiboy community who identify with the flag have assigned meaning to them. The flag features four colors, blue represents manhood/masculinity, white represents non-binary or agender, and the shades of grey represents the grey areas and partial connections to other genders than the binary concepts of gender (male or female).

A demiboy, also referred to as demiguy, demiman, demimale, or demidude, is a person who identifies with the concept of masculinity.

 

Straight Ally Flag

The Straight Ally flag is using the black-white "colors" of the heterosexual flag as a field, it adds a large rainbow colored "A" (for "Ally") to indicate straight support for the Gay Pride/Equal Marriage movement.
A straight ally or heterosexual ally is a heterosexual and/or cisgender person who supports equal civil rights, gender equality, LGBT social movements, and challenges homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. A straight ally believes that LGBT people face discrimination and thus are socially and economically disadvantaged.

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