Flags have always been an integral part of the LGBTIQ+ movement. They are a visible representation meant to celebrate progress, advocate for representation and amplify the demand and drive for collective action. There have been many LGBTIQ+ flags over the years. Some have evolved while others are constantly being conceptualized and created.
Created in 1978 by Gilbert Baker, the iconic Pride Rainbow flag originally had eight stripes. The colors included pink to represent sexuality, red for healing, yellow for sun, green for serenity with nature, turquoise for art, indigo for harmony and violet for spirit. In the years since, the flag has been reduced to six colors: the flag no longer uses pink, and the turquoise and indigo have been replaced with royal blue.
Progress Pride Flag
Created in 2018 by nonbinary artist Daniel Quasar, the Progress Pride flag is based on the iconic 1978 rainbow flag. With stripes of black and brown to represent marginalized LGBTIQ+ people of color as well as the triad of blue, pink and white from the trans flag, the design is meant to represent diversity and inclusion.
Conceived by Monica Helms, an openly transgender American woman, the Trans flag made its debut in 1999. The light blue and light pink are meant to symbolize the traditional colors for baby girls and baby boys, respectively. Meanwhile, the white hue is meant to represent members of the movement who identify as intersex, gender neutral or transitioning. According to Helms, the flag is symmetrical, so “no matter which way you fly it, it is always correct, signifying us finding correctness in our lives.”
With a palette of yellow and purple, which are colors historically associated with intersex people, this flag was created in July 2013 by Morgan Carpenter. The flag’s colors and symbols “seek to completely avoid…anything to do with gender” and the purple circle “symbolizes wholeness, completeness and our potentialities,”according to Carpenter.
Created in 1998 by Michael Page, the bisexual flag features the colors pink and royal blue with an overlapping purple stripe in the center. The pink is intended to represent attraction toward the same sex while the royal blue stands for attraction toward the opposite sex. The purple band is meant to symbolize attraction to all genders.
Adopted in 2010, the pansexual flag has three horizontal stripes: pink, cyan and blue. According to most definitions, the pink and blue represent attraction to female and males respectively while the cyan signifies nonbinary attraction.
With a quartet of horizontal stripes of yellow, white, purple and black, the nonbinary flag was conceptualized by Kye Rowan in 2014. The yellow stands for those whose genders do not exist within the binary. White and purple correspond to people identifying with all or many genders and those who may consider themselves to be a mix of female and male. Lastly, black accounts for those people who identify as not having any gender.
First officially used on August 2010, the asexual pride flag consists of four horizontal stripes: black, gray, white and purple from top to bottom. Black represents asexuality and gray signifies the gray area between sexuality and asexuality. The white stripe denotes non-asexual partners, and the purple stands for community.
Featuring five stripes, the genderfluid flag was created in 2012 by JJ Poole. In its array of colors, pink and blue stand for femininity and masculinity while purple is meant to include both masculinity and femininity. Meanwhile, black stands for those who do not associate with any gender, while white is inclusive of all genders.
Unveiled in 2014 and designed by Salem X, the agender flag features a mirrored design of seven horizontal stripes. The black and white stripes represent an absence of gender, the gray stripe represents semi-genderlessness and the central green stripe represents nonbinary genders.
Designed in 2011 by Marilyn Roxie, a genderqueer writer and advocate, the genderqueer flag features lavender, white, and chartreuse stripes. According to Roxie, the lavender stripe is a mix of blue and pink—colors traditionally associated with men and women—and represents androgyny as well as queer identities. The white stripe represents agender and/or gender neutral identities. The chartreuse stripe is the inverse of lavender and represents third gender identities and identities outside the gender binary.