Who Made The LGBTQ Flags
When you think of a rainbow, what comes to mind? Chances are, it’s not just a beautiful array of colours after a rainstorm—it’s also an iconic symbol for the LGBTQ+ community.
The rainbow flag is universally recognised as a representation of queer pride and visibility. But who designed it? Let’s explore the history behind the flags that have become synonymous with the movement.
Who Designed the LGBTQ Flags? An Exploration of Pride.
Have you ever been to a Pride Parade in New Zealand and seen all the vibrant flags with different colours and patterns proudly waved?
You may have wondered who created these amazing works of art, which are now recognized globally as symbols for the LGBTQ community.
Today we’re diving into the fascinating history of how these flags came to be – from their humble beginnings as hand-made banners at rallies and parades, to reaching international fame!
The Rainbow Flag
The original rainbow flag was designed by Gilbert Baker in 1978. Baker was a self-described “gay Betsy Ross” and was asked to create a new symbol for the march on San Francisco City Hall celebrating Gay Rights Week.
Baker created a rainbow flag based on the classic song "Over the Rainbow'' from the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. The colours in the flag also had specific meanings.
The first version of the flag had 8 stripes, each representing something different: pink for sexuality, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, turquoise for magic/art, indigo for serenity/harmony, and violet for spirit.
In 1979 when hot pink fabric became unavailable due to production issues, Baker redesigned his flag with 6 stripes instead of 8. This 6-stripe version has become known as the official LGBTQ+ Pride Flag.
The Transgender Flag
In 1999 Monica Helms designed the transgender flag as an international symbol of transgender identity and pride.
After attending numerous transgender pride parades and seeing the lack of transgender representation she decided to create her own design which she debuted at Phoenix’s 5th Annual Transgender Visibility March in 2000.
The blue stripe represents male-assigned individuals while pink represents female-assigned individuals; white lies between them as an empty space signifying those who identify outside gender binaries or don't conform to either gender normativity—transgender people fall into this category!
Helms has said that while anyone can fly this flag "it is especially important [for] transgendered people [to] know that there is symbolism behind this flag."
The Nonbinary Flag
This 4-stripe nonbinary flag was created in 2014 by Kye Rowan with each colour symbolising something different: yellow signifying gender outside societal norms; white representing agender (no gender); purple being associated with both femininity and masculinity; and black signifying all genders (including those yet undiscovered).
Rowan wanted to give nonbinary people their own distinct identity separate from both binary genders since many nonbinary people feel overlooked or misunderstood within both LGBQT+ circles and society at large.
This flag has been adopted around the world by nonbinary communities looking to celebrate their identities proudly!
The Asexual Flag
The asexual pride flag was announced in August 2010 after a series of deliberations over establishing a system to create one, after contacting as many asexual communities as possible.
There are four horizontal stripes on the flag: black, grey, white, and purple. The black stripe represents asexuality, the grey stripe represents the grey area between sexuality and asexuality, the white stripe represents sexuality, and the purple stripe represents community.
The Genderfluid Flag
People who are gender fluid often prefer to remain flexible about their gender identity rather than commit to a set definition.
The ways in which they express gender may vary over their lifetime, such as feeling more feminine or masculine, bi-gender or agender, maverique or neutrois, demigender or polygender. People who identify as gender fluid may also identify as bigenders, trigenders, or pangenders.
Designed by JJ Poole in 2012, the Gender Fluid flag consists of five stripes: pink, white, purple, black, and blue, symbolising a fluid identity and expression. As a way to provide a symbol other than the genderqueer flag to the gender-fluid community, Poole created the flag.
The Intersex Flag
In July 2013, Morgan Carpenter of Intersex Human Rights Australia (then known as Organisation Intersex International Australia) created the flag "that is not derivative, but is firmly rooted in meaning".
As colours, yellow and purple were chosen because they have no gender associations and were historically used to represent intersex people. A circle represents wholeness and completion, as well as our potential, since it is unbroken and unembellished.
The Lesbian Flag
The lesbian flag below has become increasingly common over the past decade, but there is no official lesbian flag.
A common representation of lesbians, it features pink, white, and red shades - although some feel it represents only 'lipstick' or 'femme' lesbians. It is likely a result of its original version. Originally created in 2010, it featured a lipstick mark in its top left corner. Others argue that the first version and its subsequent versions are butch-phobic, leading to colour variations.
The Pansexual Flag
In keeping with the band of colours approach, the pansexual pride flag has been around since 2010. The pride flag increases the visibility and recognition of the pansexual community, as well as distinguishing it from bisexuality.
The flag shows this in its use of colours. The pansexual pride flag uses a bright yellow band instead of a purple band sandwiched between blue and pink stripes. As in this case, the choice of colour signifies that pansexuals are romantically attracted to androgynous, agender, bigender, and genderfluid people.
Because yellow is more of an ambiguous colour, it works well as a symbol for non-binary attractions. Pink represents those who identify within the female spectrum, and blue represents those who identify within the male spectrum.
The pride flags are more than just symbols—they are reminders of our collective fight against marginalisation and discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
They represent progress but also serve as rallying cries uniting us together under one banner of liberation! No matter what your identity is or where you come from we can all celebrate our differences under these brilliant flags!