Pride in Every Hue: Pride Flags and What They Represent

There are over 20 unique pride flags in the world, there may even be more than 50. It is difficult to say just how many flags exist to represent different sexual orientations and genders. More seem to be created each year to celebrate the many uniquely beautiful identities that fall under the LGBTQ+ umbrella.  

If you have ever attended Pride, you have likely seen countless pride flags being held or worn by other eventgoers. You may also see these flags on social media. Have you ever found yourself looking at this vast range of pride flags and wondering exactly what they stand for? If you wish to learn the meaning behind these flags, keep reading.   

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Rainbow Pride Flag 

The classic rainbow pride flag was created in the late 70s and quickly became a symbol for the entire LGBTQ+ community. It represents lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and people of all other sexual orientations and gender identities.  

Originally, there were more colors, and each carried a meaning. Pink for sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, turquoise for magic/art, indigo for serenity, and violet for spirit. The flag no longer includes pink and turquoise, but each remaining color carries the same meaning as when the flag was first created. 

Progressive Pride Flag 

The progressive pride flag or progress pride flag took the rainbow flag to a new level. First, Philadelphia’s inclusive pride flag was created, adding black and brown stripes to represent people of color within the LGBTQ+ community. The progressive pride flag followed shortly after. This kept the black and brown stripes but added blue, pink, and white from the transgender pride flag. These five stripes were moved to the left of the flag in the shape of an arrow.   

Lesbian Pride Flag 

The lesbian pride flag originally came about in 2010 and has been slightly altered over the years into what it is today. Originally the flag had a lipstick mark, but that symbol has been removed. Now the flag has multiple stripes of different shades of orange, red, pink, and white.  

The stripes on this flag may have different meanings depending on the source you visit. According to Horniman Museum & Gardens, the stripes represent gender nonconformity, independence, community, unique relationship to womanhood, serenity and peace, love, sex, and femininity.  

Bisexual Pride Flag 

The bisexual pride flag was created in the late 90s to represent the bisexual community. Those who identify as bisexual may be attracted to two or more genders. This term is not always as comprehensive as the term pansexual. It depends on the person who identifies with it.  

The bisexual flag consists of three colors. These are pink which represents attraction to the same sex, purple for attraction regardless of gender or sex, and blue for attraction to various sex and genders.  

Pansexual Pride Flag 

As you may already know, pansexuality is broader than bisexuality. Those who identify as pansexual may find themselves attracted to women, men, and people of all genders. The pansexual pride flag consists of three colors, pink, yellow, and blue. The pink stripe represents women, the blue symbolizes men, and the yellow stripe is for non-binary genders.  

Asexual Pride Flag 

Asexuality exists on a spectrum and can mean different things to each person who uses the term. However, simply put, asexual people don’t experience sexual attraction. That being said, some people who identify as asexual may experience some type of sexual attraction on rare occasions.  

The asexual pride flag was created in 2010. On this flag, you will see a black stripe for asexuality, a grey stripe that separates asexuality and sexuality, a white stripe for sexuality, and finally a purple stripe at the bottom for community.  

Transgender Pride Flag 

Transgender is a term for those whose gender does not align with the sex assigned to them at birth. The transgender pride flag has two light blue stripes, two pink stripes, and one white stripe. The light blue and pink represent the traditional colors used for baby boys and girls, and the white represents transitioning, intersex, or neutral genders.  

Agender Pride Flag 

Agender describes someone who doesn’t identify with a specific gender, and they may not have a gender at all. Some agender individuals are gender-neutral, while others do not have a gender. The agender pride flag consists of seven stripes. There are two black, two grey, two white stripes, and a green stripe at the center. The black and white stripes represent the lack of gender, while the gray illustrates partial gender, and the single green stripe illustrates nonbinary genders.  

Non-binary Pride Flag 

Non-binary is the term for those who identify with gender in a way that exists outside of the binary. They do not identify as just being a man or a woman. The non-binary pride flag has a yellow stripe to represent those whose gender does not fit within the binary, a white stripe for people with many genders, purple to represent male and female, and lastly, there is a black stripe for those who do not have a gender. 

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There are many other pride flags that you may stumble across such as the gay men pride flag, intersex pride flag, and genderqueer pride flag, but this is a great place to start.