What are the pride flags and what do they stand for?

Before you head to a pride parade or gay bar, know what the different flags of the LGBT community represent.

HomoCulture Koelen Andrews

This article was published on July 30th, 2019

Flags are always something of significance. Flags are important and have always signified a group of people and community standing together for a common cause. There are many different flags seen at Pride events, but it might be a little difficult to keep track of which ones stand for which groups. Here is a quick rundown of which flags belong with what group and what they mean. 

The traditional rainbow banner is a flag that is most commonly seen displayed at queer establishments and during pride. This flag is most commonly seen with horizontal stripes in red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. These colors represent the following: red is for life, orange is for healing, yellow is sunlight, green is nature, blue is harmony and serenity, and purple is for spirit.

There are at least two different bisexual flag designs. Yes: the bis have their own banner, too. Both feature magenta, purple, and blue. One configuration shows a magenta triangle and a blue triangle overlapping one another in a corner, done in purple. The other design shows horizontal stripes done in the same colors, but with the top and bottom stripes of magenta and blue being 40% each of the flag’s space. The overlapping 10% is in purple. The magenta represents homosexual attraction, the blue represents heterosexual attraction, and the purple is a love for both sexes.

International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia

The most commonly accepted transgender flag is one made up of pairs of light blue and light pink horizontal stripes, with a single white stripe between the pairs. The blue stripe on the top and bottom of the flag is the color traditionally for baby boys. The pink stripes next to them is the traditional color for baby girls. The middle stripe is for those transitioning, going by an undefined gender, or consider themselves neutral. 

A recently reimagined pride flag with added black and brown stripes has become popular in recent years. These flags are aimed at deliberately highlighting the people’s of color who are queer who are so often marginalized and excluded. Considered the newly politically correct design, this pride flag is supposed to be more representational of all queer people and allies.

Another common flag design you’ll see is the bear subculture flag. This is a flag with 7 horizontal stripes, each of which represent the skin color of bears in the gay community. Meant to be inclusive. Each stripe highlights the diversity of the bear community and the body hair color men from all over the world have. In the corner of the banner is a bear paw done in black: an homage to their nickname.

There are more flags the represent the LGBT community, including those that represent lesbians, A-sexual, intersex, pansexual, and more. Check them all out.

No matter which flag you fall under or salute, there is virtually one flag or banner that your community falls under. Next time you head to a pride parade or gay bar, you’ll know exactly what the different pride flags represent.

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