History and meaning of the gay flag | This goes back to 1978 🌈
1978 is the historic date of the creation of the gay flag
. That year, Gay Pride
was held for the eighth time in San Francisco, California. Gilbert Baker, a former U.S. Army soldier turned artist, had the idea to design a flag or banner that would become the banner for the parade. He put together eight pieces of fabric in eight different colours: pink, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and purple. The banner symbolising the LGBT community
Why choose the 8 colours of the rainbow to represent their sexuality? 🌈
Why did he choose these eight colours of the rainbow? "I liked using a natural phenomenon to represent our sexuality and human rights," Gilbert Baker, who died four years later, said on Free Europe/Radio Liberty in 2013. For him, "having many colours" simultaneously represents the idea of "inclusion," diversity and tolerance.
The American historian Clive Moore reminded us in his book on Gay Sunshine and Rainbows culture (2001) that "bright colours have always been forms of homosexual identification." Specifically, pink represents sex, red represents life, orange represents healing, yellow represents the sun, green represents nature, blue represents art, indigo represents harmony and purple represents the spirit.
The first flag has eight stripes 🏳️🌈. Gilbert Baker gives each of the colours a meaning:
- Pink: sexuality
- Red: life and healing
- Orange: health and pride
- Yellow: sunlight
- Green: nature
- Turquoise: magic / art
- Blue: serenity / harmony
- Violet: the spirit
During the march organized the following November to protest the assassination of Harvey Milk, San Francisco's first openly gay elected official, the Paramount Flag Company produced seven-band versions because pink was not industrially available.
Later, Gilbert Baker also had turquoise removed, to maintain an even number of colours for a Market Street decoration: the flag then had six stripes (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple) and became definitive.
Discover the different homosexual flags in the world 🌍 :
- The rainbow flag 🏳️🌈 (1978 - 1979)
The rainbow flag is often used to represent the LGBT community as a whole. For Gilbert Baker, its creator, each colour symbolizes something different: red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunshine, green for nature, blue for serenity and purple for spirit.
This flag was designed by Michael Page in 1998 to give visibility to bisexual people. The purple blends with the blue and pink. Behind these colours is the idea that bisexuals and bisexual women are often overlooked by the gay or straight community.
- The transgender flag (1999)
The transgender flag
was created in 1999 by US Navy veteran Monica Helms after coming out as a transgender person: "Trans people need a flag too," she explained. The colour pink represents trans women, blue symbolizes trans men and white in the middle represents non-binary.
people are born with genitalia that cannot be defined as "female" or "male" according to the criteria of current medicine. In 2013, the International Intersex Organization - Australia created a flag that does not adopt the gendered colours: blue and pink. On the contrary, yellow and purple are considered "hermaphroditic" colours.
- The pansexual flag (2010)
Pansexuality is a sexual orientation that characterizes individuals who may be emotionally or sexually attracted to an individual of any sex or gender. The pansexual flag surfaced on the internet in 2010, but its origin remains unknown. Since then, it has been a common sight at Gay Pride events around the world. According to Wikipedia, pink represents attraction to women, blue represents attraction to men, and yellow represents attraction to non-binary people.
- The Lesbian Flag (2018-2019)
Despite the vote in 2018 proclaiming the seven-band flag as the official lesbian flag, a revision was made the following year (2019). This revision formalized the New Lesbian Flags (2018 and 2019): a five-band flag as the new official flag for lesbians. Both flags were introduced by sadlesbeandisaster to the community. The latter clarifies that its name is "sad lesbean disaster", not "sadles bean disaster" as many are mistaken on the subject.
As far as the different colours are concerned, here are their meanings:
The first dark orange stripe represents gender non-conformity. The second, a lighter shade of orange, represents the sense of independence and community of lesbians. The white in the centre of the flag is the symbol of transsexual and non-binary lesbian women. The fourth band, light pink, represents the concepts of love, peace, serenity and sex. The last band is a symbol of femininity.
- The androgynous flag (1996)
Androgynous people are people who have characteristics (often their appearance and way of dressing) that are masculine as well as feminine. This makes it difficult to identify them under one of the two binary genders. An alternative to the flag was created in 1996 by Raphael Carter, and took the form of the Necker cube. The creator of the androgynous flag is unfortunately not known. His flag began to be visible in 1996, but it is possible that it was created earlier than that.
The vertical stripes of the androgynous flag are of different colours: pink represents women. The purple colour represents androgynous people and/or a mixture of the two binary genders. And the third colour, blue, represents men.
- The trigender flag (2012)
Flag created in 2012 by JJ Poole. An interview with JJ Poole, who is also the creator of the genderfluid flag, is available on our blog here. A trigender person is identified by three different gender identities. The three genders by which a trigender person identifies can be simultaneous or fluid.
The trigender flag has 5 stripes of three different colours. The pink stripes represent membership of a female gender and femininity. The blue stripes are a way of showing masculinity and masculinity. The last green stripe in the middle represents androgyny and all other (non-binary) genders.
All under the same flag, let us fight for the equality of all individuals, regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, skin colour, opinions, values, nationality, age, ...
Find the flag that suits you at the rainbows brands and assert your lifestyle on your street, in your city and in your country!