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Pride flags explained: Flags take different forms to represent different LGBTQ+ groups

Philadelphia,,Pa,/,Usa,-,June,10,,2018:,Crowd,Members
Posted at 5:47 PM, Jun 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-03 12:49:35-04

With June being Pride Month, you’ll likely see more people flying pride flags and companies incorporating pride colors into their products.

Although many of the pride flags that you’ll spot are the same, there are countless renditions that represent different communities and causes.

The original pride flag was designed by Gilbert Baker in 1978 and incorporated eight different colors that had different meanings: hot pink—sex, red—life, orange—healing, yellow—sunlight, green—nature, turquoise—magic/art, indigo—serenity, and violet—spirit, according to the Gilbert Baker Foundation.

In the years that followed, that original flag was altered for a variety of reasons. At one point, the hot-pink stripe was dropped because of fabric unavailability. And then in 1979, the flag went down to six colors, with indigo and turquoise being changed to just blue.

That six-striped flag continues to be the most synonymous with pride month and the LGBTQ+ community.

San Francisco Pride
Picture of a pride flag in San Francisco, California. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

However, people in the community have continued to alter the flag and create their own banners entirely to better represent different groups of people.

For example, the transgender pride flag was designed by a transgender activist and veteran named Monica Helms in 1999, according to Northwestern University. It includes white, pink and light blue stripes.

Pride Parade Georgia
(AP Photo/Robin Rayne)

In 2017, the city of Philadelphia adopted a revised version of the traditional flag, adding black and brown stripes to the top to draw attention to the issues people of color face in the LGBTQ+ community.

Altered Rainbow Flag
(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

And in 2018, artist Daniel Quasar is credited with creating the progress pride flag. Northwestern says Quasar combined the traditional pride flag with the transgender pride flag and added black and brown stripes to represent marginalized LGBTQ+ communities of color, community members lost to HIV/AIDS, and those currently living with the disease.

Progress,Pride,Flag,(new,Design,Of,Rainbow,Flag),Waving,In

The progress flag has also been altered in many different ways, with some including other symbols over the stripes, like the Black Lives Matter fist symbol.

Transgender Rant-Educator
(AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

Below are some examples of pride flags representing other LGBTQ+ groups:

Ally pride flag

Straight,Ally,Symbol,Flag,On,The,Mast

Aromantic flag

Aromantic,Flag,Waving,In,The,Wind.,Close,Up,Of,Aromanticism

Asexual flag

Flag,Of,Asexuality,Pride,Waving,In,The,Wind,On,Flagpole

Bear brotherhood flag

Gay,Pride,Flag,Bear,With,Bear,Paw

Bisexual flag

Bisexual,Pride,Flag,On,The,Mast

Demisexual pride flag

Demisexuality,Flag,Waving,In,The,Wind.,Close,Up,Of,Demisexual

Genderfluid flag

Genderfluidity,Pride,Flag,City,Waving,In,The,Wind,Against,Deep

Genderqueer flag

Realistic,Flag,Of,Genderqueer,Pride,On,The,Wavy,Surface,Of

Intersex flag

Background,With,Waving,Intersex,Flag.vector,Design,Template,For,Intersex,Awareness

Labrys lesbian pride flag

Lesbian,Feminist,Movement,Lgbt,,Realistic,Banner.,Flag,Of,Sexual,Minorities,

Leather pride flag

Leather,Pride,Flag,Waving,In,The,Wind.,Close,Up,Of

Lesbian pride flag

Vector,Illustration,Of,Lesbian,Flag.,Simple,Lgbt,Symbol,Wallpaper,And

Nonbinary flag

Nonbinary,Flag,Waving,In,The,Wind.,Close,Up,Of,Genderqueer

Pansexual pride flag

National,Flag,Of,Pansexuality,Pride,On,A,Flagpole,In,Front

Polyamory flag

Polyamory,Waving,Standard,Movement,Lgbt,,Realistic,Icon.,Flag,Of,Love

Polysexual flag

Realistic,Flag,Of,Polysexuality,On,The,Wavy,Surface,Of,Fabric

Rubber pride flag

Rubber,Pride,Flag,In,Vector,Format.,Lgbt,Community,Flag.