Graphic design – In 2020, Prides around the world went virtual due to Covid-19. This year we will be able to physically standing-up against discrimination, despite face masks and social distancing measures. “At Archipanic, we believe in Diversity as an opportunity to build together a better world together, because everyone is more unique than diverse because at the end we are all humans, no matter who we love.” To celebrate Pride Month, we explore the meaning, graphic design and history of 9 of the most iconic Pride flags, all celebrating open-mindedness and diversity through inclusivity.
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The iconic rainbow flag
At Prides, you see rainbow flags everywhere. But what do they mean? In 1977, American artist Gilbert Baker was challenged by iconic gay politician and activist Harvey Milk to come up with a Pride flag. Inspired by Judy Garland’s Over the Rainbow, each color has symbolism. Hot 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.
In 2018, Tumblr blogger Emily Gwen updated the Lesbian Flag to celebrate – from top to bottom – gender non-conformity, independence, community, unique relationships to womanhood, serenity and peace, love and sex, and femininity.
Designed by Micheal Page in 1988, the Bisexual flags break the pink-for-girl and blue-for-boys dichotomy. Bisexual people love them all. That is why the design overlaps over the stereotypical colors for boys and girls, adding a lavender stripe in the middle to represent attraction to both sexes.
“The stripes at the top and bottom are light blue, the traditional color for baby boys. The stripes next to them are pink, the traditional color for baby girls. The white stripe is for people that are nonbinary, feel that they don’t have a gender.” Said transgender activist Monica Helms who designed the Transgender Flag in 1999. “The pattern is such that no matter which way you fly it, it will always be correct. This symbolizes us trying to find correctness in our own lives.”
Progress Pride Flag
in 2018, Daniel Quasar updated Gilbert Baker’s flag, adding brown and black stripes to include the queer communities of colour and the colours of the transgender flags intersecting the traditional rainbow. “I wanted to see if there could be more emphasis in the design of the flag to give it more meaning,” said Daniel Quasar.
The Non-binary flag was created in 2014 by activist Kye Rowan. Each stripe colour represents different types of non-binary identities: Yellow for people who identify outside of the gender binary, white for nonbinary people with multiple genders, purple for those with a mixture of male and female genders, and black for agender individuals.
Between 0.05% and 1.7% of the population are Intersex people, not exhibiting all the biological characteristics of male or female or exhibiting a combination of characteristics at birth. Designed by Morgan Carpenter in 2013, the Intersex flag features a purple circle as “symbolising wholeness and completeness, and our potentialities,” across a yellow background.
Born on a Tumblr blog in 2020, the Pansexual flag represents pansexuality’s interest in all genders: Pink for women, blue for men, yellow for “nonbinary and gender-nonconforming people.” It was created in 2010 to distinguish pansexuality from bisexuality. A Greek Pi (π) with the tail converted to an arrow with a cross refers to the cross on the Venus or female symbol (♀), and the arrow of the Mars or male symbol (♂).
Some people lack sexual attraction to others or low or absent interest in or desire for sexual activity. They are Asexual. In 2010, the Asexual Visibility and Education Network stated that they wanted to “have a symbol that belongs to all of us.” The flag features black representing asexuality, gray for graysexuals – between sexual and asexual – and demisexual, sexual attraction following emotional connection, while Purple represents community.