NewsNational News


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

Posted at 5:47 PM, Jun 01, 2021

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.


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


Aromantic flag


Asexual flag


Bear brotherhood flag


Bisexual flag


Demisexual pride flag


Genderfluid flag


Genderqueer flag


Intersex flag


Labrys lesbian pride flag


Leather pride flag


Lesbian pride flag


Nonbinary flag


Pansexual pride flag


Polyamory flag


Polysexual flag


Rubber pride flag