The Rainbow flag was designed by San Franciscan, Gilbert Baker in 1978 and has undergone several revisions since. His flag liberated the gay community from the symbol that been previous designated to them by the Nazi’s – the infamous Pink Triangle.
The original flag he designed has 8 stripes, however the modern flag has six predominant stripes, each colour carrying a symbolic meaning. The colours of the rainbow flag reflect the diversity of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning community and make a statement that sexual orientation, like the rainbow, is both beautiful and natural. Red – life, Orange – healing, Yellow – Sunlight, Green – Nature, Blue – Serenity/Harmony & Violet – Spirit/Spirituality. The 1978 original design also contained turquoise to represent art and magic, and hot pink which symbolises sexuality.
You can find out more about the design in the below video, where Gilbert Baker discusses the history, beauty and magic of the rainbow flag that he designed.
From the Nazi concentration camps
The next most recognised flag would probably be the Transgender Flag. The Transgender flag, created by a transgender woman, Monica Helms in 1999, was first shown at a Pride Parade in Phoenix Arizona in 2000. The flag represents the transgender community and consists of five horizontal stripes: two light blue, two pink, and one white in the centre.
Helms describes the meaning of the transgender flag as follows: “The stripes at the top and bottom are light blue, the traditional colour for baby boys. The stripes next to them are pink, the traditional color for baby girls. The stripe in the middle is white, for those who are intersex, transitioning or consider themselves having a neutral or undefined gender. The pattern is such that no matter which way you fly it, it is always correct, signifying us finding correctness in our lives”.
We found some other not so well known ones, check out the full list of recognised Pride Flags for the LGBTQ community below and let us know if you spot any missing!
There are other well know variations of the Rainbow flag, including The International Bear Brotherhood Flag which was designed to represent the Brotherhood of Bears – LGBTQ slang = Bear. The Bear flag was designed by Craig Byrnes in 1995. The colours of the flag denote either hair colours or skin colours of the human race.
To today’s instantly recognisable LGBTQ flag.