The meaning: According to Robert Deam Tobin, PhD, who teaches courses in gay and lesbian studies and queer theory at Clark University, the gay pride flag “was and is a cheerful, upbeat, optimistic, and instantly identifiable symbol of the LGBTQ+ community-and has caught on throughout the world, in big cities and little ones.” He also notes: “The colors were chosen from the rainbow, a symbol of hope ever since Noah’s flood.”
The history: “Gilbert Baker created the rainbow flag in San Francisco in 1978, as the gay community was flourishing and beginning to fight for its rights,” explains Tobin, noting that the Stonewall Riots took place in 1969 and the first gay pride parade took place in 1970.
And fun fact: Tobin says the flag was originally supposed to have eight colors instead of the six we see today, but Gilbert wound up having to axe both turquoise and pink to make the design simple enough for mass production.
The Updated Philadelphia Pride Flag
The meaning: This flag, Tobin says, was created recently as a response “to new developments in the LGBTQ+ community, particularly to be inclusive in terms of race and trans issues.”
“In 2017, the so-called ‘Philadelphia flag’ had incorporated a black and a brown stripe on top of the six colors of the rainbow flag,” Tobin explains. “Quasar’s version moved the black and the brown to the side as part of a triangle that also included the colors of the trans flag intersecting with the now-traditional rainbow flag.”
The Demisexual Pride Flag
The meaning: Demisexual is a sexual orientation that is used to describe people who “need to feel a strong emotional connection with someone in order to feel any sexual attraction to them,” according to a previous Cosmopolitan article.
And for this flag specifically, you can notice the colors to understand the meaning. “Anytime you see purples, greens, and yellows in flags, these are colors that are not linked to gendered norms, so you know the flag is highlighting people who reject these binaries,” says Simpson. So while demisexual is not a gender identity, you can still assume the purple line is used as an example of “rejecting” traditional attraction.
The history: According to the Gender & Sexuality Resource Center at University of Northern Colorado, “It is unknown how or when the flag came to be, but it is very similar to the asexual flag in its use of colors, which was based off the AVEN logo.”
The Polyamorous Pride Flag
The meaning: First, it’s important to understand the term. “Polyamory is a form of consensual nonmonogamy that emphasizes emotional connection among multiple partners,” says Elisabeth Sheff, PhD, author of The Polyamorists Next Door: Inside Multiple-Partner Relationships and Families, who previously told Cosmopolitan. And the infinity heart sign on top of all the colors is truly where you see its meaning. “The infinity heart sign represents the infinite love for multiple partners at the same time,” according to the Gender & Sexuality Resource Center at University of Northern Colorado.
The history: It can be traced www.hookupdate.net/free-sex-match-review/ all the way back to Jim Evans in 1995, who “wanted to create an anonymous symbol for the polyamorous community,” according to the Gender & Sexuality Resource Center at University of Northern Colorado. You’re now looking at the modified version that was created in Colorado in 2017 by the University of Northern Colorado poly community, according to their website.
The Lesbian Pride Flag
The meaning: This is the newest version of the lesbian pride flag, and Tobin explains it is “trying to signal toward diversity with the orange line suggesting gender nonconformity.”