Harm Jagerman

The flags of the rainbow

On August 7, 2021 we went to the Pride Walk in Amsterdam. Due to the COVID measures, everything was a little different that year. Pride week was adjusted. The Pride Walk did go ahead. During this walk through Amsterdam, I saw many different flags and some of them I did not recognize. For me, as a parent, it was a reason to find out which flags there are exactly. That led to an article that I published in 2021. In January 2023 I adjusted this article on a few points to reflect current events.

Pride Walk

Both children now belong to the LGBTQIA+ community. That was different from 2021. Something that was also different in 2021: the eldest defined herself as non-binary then. This is no longer so as you can read in this article. In November 2022, she dared to tell her classmates exactly what was going on as you can see in this Instagram post:

Screenshot Instagram.
Screenshot Instagram.
Check the original post here.

The youngest shared her feelings with us and the rest of the world between 2021 and 2022. She likes girls and can fall in love with them too. And no, not with boys.

After the Pride Walk was over, I decided to find out the meaning of some of these flags that I saw. I found out that there were many flags. Even more, than I saw that day. I learned about what they stand for and why they were created, for who they were created and when they were created. I decided to write the first version of this article in August 2021.

What I also learned was that it was simply impossible to cover all these flags. There were so many flags. After the introduction of the original Pride Flag, new flags were created.

It’s not an excuse to go the extra mile or a matter of distinction in importance or value when I decided to stop at one point. I decided to stop because it was too hard to find all the information at one point.

In almost two years things have changed. That’s why I have decided to upgrade this article. New flags have been introduced and some flags have been removed from this article.


The original Pride Flag

The Original Pride Flag (1978)
The Original Pride Flag designed by Gilber Baker in 1978.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons.

It was Gilbert Baker, who designed the Pride Flag in 1978 as a symbol for the Gay Community. He designed the flag for the Gay Pride Parade in San Francisco. Before that, the symbol that was used was the pink triangle. There was one problem with this symbol. It was also used during one of the darkest periods in world history and in a completely different context. The Nazis used this to designate gay people in concentration camps. They were forced to wear the triangle on their camp uniforms.

Each strip of the flag had its own colour and therefore its own meaning:

  • Pink: Sex.
  • Red: Life.
  • Orange: Healing.
  • Yellow: Sunlight.
  • Green Nature.
  • Turquoise: Magic.
  • Purple: Serenity.
  • Violet: Spirit.

The Flag of the Human Race

The Flag of the Human Race.
The Flag of the Human Race.
Image source: Reddit/Imgur.

Baker was greatly inspired by the Flag of the Human Race. This flag was meant to identify people all over the world. The flag that Baker designed and presented in 1978 was different from the flag we nowadays know. The original version was only used between 1978 and 1978. It contained seven stripes: a reference to sex (pink), life (red), healing (orange), sunlight (yellow), nature (green), magic (turquoise), serene (blue) and character (violet).

The assassination of Harvey Milk

After the introduction of the flag in 1978, the flag quickly gained popularity. That was just not because of the Gay Pride Parade of 1978. It was another event that made the flag more famous. That was the assassination of Harvey Milk.

Milk was assassinated on November 27, 1978. He was the first openly gay city councillor in San Francisco. He and Mayor George Moscone were shot by Dan White. White was a man who strongly opposed naming White and was an outspoken homophobe.

Thanks to an error by the prosecution, White received a remarkably sentence for the two murders (seven years). This led to riots in the city. In response, the police then stormed several establishments where members of the community gathered and used excessive force. During the protests, Baker’s flag was clearly visible.

Pink and turquoise were dropped

The seven striped Pride Flag.
The seven striped Pride Flag.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons.

Because the flag became more and more popular, it became necessary to produce the flag on a larger scale. That caused a problem. The colour pink turned out to be difficult to manufacture. The choice was made to drop this colour. That was not the only problem, because when the flag was then hung vertically, it was not visible. The turquoise stripe was cancelled because of this. The flag consisted of six stripes, with a new colour: blue.

The Pride Flag with six stripes.
The Pride Flag with six stripes.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons.

The colors acquired or retained the following meaning:

  • Pink: Life.
  • Orange: Healing.
  • Yello: Sunlight.
  • Green: Nature.
  • Blue: Magic.
  • Purple: Spirit.

This flag would be used as an overarching symbol for the whole LGBTQIA+ Community. Other flags emerged in this period to represent the different groups within the Community. In 2018, a new design was presented under the name The Progress Pride Flag. It was an adaptation of the existing Pride Flag.

What made it different: The new flags were all meant to represent different parts of the community. The Progress Pride Flag was intended to represent the entire community. Before that, there was already discussion about whether the existing Pride Flag should be changed.

A lot has changed in recent years. Emancipation and the struggle were no longer just about two groups. That’s why we stopped talking about homosexuals and lesbians. We talked about bisexuals, transgender people and many more people who felt that something had to change. People felt the need to have an own symbol. An own flag. So it was only logical that this led to the creation of new flags. There was also discussion about how exactly the Community should be designated. That changed from the abbreviation LGB to LGBT to LGBTQ to LGBTQIA and finally to LBTQIA+. The abbreviation as we know it today.

More information

About the abbreviations


Two women wearing Pride Flags.
Two women wearing Pride Flags.
Image source: Unsplash.

There was a time you could just use the word ‘Gay Community’ and that was just that. Later it was fine to use the words gays, and lesbians. Later it was ok to use the words gays, lesbians and transgender people. It wasn’t enough. I remember the time we used the Dutch abbreviation HoLeBi for gays, lesbians and bisexual people. This is an outdated abbreviation. Heavily outdated. People were left out and no one deserves to be left out.

That’s why other abbreviations were introduced, like LGBT: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. Still, it wasn’t enough. What about those questioning or queer people? That’s why the Q was added. It was the same for the I for Interesex people and the A for asexual people. Or if you like any of the letters the I or A it could stand for. There was one big problem: there were more people that felt they were left out. Why weren’t they important enough? That’s why the plus sign was included. So the abbreviation became: LGBTQIA+.

What value holds the original Pride Flag? Is this a Pride Flag that’s outdated? Judging by the many other flags I saw on the day of the Pride Walk and the Progress Pride Flag you might conclude it is. It’s not. Consider this flag as the basis of all the other flags. Even for the Progress Pride Flag. Doesn’t the name say it all: progress? The point is that there are still steps to be taken. That’s that progress.

On the other hand, why drop the original Pride Flag altogether? Isn’t that the flag that started it all? The struggle for emancipation and equal rights. To get to where one has come today in some cases and other cases have yet to come. Or where to get rid of it in other cases?

The Philadelphia’s People of Color Inclusive Flag and the Queer People of Color Flag

The Philadelphia's People of Colour Pride Flag.
The Philadelphia’s People of Colour Pride Flag.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons.
The Queer People of Color Flag.
The Queer People of Color Flag.
Image source: Sexual Diversity.org.

Two flags emerged from the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement that were important to the LGBTQIA+ community. Those were the Philadelphia’s People of Color Inclusive Flag and the Queer People of Color Flag. Flags are mainly used within the United States. It was the Progress Pride Flag, introduced in 2018, that would eventually gain fame far beyond the United States. The two flags above were particularly important, as they were the impetus for change. People wanted the flags to represent more diversity and more inclusiveness.

More information

The Progress Pride Flag

The Progress Pride Flag
The Progress Pride Flag. This flag was introduced by Daniel Quasar in 2018.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons.

Daniel Quasar designed the Progress Pride Flag, also known as Progress Flag, in June 2018. He combined Philadelphia’s People of Colour Pride Flag with the Transgender Pride Flag to focus on community inclusion. The flag soon became known via social media. In addition to the well-known stripes, Quasar also added black and brown (in addition to the colours light blue, pink and white from the Transgender Pride Flag). With this, he wanted people of colour and people who have to live with HIV / AIDS to be part of this flag. The arrow symbolizes the progress that still needs to be made.

Pride Flag of 2021
The Pride Flag with the additional addition for interessexuals. This flag was introduced in 2021.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons/Nikki.
More information
Amsterdam Pride
Amsterdam Pride.
Image source: Unsplash.

Further developments

The new Progress Pride Flag wasn’t the only flag that was introduced. Other flags were presented. Also, people stepped forward and gave more information about their identity and the way that they love others.

The first version of this article dates back to 2021. This was written right after the Pride Walk of 2021. It was based on the information that I read back then. What I found then. In almost two years time, things changed. First, I realised that many of the websites that claimed that they had all the information about the flags of the LGBTQIA+m Community didn’t in fact have all the information. Second, I realised that some of the information was in need of an update. Things changed. Some flags were new, others seemed less important or were replaced by new designs. Eventually, I realised that it was impossible to cover all the flags of the LGBTQIA+ Community. Simply because there are so many flags! Even when you cover 30, 40 or even 50 flags, it’s still not enough. There are so many flags. Even more than I will list on this page.

The fact that flags are missing has nothing to do with distinction or degree of importance. I decided to make an overview of special flags and flags that are commonly used. If you believe that a flag should be listed on this page, let me know. This also applies, of course, to a flag that you think should not be mentioned.


I did my best to consult as many sources as possible for this article. In 2021 I did the same. In January 2023 I noticed some of these sources were outdated or were updated. This made me decide to review the entire article. In addition, I chose to list the sources per subject instead of one list with links. I think that it makes it more easy to find the relevant links.


The chosen order is not based on a degree of importance or value, so you know. I believe that everyone matters.

Identity flags

The overview below is by no means complete. It’s a good question to ask if the flags in the category entitled Flags based on sexual orientation should also be listed in this category as well. It’s certainly not the intention to offend anyone.

The Genderqueer Flags

The genderqueer or non-binary gender is a category within the transgender category. The main categories in the genderqueer categories are:

  • Agender (genderless, gender-free or non-gendered), postgender, neutrois: Having no gender.
  • Bigender, trigender, polygender, pangender: Having two or more genders.
  • Third gender: Not specifically considering it male or female, or not being perceived as such by others.
  • Genderfluid: Switching between genders.

The Genderqueer Pride Flag

The Genderqueer Pride Flag
The Genderqueer Pride Flag.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons.

This is the flag for the umbrella category, which is genderqueer people. The flag was designed by Marilyn Roxie in 2011. The flag was intended to unite genderqueer and non-binary people. It was only later that a separate flag for non-binary people was made so that this flag was only for genderqueer people.

This flag resembles the flag that was used by the Suffragettes in Great-Brittan. This poses a problem since this flag is nowadays used by strong opponents of genderqueer people and especially people who are against trans women. These are the trans-exclusionary radical feminist or TERFS. These radical feminists don’t consider transgender as real women and consider genderqueer people as people with mental disorders.

The Suffragette Flag.
The Suffragette Flag.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons.

Genderqueer is a precursor of what we now know as non-binary, but it has since become an umbrella term. The term genderqueer dates back to the Eighties. Although the category is considered as a subcategory within the transgender category, it’s sometimes not entirely correct. not everyone feels comfortable with the idea that genderqueer is part of the transgender category.

The colours of the flag consist of a combination of two traditional female and male colours: pink and blue. If you mix these colours, you get a lavender colour. In addition, the flag consists of white and green.

  • Lavender: Feminine, masculine, androgyny, and other identities.
  • White: Agender.
  • Green: Any other identities outside the binary system of identities.
More information

The Agender Pride Flag

The Agender Pride Flag
The Agender Pride Flag.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons.

In 2014 the Agender Pride Flag was introduced by Tumblr user Samel Fontana (the archived version with an interview about this introduction).

Other terms to describe agender are genderless, gender-free or non-gendered.

This subcategory is part of the genderqueer category, although this leads to criticism. The criticism focuses on the fact that the genderqueer category is again part of the umbrella category of transgender. Some people therefore have problems with this, because the bottom line is that the transition is not an issue.

Others indicate that it is precisely the lack of that gender that ensures that the category in which the name transgender, in which transition of gender plays a role, cannot possibly mean that agender can be included in this category.

The Agender Pride Flag consists of seven stripes: two black stripes, two grey stripes, a white stripe and a green stripe. Green is supposed to be the opposite of purple: a combination of pink and blue. Pink and blue are traditionally linked to the feminine and masculine. Green is considered a genderless colour.

The meaning of the Agender Pride Flag is as follows:

  • Black: The absence of (a) gender.
  • White: The absence of (a) gender.
  • Gey: Semi-genderless. People who are semi- or demi-genderless (people who fall between genderless and gendered).
  • Green: All non-binary identities.
More information

The Bigender Pride Flag

The Bigender Pride Flag
The Bigender Pride Flag – version one
Image source: Sexual Diversity.org.
The Bigender Pride Flag version two
The Bigender Pride Flag – version two
Image source: Sexual Diversity.org.

Chances are you might not have heard the term bi-gender before. Two words are included in this term: bi – as in two – and gender (well, as in gender). That’s exactly what it’s all about. The person has two genders. If only it was that simple. What makes it somewhat difficult: it can be any gender. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a matter of female or male. It can also be female and non-binary gender. Never assume that the person who is bi-gendered can be diagnosed with gender dysphoria.

The name of the flag (Bigender Pride Flag) doesn’t contain a hyphen, yet the name bi-gender does. Sometimes this causes confusion. That’s why some people decide to leave out the hyphen and the name then becomes bigender instead of bi-gender.

To make things clear: bi-gender (or bigender) has nothing to do with bisexuality. This is about gender, not sexual preference.

As you can see, there are two versions of this flag in use. The one with the seven stripes and the one with the five stripes. According to Sexual Diversity.org, there is no consensus on the exact meaning of either of these flags. The flags are probably based on the Transgender Pride Flag.

As shown above, there are two known versions of the Bigender Pride Flag. There is one with seven stripes and one with five stripes. According to the Sexual Diversity.org website, there is no consensus on what exactly the meaning of either flag is. It is believed that the flag is in any case inspired by the Transgender Pride Flag. The possible meanings could be:

Version 1:
  • The top purple stripe: All good relationships.
  • The pink and blue stripes: For presenting yourself and the sense of identity.
  • The white stripe: For the bi-gender experience and for the community, but also for understanding each other.
  • The bottom purple stripe: Self respect, be proud of yourself, be true to yourself.
Version 2:
  • Pink: Feminity.
  • Purple: A combination of female and male / female and male genders.
  • White: Non-binary.
  • Blue: Masculinity.
More information

The Demigender Pride Flag

The Demigender Pride Flag
De Demigender Pride Flag.
Image source: Nonbinary Wiki.

There are several flags that are used by demigender people. Above you can see the umbrella flag. There are five flags in total.

The Demigirl Pride Flag
The Demigirl Pride Flag.
Image source: Nonbinary Wiki.
The Demiboy Pride Flag
The Demiboy Pride Flag.
Image source: Nonbinary Wiki.
The Demifluid Pride Flag
The Demifluid Pride Flag.
Image source: Nonbinary Wiki.
The Demiflux Pride Flag
The Demiflux Pride Flag.
Image source: Nonbinary Wiki.

The term demigender belongs to the non-binary category. This concerns identities that are partially, but not fully, linked to or with a gender. It is possible for anyone to be demigender, regardless of their birth gender.

The colours of the main flag are dark grey, light grey, yellow and white. There is no consensus about the exact meaning of this flag. It’s assumed the grey colours (may) represent the absence of gender(s) and could represent the partial connection to gender. White could represent all genders. Yellow could represent all non-binary identities.


A person who is part girl/woman or female, but does not wish to be referred to as wholly female/female or identified as such. June 21 is Demigirl Pride Day. Other names for a Demigirl are Demilady, Demifemale or Demiwoman. These names are perhaps less stigmatizing than the term girl.


A person who is part boy/male or male, but does not wish to be referred to or identified as wholly male/male. June 22 is Demiboy Pride Day. Other names for a Demiboy are Demiman, Demiguy or Demimale. These names are perhaps less stigmatizing than the term boy.

Demifluid (Demifluïde)

A person whose gender is fluid by demigenders. In other words, a person with different genders.


A person with more than one gender, some static and some fluid.

In addition, there are the deminonbinary, demiandrogyne, demiagender and demineutrois persons. All derivatives of the demigender identity, but slightly different. For example, someone with the gender identity deminonbinary (demi non-binary) is therefore partly non-binary, someone with the gender identity demiandrogyne (demi androgyne) is partly androgynous, and so on. Basically, it’s all about identities that have a relationship with demigender.

More information

Gender Fluid Pride Flag

Gender Fluid Pride Flag
Gender Fluid Pride Flag
Image source: Wikimedia Commons.

Experiencing the right feeling is important when it comes to your own flag. The flag of your Community or the part of the Community you are part of. This also applies to the flag designed by JJ Poole: the Gender Fluid Pride Flag. Poole made this design in 2012.

Genderfluidity applies when someone’s gender is variable (i.e. fluid). This may depend on certain circumstances, factors and periods in time. It may also happen that the person concerned does not feel a one-on-one connection with one of the two genders or multiple genders.

The flag consists of the colours pink, white, purple, black and blue and has the following meaning:

  • Pink: Femininity or the sense of feeling/being feminine.
  • White: The absence of gender.
  • Purple: A combination of feminity, and masculinity, including different forms of androgyny.
  • Black: All other genders, the third gender and pangender.
  • Blue: Masculinity or the feeling of feeling/being masculine.

Although the flag represents the genderfluid community, these individuals can also indicate that they are bi-gender, trigender or pangender. In addition, someone can simply indicate agender or which other label they wish to use.

More information

The Neutrois Pride Flag

The Neutrois Pride Flag
The Neutrois Pride Flag.
Image source: Nonbinary Wiki.

Neutrois is a non-binary gender identity also known as the zero gender or neutral (gender). The term was first introduced in the Nineties and consists of the words neuter, Latin for neither/neutral, and trois, French for three.

Screenshot of the archived website Neutrois.com
Screenshot of the archived website Neutrois.com. The archived version can be found here.

At the time of compiling this article’s update (January 2023), the Neutrois.com website was down. An archived version was available. It can be read that there are a number of options when the term Neutrois applies:

  • Neutral gender.
  • Null gender.
  • Neither male, nor female.
  • Genderless.
  • Agender.

On the archived website, you can read that this identity belongs under the umbrella genderqueer/transgender. This detail seems important, because this emphasizes the importance of transition, according to this website. This breaks with the existing ideas about agender and non-binary identity.

More information

The Non-binary Pride Flag

The Non-binary Pride Flag
The Non-binary Pride Flag.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons.

Non-binary means any gender that isn’t male or female or is not typically or strictly any of those two genders and/or doesn’t fit into the gender binary. Non-binary identities are varied and diverse. In some cases, people who are non-binary define their identity or part of their identity as part of or aspect of binary identities, while others completely reject these binary identities.

Consider the non-binary identities as a ‘free movement’ in between genders, but not the same as with genderfluid identities.

The Non-binary flag consists of the colours yellow, white, purple and black. Kye Rowan was responsible for the design of this flag and it dates back to 2014. Rowan created the flag at the age of 17.

The meaning of the flag is as follows:

  • Yellow: Those who identify outside the gender binary.
  • White: Those who identify as many or all (the) genders.
  • Purple: Combination of male and female genders.
  • Black: Agender.
More information

The Pangender Pride Vlag

The Pangender Pride Flag
The Pangender Pride Flag.
Image source: Sexual Diversity.org.

Other names for the term pangender are polygender or omnigender.

Pangender refers to persons with multiple identities, but not exclusively linked to one gender and where multiple genders can be included. This is different from the bi-gender identity.

The fact that this can happen during an undetermined period or change during an undetermined period ensures that there are interfaces with gender fluidity. This does not necessarily mean that this person also accepts this gender identity.

The Pangender Pride Flag was presented via Tumblr in 2015 and is based on the Agender Pride Flag. The colors consist of yellow, light red, light pink or light violet and white. The meaning is as follows:

  • Yellow: All genders that are not related or connected to female and male.
  • Licht red: The transition between the female and male gender.
  • Light pink / light violet: Feminine and masculine or female and male.
  • White: The union of all genders.
More information

The Postgender Pride Flags

The Postgender Pride Flag
The Postgender Pride Flag.
Image source: LGBTQIA+ Wiki.

When someone is influenced and shaped by a gender that one no longer experiences, this is postgender.

Related to this is postgenderism. This is a trans-humanist philosophy that strives for a society in which the role of sex and gender has become blurred and human reproduction could also take place outside the body thanks to technology. The difference, however, is that in the case of postgender, an identity change has taken place and this could lead to a new identity at some point. This doesn’t necessarily have to be this way.

There are two other flags: the Postgirl Pride Flag and the Postboy Pride Flag.

The Postgirl Pride Flag
The Postgirl Pride Flag.
Image source: LGBTQIA+ Wiki.
The Postboy Pride Flag
The Postboy Pride Flag.
Image source: LGBTQIA+ Wiki.

The flag was introduced in June 2018 (archived link). It is not clear what exactly the colours stand for. The other two flags were introduced in November 2018 (archived link).

More information

The Trigender Pride Vlag

The Trigender Pride Flag
The Trigender Pride Flag.
Image source: Sexual Diversity.org.

Where the term bi-gender is based on exactly two gender identities, trigender is based on three gender identities. Here, too, it concerns identities that can be experienced simultaneously or that can be varied. The latter suggests a kind of non-commitment, which it is not. It’s not a button. It can’t be turned on and off like a button or a device.

A trigender person is able to sense, adapt or assume an identity according to what the person considers good, thinks is good or given the circumstances. Without having to experience a feeling of coercion. This also applies to all gender identities discussed, such as bi-gender, trigender and pangender.

It is not known who exactly designed the Trigender Pride Flag. It was presumably made sometime in 2015. It appeared online in that year for the first time, around July 4.

The flag consists of five horizontal stripes in the colors pink, blue and green. The meaning could be:

  • Pink: Femininity and feminine sexes/genders.
  • Blue: Masculinity and male sexes/genders.
  • Green: Androgyny, non-binary, the third gender and all other genders or other genders.
More information

The Intersex Flag / The Intersex Pride Flag

The Intersex Pride Flag
The Intersex Pride Flag.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons.

Intersex people are born with different sex characteristics that don’t fit “typical binary notions of male or female bodies,” according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Screenshot website ONCHR
Screenshot ONCHR.
Image source: ONCHR.

The term intersex applies to all people that are diverse and are not ‘standard.’ Someone may appear as a woman or man, but on the inside things can be very different. This doesn’t have to be limited to genitals only, as many people think. It’s also related to chromosomes.

There were times, people were forced to undergo surgery to ‘correct things.’ All this was done because of the idea that people needed ‘fixing’ or needed to be ‘fixed’ to comply with the standards. This lead to depression and other forms of psychological trauma. Research proved that intersex people didn’t need ‘fixing,’ but recognition and respect. That’s also something the United Nations realized as they spoke out against these forms of medical treatments.

The Intersex Flag or Intersex Pride Flag was designed by Morgan Carpenter in 2013. Carpenter was then co-chair of the Intersex Rights Australia (then known as the Organisation Intersex International Australia). The idea was to create a flag that was completely different from all other flags. That’s why there are no stripes on this flag. This flag was supposed to represent the right to bodily autonomy, and genital integrity and also symbolizes the right to be who you want to be, according to its designer.

The flag consists of the colours yellow and purple. This is because, according to Carpenter, the colours are seen as gender-neutral. The circle represents completeness and integrality.

More information

Transgender Pride Flags

The most used flags that represents the transgender community is the one with the blue, pink and white colours. It’s not the only flag that was designed for the transgender community. Because it’s used most often, it’s considered the Transgender Pride Flag.

The Transgender Pride Flag

Based on popularity

The Transgender Pride Flag
The Transgender Pride Flag
Image source: Wikimedia Commons.

This flag was designed by Monica Helms Monica Helms in 1999. During the Pride Parade in the American city of Phoenix, a year later, people could see the flag for the first time.

Here’s the thing about this flag: at first, you might not associate this flag with the transgender community because of its colours. You might associate it with, let’s say, babies. Baby blue and pinkish are the colours used on birth announcements and baby clothes.

At the same time, it is precisely the colours that represent the new beginning or that break with those traditions. In addition, they endorse what matters: that these are girls, women, boys and men.

The flag consists of the colours light blue (twice), pink (twice) and white (once). The meaning is as follows:

  • Light blue: The traditional colour for boys.
  • Pink: The traditional colour for girls.
  • White: The colour for persons in transition, the persons who feel they have a neutral gender or have no gender or are intersex.

It doesn’t matter how you show the flag, because the stripes will return in the same order. That was a conscious choice by Helms. According to Helms, this symbolizes the right way people try to live their lives.

The alternative flag made by Jennifer Pellinen

Two years after Helms presented the most commonly used flag, Jennifer Pellinen attempted to introduce a flag. Pellinen himself stated that he was not aware of the existence of the Helms flag. I think she made a mistake by stating that the flag was for cross-dressers, not all of whom would be homosexual. The words cross-dresser or transvestite have a very negative connotation and are not appreciated when used. Certainly not when you talk about transgender people. You cannot simply link the term to the entire community. Certainly not when you then say that you want to present the flag as a flag for the entire community.

If you want to know what Pellinen had to say about it at the time, you can read this via this archived page.

Pellinen probably took a good look at the Bisexual Pride Flag for her design. The design was very similar to that. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. More flags look alike.

The Alternative Transgender Pride Flag.
The Alternative Transgender Pride Flag.
Wikimedia Commons.
  • Pink: Feminine, femininity.
  • Light purple, purple, dark purple: The diversity within the transgender community and all genders, except male and female.
  • Blue: Masculine, masculinity.

In addition to this Pellinen flag, other flags have been made for the transgender community. None of them became as popular as the Helms flag.

The Israeli Transgender Pride Flag.
The Israeli Transgender Pride Flag.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons.
The Transgender Pride Flag made by Johathan Andrew.
The Transgender Pride Flag made by Johathan Andrew.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons.
The Transgender Pride Vlag made by Michelle Lindsay.
The Transgender Pride Vlag made by Michelle Lindsay.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons.

The Helms flag is the most commonly used flag by the transgender community today.

More information

Two-Spirit Pride Flag

The Two Spirit Pride Flag
The Two Spirit Pride Flag.
Image source: Sexual Diversity.org.

Although the name Two Spirit may seem like a relatively new concept, it is in fact not a new concept. It goes way back in time. This also makes it a good argument that things like gender identity, the binary system or breaking with it and terms such as non-binary or a third gender are not new at all. However, you have to be careful with the use of non-binary to the third gender. This is the third gender.

What I want to point out is that it is not a novelty. It is not a matter of “something new.” Or something that has emerged “lately”. The third gender is something the natives of North America have known for centuries. In the nineties of the last century, it came to a name; Two Spirit also referred to as Two-Spirit, 2S, or twospirited.

The third gender, that’s what it’s all about. Someone who is not specifically female or male. Incidentally, it is not tied to the culture of the original inhabitants of North America. Think about the cultures in Asia. This also occurs there. Also for centuries.

What makes it different is that people in North America experienced a certain emancipation. The role of the Two Spirit persons was actively discussed. This is while people have played a special role during, for example, ceremonies for centuries. People also played a certain position within the social structure. It could only be done differently. Better, because there had to be an end to the stigmatizing, sometimes insulting terms that had been used until then. It is good to know that this does not concern persons who belong to the gay community or consider themselves to be part of that community. Think carefully about that last one. So that’s a very nice thought. In this way, people transcend the boundaries not only of gender but also of categories or labels when it comes to sexuality. Or one is just who one is and loves the way one loves. It’s just that simple. Then one sees no relationship with the LGBTQIA+ community.

The flag, therefore, stands for all Two Spirit persons. Regardless of their sexual preference. Yet you might think that this is a modified version of the rainbow flag and that it is therefore a flag that is exclusively associated with the LGBTQIA + community. Yes, the flag is used by the people belonging to the community. No, the flag is therefore also used by people who do not belong to the community. That’s all allowed. Isn’t that very beautiful?

The Two Spirit community turned the original Pride Flag into a gender identification flag for the community by adding symbols to it. These are two feathers and a circle. The feathers represent masculine and feminine identities. The circle represents the unity of both genders or the recognition of a separate (third) gender.

More information

Flags based on sexual orientation

Yes, I know, the flags I discuss hereafter aren’t the only flags. There are so much more flags. If you believe that important flags are missing, please let me know. This goes the same if you feel the need to point out any errors. Remember, it’s not my intention to offend people in any way. I respect everyone. There I want to point out that the flags are not listed in order of importance. No distinction is made. Everyone is important.

The Aromantic Pride Flag

The Aromantic Pride Flag.
The Aromantic Pride Flag.
Image source: Sexual Diversity.org.

Aromantic, also shortened to aro, connects to asexuality. The person in question experiences little or no romantic attraction. This makes it the opposite of alloromantic, referring to people experiencing romantic attraction on a regular and/or more consistent basis.

The idea that a person would immediately be asexual is not correct. That possibility exists, but it doesn’t have to be. It can also be the other way around.

A total of three versions have been presented, the most recent version of which dates from November 16, 2014. This is the most accepted version. The flag consists of two green colours, white, grey and black and has the following meaning:

  • Dark green: Aromanticism.
  • Light green: The (whole) aromantic spectrum.
  • White: Platonic and aesthetic attraction on the aromantic spectrum.
  • Grey: Grey-romantic en demi-romantic persons.
  • Black: The sexuality spectrum.

The concepts ‘grey-romantic’ and ‘demi-romantic’ are related to the asexual spectrum. For more information: the Demisexual Pride Flag.

More information

The Asexual Pride Flag

The Asexual Pride Flag.
The Asexual Pride Flag.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons.

The Asexual Visibility Education Network (AVEN) wanted to participate in the 2009 Pride Parade in San Francisco. The only problem was that they didn’t have their flag. That is why a new flag was presented in 2010. This made them more visible. The flag was created after a competition was held and a winner was announced via an online vote.

Asexuality occurs when the person experiences a lack of sexual attraction or a low or even complete absence of interest in sexual activity. This is considered a sexual orientation or the lack thereof. Do not confuse this with concepts such as sexual abstinence or celibacy. Do not assume that an asexual person lacks an orientation.

The flag consists of the colours black, grey, white and purple. In addition to the flag, there is also a separate asexual symbol. We know the symbol from the card game: the ace. This symbol is shown by asexual persons on their right middle finger, expressing their identity. Some people go further than that. They use the cards from the deck for their orientation: the ace of spades is aromatic and the ace of hearts is non-aromatic.

The other, universal symbol is a circle.

Ace symbol
Ace symbol.
Image source: Pixabay.
The asexual symbol.
The asexual symbol.
Image source: Sexual Diversity.org

The meaning of the colours on the flag is as follows:

  • Black: Asexuality in general.
  • Grey: The grey area between sexual and asexual.
  • White: Sexuality.
  • Purple: The community.
More information

The Bisexual Pride Flag

The Bisexual Pride Flag.
The Bisexual Pride Flag.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons.

It took about twenty years after the original Pride Flag was introduced before the Bisexual Pride Flag was introduced. The flag is also sometimes referred to as Bisexual Flag. Michael Page designed the flag in 1998. On December 5, the flag was shared with the rest of the world for the first time.

Bisexuality refers to romantic feelings, sexual attraction or sexual behaviour towards both people of the same sex and people of the opposite sex or people regardless of their gender/gender identity. Closely related to this is the concept of pansexuality, although you should not confuse it with bisexuality.

The flag consists of the colours pink, purple and blue and these colours have the following meaning:

  • Pink: Same-sex attraction.
  • Purple: Attraction to two or more genders.
  • Blue: Attraction to people of a different gender.
More information

The Demisexual Pride Flag

The Demisexual Pride Flag.
The Demisexual Pride Flag.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Don’t confuse the Demisexual Pride Flag with the Demigender Pride Flag. The Demisexual Pride Flag represents a part of the asexual community. People who feel only attraction to others after a deep emotional connection. There may be romantic feelings, but until there is a certain deeper emotional connection there is no sexual attraction.

You can also look at it differently. That is, the person in question does not experience primary sexual attraction, which is based on what you see, smell, or feel. So it’s about the deeper meaning. The sexual orientation of the person does not matter here and demisexuality is therefore not linked to sexual orientation.

The flag was designed after 2010 and consists of a black triangle, with the colours white, purple and grey. The meaning of the flag is as follows:

  • Black: Asexuality.
  • Grey: Demisexuality.
  • White: Sexuality.
  • Purple: The community.
More information

The Gay Men Flag / The Vincian Pride Flag

The Gay Men Flag / The Vincian Pride Flag.
The Gay Men Flag / The Vincian Pride Flag. This flag represents gay men in general.
Image source: Nonbinary Wiki.

Let’s be honest for a moment: Have you ever heard about the word Vincian? I never heard about this term before I did the research for the first version of this article (2021). If you have heard about this term, there is a good chance you might have seen the flag that goes with this term before.

There is also a chance that you stumbled upon this page because of this term. You used a search engine (Google, DuckDuckGo or any other search engine) because you wanted to find out more about this term.

Well, what is this term vincian? There is more than one definition. That doesn’t make it easy. The search shows various websites that show information about this term. All are related to the LGBTQIA+ community. You can make one conclusion: it’s all related to gay men.

So basically what it comes down to is this: vincians are gay men. Therefore this group has a flag…

Wait, wasn’t the original Pride Flag created for gay people? Well, that is of course how you interpret the flag. The flag was originally intended for the gay community. So actually not just for gay men. Every part of the community has its flag, right? So why isn’t there a separate flag for gay men?

In 2021 I wrote a first version of this article and learned about the existence of the word vincian. That was completely new to me. Now, almost three years later, it is still a concept that has not caught on. You can therefore ask the question of why this part is still included in this version of this article. That has to do with a different name. So when you let go of the name vincian and use The Gay Men Pride Flag. The Vincian Pride Flag is nothing more than the Gay Pride Flag. The flag is relatively new, so not very well known yet. In addition, the flag is still not widely accepted.

There is no consensus on whether this flag should indeed be meant to represent the community of gay men. You can almost guess it… several designs have been made. That has to do with social media. Of course, it is wonderful that so many beautiful flags are distributed via social media. That also makes it complicated. Especially when other names are used. In this case, the Vincian Pride Flag.

The Original Vincian Pride Flag.
The Original Vincian Pride Flag.
Image source: lgbtqia.wiki/wiki/Vincian. More information is available on this archived page.
The Gay Men Pride Flag
According to the website Queerdom this flag isn’t the Vincian Pride Flag, but it’s the Gay Pride Flag. That makes it somewhat confusing. This flag was created by Mod Hermy in 2017, as you can read here. You can read more about this on this archived page.
Chara Violet's Vincian Pride Flag.
Chara Violet’s Vincian Pride Flag.
Chara Violet’s design was presented via Tumblr in 2021. The design was based on all previous designs.
The Vincian Sunset Pride Flag.
The Vincian Sunset Pride Flag.
` This flag was designed by Daemon505 in 2021 and was inspired by the sunset. More information, click here

Controversy over the toothpaste flag

Are we done yet? Not really. Check this link for more flags. There is only more to report than a series of flags. That has everything to do with the name of the flag given by opponents. That’s the name “toothpaste flag.”

One of the accusations is that the flag is too similar to the lesbian flag. Another accusation is that the flag is the opposite of that of the transgender flag. Racial motives would also play a role. The flag would represent a certain part of the male gay community and therefore not be inclusive.

What happened after the introduction? Its maker said that the design was not finished. Groups such as ‘Drop the T from LGBT’ and other opponents of transgender people saw the colours of the flag as ‘proof’ that this was a flag with which the maker turned against transgender people. The flag was thus contaminated. Read more about this using this link. I found this archived link on this page.

So what’s going on: the flag has been hijacked by others, with motives that don’t match the creator’s mindset. Then see it as a maker to get it right. The power of the internet is its rapid spread. That is also one of the disadvantages.

It is not the first time that the LGBTQIA+ community has been negatively associated with something that has been misinterpreted. It can also be done differently. For example, the entire community can also be discredited. This is evident from this debunked report from Reuters.

Queer in the World would be a website where you would expect that there would be no place for messages related to hate or restrictions. That is why a flag like the Gay Men Flag would not receive any attention if it had an underlying message that does not belong to inclusiveness and equality. Nevertheless, the flag and the explanation about it can be found on the website, as you can see here.

Last is the Tumblr post I archived. With posts from Tumblr, you never know how long they’ll be available. The archived version can be found here (the original version can be found here). Not very special, but here too the same explanation is given about the flag and the reasons for making this flag. Remarkably enough, the explanation is given about the colours of the flag. At least on the original version. Then it turns out that the original version looked slightly different. The reason why this flag was changed had to do with the criticism. This one would look too much like the Lesbian Pride Flag.

So if you leave the idea of Vincian Pride Flag for what it is and go for the Gay Men Pride Flag, you end up with the following flag:

The original Gay Men Pride Flag
The Original Gay Men Pride Flag.
Image source: Pride Flags.

This one was later modified to:

The Gay Men Pride Flag
The second design.

Somewhere in this route, the flag was suddenly called Vincian Pride Flag. Officially, this is the Gay Men Pride Flag. The flag, therefore, evokes resistance. This is not entirely justified when you view the screenshot below from the archived Tumblr page.

Screenshot with the explanation about the first Gay Men Pride Flag.
Screenshot with the explanation about the first Gay Men Pride Flag.
Image source: Archived version of the Tumblr page Ask-Pride-Color-Schemes.

The new flag has a slightly different meaning:

  • Dark green: The Community
  • Green: Healing.
  • Light green: Joy.
  • White: GNC, non-binary, trans men.
  • Light purple: Pure love.
  • Purple: Strength, sturdiness or determination.
  • Dark purple: Diversity.

So much for the lack of inclusiveness and diversity, I think…

Vincian, Achillean, Wildean

The only question that remains is what to do with that Vincian Pride Flag. Or the word vincian at all?

It again comes down to the search you perform using your favourite search engine. I realise that what I write, may offend some. That’s not intended that way.

Vincian is mainly a word used online. When I search for the word on Nonbinary Wiki, for example, I find only a short mention. Before you immediately think that I consider this to be something to do with non-binary, I don’t. This Wiki contains a wealth of information beyond just that topic. So highly recommended!

The word vincian can be found under the heading Achillean/MLM. With that, you can assume that it concerns relationships between men, the attraction between men or as it is described via Nonbinary Wiki: MLM in other words; ‘man who loves men.’ So that’s Achillean. The term is a derivative of Achilles. Another synonym for Achillean is vincian. This is a derivative of Leonardo da Vinci. Indeed, vincian is nothing but a reference to Leonardo da Vinci. Because Da Vinci was said to have been homosexual. We don’t know if that was true. Sigmund Freud, in 1922, at least said it was true.

Another theory for the use of this very name may, of course, have to do with Homo Universalis. The universal man. That was actually this man. What wasn’t he really doing? Architecture, philosophy, sculpture, and painting, just to name a few. Therefore he was the Uomo universale, the universal man or polymath. That has nothing to do with being gay. Well with the way that you could actually achieve anything, whenever you want. A very wonderful thought. An inspiring thought. Especially when you consider that in Da Vinci’s time it was not always easy to carry out certain scientific experiments. The influence of the church was significant. It was precisely that church that was against homosexuality. That could also explain why Da Vinci preferred to go ‘under cover’ with regard to his own sexual preference. We don’t know, we weren’t there.

All good reasons for some to use the name Vincian(s). Well, not for everyone. Some use the word Achillean and others Wildean, inspired by Oscar Wilde. However, many people still use words they have been using for centuries. Words like gay men, gays or whatever seem fitting. Words like Vincian, Achillean or Wildean are perhaps more related to the online world. Maybe not the word Wildean then. That word is probably used more often in literary circles.

Whatever word you decide to use, it doesn’t matter. Will there be an acceptance of those categories or those words? Probably yes, but the names of the categories may not be used equally by everyone. Maybe soon. The same applies to the flag or flags.

Perhaps in another version of this article, I can give more updates about all of this.

More information

The Lesbian Pride Flags

There are several known flags for the lesbian community. The flag below is considered the “general flag.”

The Lesbian Pride Flag.
The Lesbian Pride Flag.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

It has been quite a debate whether or not the above flag represented the entire lesbian community or not. There was a flag, but it was rejected. Simply because there were too many objections. Is a flag representing the group of women in the LGBTQIA+ community one that should be designed by a man? Even if that man is from the LGBTQIA+ community? That did happen with the Labrys Lesbian Pride Flag. The flag also consisted of a symbol that was linked to the persecution of lesbian women.

A flag with a kiss print on it, which really only represented part of the community, was that a good representation for the whole community?

In short, there have been some discussions before a flag was presented as an option in 2018. This flag was designed by Emily Gwen and it seems that the flag is accepted.

What about the other flags? Let me start with the flag with the kiss print.

The Lip Stick Lesbian Flag

The Lipstick Lesbian Pride Flag.
The Lipstick Lesbian Pride Flag.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons.

This flag is a result of the term that was introduced in 1982 by Priscilla Rhoads. At the time, Rhoades was working for the San Francisco Sentinel and wrote an article entitled “Lesbians for Lipstick.” This led to the term Lipstick Lesbians.

For one woman it was the way to identify herself, for the other not at all. Not every woman considers herself to be that lipstick-wearing lesbian. As a result, the flag was not considered universally accepted. Because of the kiss print.

Lesbian Pride Flag Pink.
This is also the Lesbian Pride Flag according to some. This flag is based on the Lipstick Lesbian Pride Flag but without the kiss print. This flag was introduced after the seven-striped flag.
Image source: Wikipedia.

The original flag with the red kiss print was designed by Natalie McCray. That was in 2010. Yes, it is a different flag than the one we have known since 2018. The McCray flag is therefore still used, but you cannot see this separately from the discussion about this. McCray was accused of being transphobic, biphobic and racist the same year the new flag was introduced. The result was the introduction of the flag we know today. A flag with different colours and therefore a different meaning.

The Labrys Lesbian Pride Flag

The Labrys Lesbian Pride Flag.
The Labrys Lesbian Pride Flag.
Image source: Wikipedia.

Things also went wrong with the Labrys Lesbian Pride Flag. While Sean Campbell, who works as a graphic designer for the Gay and Lesbian Times, had good intentions, he made the mistake of designing a flag. Campbell is a man and therefore designed the flag for lesbian women. That was not very well received. Despite the good intentions.

Those good intentions consisted, for example, of a choice for a powerful symbol from antiquity: the labrys. A reference to history. To mythology. To the island of Lesbos. The flag also makes you think in a different way when it comes to history. The black triangle to be exact. The same kind of triangle as the Nazis used to identify homosexuals in the concentration camps.

The Lesbian Pride Flag (seven stripes)

The Lesbian Flag

The meaning of the flag with the seven stripes is as follows:

  • Dark orange: Gender non-conformity.
  • Orange: Independence.
  • Light orange: The lesbian community.
  • White: Relationships unique to femininity.
  • Light pink: Peace and serenity.
  • Pink: Love and sexuality.
  • Dark pink: Femininity.

About the dark orange stripe (gender non-conformity): this concerns the connection you can find with ‘things’ that are seen as ‘standard’ for a different gender than your own. This breaks (with) standards.

More information

The Butch Lesbian Pride Flag

The Butch Lesbian Pride Flag.
The Butch Lesbian Pride Flag.
Image source: Sexual Diversity.org.
The Butch Lesbian Flag (2017).
The Butch Lesbian Flag that was introduced in 2017.
Image source: Nonbinary Wiki.

Butch lesbians are considered the opposite of lipstick lesbians. People tend to speak in terms like ‘masculine’ or ‘masculine looking.’ That is of course not how it should be. It is better to talk about breaking with traditional gender roles and expressions.

Breaking with those gender roles is extremely important because that was exactly what happened in the 1940s in the United States. That was the period when this expression (slang) was first used. In that period, women started working in the industry for the first time, because men were called up for military service. In doing so, they went against the prevailing social rules. This wasn’t just about lesbians. You can say that it was the first step towards the emancipation of women. However, this came to a halt after the war. Men returned and women were forced to assume their roles in society. At least, the role that society imposed on them. So what was new in the 1940s was the emergence of a group of women who showed that it was possible for women to love women. Although that was not yet socially accepted.

Following the 1940s came a period in the United States of strong anti-homosexual tendencies. This was completely in line with the course that was being followed at that time. Strict traditional, conservative values. In opposition to this, the butch lesbians manifested themselves against this sentiment, among others. Ultimately, this was not limited to the United States alone. Other countries also saw that things could and should be done differently. Closely related to this is, of course, the struggle that women waged for equal rights.

When you talk about butch lesbians, you cannot avoid the terms stone butch), butch and femme (where the word femme is the French word for woman and is used for a certain type of lesbian relationship, in which one partner takes on a certain role and the other partner takes on a different role) and femme (literally the French word for woman, which actually means a lesbian woman). These are just as important.

The Butch Lesbian Pride Flag was designed by Dorian-rutherford via Tumblr in 2016. One year later the Tumblr account Butchspace came up with a new design. Since that time, both flags actually compete for who represents the group.

The flag of Dorian-rutherford consists of the colours blue, white, and three different shades of purple. The meaning of the flag is as follows:

The Butch Lesbian Pride Flag.
The Butch Lesbian Pride Flag.
Image source: Sexual Diversity.org.
  • Blue: Masculinity.
  • White: People of different gender and sexuality spectrum.
  • Purple: Lesbian and persons identified as women.
The Butch Lesbian Flag (2017).
The Butch Lesbian Flag that was introduced in 2017.
Image source: Nonbinary Wiki.

The flag presented via Butchspace consists of seven stripes. The explanation of the flag:

  • Red: Passion and sexuality.
  • Light red/orange-red: Courage..
  • Light orange: Joy.
  • White: Renewal (discovery).
  • Beige: Chivalry.
  • Orange: Warmth and comfort.
  • Brown: Honesty.
More information

The Pansexual Pride Flag

The Pansexual Pride Flag.
The Pansexual Pride Flag.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons.

Like many other flags, the Pansexual Pride Flag was introduced on the social website Tumblr. For a long time it wasn’t clear who designed this flag. Not until Jasper V decided to share this post on Tumblr (the original version of this post is still available. However, it’s Tumblr, so you never know how long it’s still available).

Pansexuality is basically the attraction to persons of all gender identities and all biological sexes. Don’t confuse this with bisexuality. You could actually say that gender plays a lesser role.

Back to the flag. It consists of three colours: pink, yellow and blue. The explanation for this flag is as follows:

  • Pink: For anyone who, as a woman, identifies herself as a woman, regardless of biological sex.
  • Yellow: The “middle” is anyone who identifies as bisexual, non-gender, non-binary, agender, androgynous, genderqueer, or rejecting gender altogether. In addition, it defines the non-binary attraction between male and female genders.
  • Blue: For anyone who identifies as male, regardless of biological sex.
More information

The Polysexual Pride Flag

The Polysexual Pride Flag.
The Polysexual Pride Flag.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons.
Author: McLennonSon.
The only flag on this page that requires a clear copyright notice is that of the Polysexual Pride Flag according to Wikimedia Commons. Remarkable. That is striking, by the way, because you wouldn’t say that when you see these flags during a Pride meeting…

Polysexuality and pansexuality are two different things. They may be similar in name. That’s where it ends.

Polysexuality is the romantic, sexual or emotional feelings towards multiple gender identities and biological sexes, but with a limitation per individual. So it differs per person what preference. Some believe that this is a form of bisexuality.

Tumblr user Samlin presented this flag in 2012 and said it was inspired by the Bisexual Pride Flag and the Pansexual Pride Flag. The colours of this flag are pink, green and blue and the meaning is:

  • Pink: Attraction to women or individuals who identify as women.
  • Green: Attraction to non-binary people.
  • Blue: Attraction to men or persons who identify as men.
More information

We’re not done yet!

Certainly not! We’re not done yet! That’s somewhat confusing. There are so many other flags that I haven’t covered yet. I’ll make it clear right away: I’m not going to cover them all. For example, there are the flags of the subcultures within the LGBTQIA+ community that I have not yet discussed. Each with its own flag, each with its own meaning. Some of these flags have been around for a very long time, while others have been designed recently.

The following also applies: I do not apply value judgments or valuations. Below you can see just a few examples.

The Feather Drag Pride Flag.
The Feather Drag Pride Flag.
This flag was designed by Sean Campbell for the drag community in 1999. The flag uses the phoenix symbol.
Image source:
Sexual Diversity.org
The Leather Pride Flag.
The Leather Pride Flag. The Leather Pride Flag is a flag that has been in use since the 1990s and was designed in 1989 for the International Miss Leather conference. Good to know is that this flag is actually not only used by the LGBTQIA+ community alone. Within the BDSM community, this flag is used as a common symbol. source image: Wikimedia Commons.
The Rubber Pride Flag.
The Rubber Pride Flag was designed in 1994 by Peter Tolos and Scott Moats. This flag is not specifically designed for the LGBTQIA+ community, but for the entire rubber or latex fetish community. On this page, you can read more about the backgrounds and the meaning of the colours of the flag. Image source: Wikimedia Commons.
The Bear Brotherhood Flag.
The Bear Brotherhood Flag is for that part of the male gay community that meets certain physical characteristics, as you can read on this page of Sexual Diversity.org. The flag was designed by Craig Byrnes in 1995.
Image source: Sexual Diversity.org
The BDSM Rights Flag.
The BDSM Rights Flag.
This flag is based on the Leather Pride Flag and is not completely tied to the LGBTQIA+ community. The flag is for the entire BDSM community.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons.
The Master-Slave Pride Flag.
The Master-Slave Pride Flag. Just like the BDSM Pride Flag, this flag is not exclusively associated with the LGBTQIA+ community.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons.
The Slave-Master Pride Flag.
The Slave-Master Pride Flag.
This flag is also not exclusively associated with the LGBTQIA+ community. Image source: Wikimedia Commons.
The Pony Pride Flag.
The Pony Pride Flag.
This flag is also part of the BDSM community and not also directly associated with only the the LGBTQIA+ community.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons.
More information

The controversial flag

In the original article, I included a flag that evokes resistance within the LGBTQIA+ community and beyond. That is the Polyamory Pride Flag.

The word polyamory comes from the Greek word poly (meaning: many) and the Latin word amor (love). Polyamory is a relationship that includes more than one partner at the same time, with the consent of all partners involved. People who are involved in polyamorous relationships define themselves to be more open.

There is, however, a difference between polygamy and bigamy. These types of relationships that include types of marriages – some religious, some not – are considered illegal in many countries around the world. The difference between polyamory and these two other types of relationships: there is no marital bond. However, testamentary agreements can be made. However, no legal claims can be made or legal guarantees can be given based on such relationships.

Polyamorous relationships provoke resistance. They aren’t widely accepted. The norm for many is monogamy or being single.

When it comes to the LGBTQIA+ community, there is another interesting discussion. To what extent would the Polyamory Pride Flag belong within the LGBTQIA+ community? This brings us to the question of why I chose to include the flag in this article. That immediately explains the title of this part (“The controversial flag”).

Are these relationships tied to sexual preference or not? They don’t have to be. That is possible, but it does not necessarily have to be. Nor does it have to be the case that certain sexual relationships are based on sexual balance or a certain gender or gender identity.

In the first version of this article (2021), I decided to include the flag. Because it could be a relationship between, for example, three people, of which two people could be of the same sex. In addition: didn’t the people from the community participate during the Pride Walks?

It seemed to me that they also wanted to draw attention to their rights. Whether you agree with the values or not. It’s about how they want to live their lives. That is no different from any form of love. At least, the normal way of loving then. Barring the terrible exceptions, of course. Let there be no doubt about that. I don’t stand for those excesses.

No, I’m not advocating changing the way we continue or even begin our relationships. Not even for how we organize our marriages, for example. I am still writing this as someone who is married and will not change anything about this relationship.

What is not quite right is how the persons concerned position themselves. People equate themselves with, for example, gays or lesbians who are beaten up because of their sexual orientation. Or the transgender people who are subjected to violence because of their identity. Or the other members of the LGBTQIA+ community who are systematically discriminated against.

People in polyamorous relationships are having a rough time, I realize that. Misunderstanding, and judgement, can be difficult. I’m not someone that blames them for their way of life. I just haven’t heard stories about people beaten up for living that way, for loving that way. Perhaps I haven’t been listening very well. Perhaps, I haven’t been reading the right websites. My mistake, I’m truly sorry for that. However, I’m not the only one having these difficulties. Kim Barret is part of the LGBTQIA+ community and the Polyamory community. In her article, she states that there is a need to take a few steps back when it comes to taking a place within the LGBTQIA+ community. Instead of taking this place, the Polyamory Community should march together with the LGBTIA+ community. I archived this article on Medium just to be sure. Check out the archived link here. The original link can be found here.

Food for thought!

The Polyamory Pride Flag

The Polyamory Pride Flag (1995).
The Polyamory Pride Flag (1995).
Image source: Sexual Diversity.org.
The Polyamory Flag (2022).
The Polyamory Flag (2022).
Image source: Wikimedia Commons.

The first Polyamory Pride Flag was designed by Jim Evans in 1995. It included three horizontal stripes and the PI Symbol in the middle. It had the following meaning:

  • Blue: Openness and honesty between all partners with whom relations are conducted.
  • Red: Love, passion and attraction.
  • Black: Solidarity with those who, under social pressure, have to hide their relationships from the outside world.
  • The PI sign: The first letter of the word polyamory, in gold. Because this colour represents the value one attaches to it (friendly, romantic or only physical relationships).

Red Howell designed a new flag in 2022. The flag was presented at polyamproud.com. Howell’s design won the contest that was held.

New in the design was the white part. According to the maker, this symbolized the growth and possibilities of the community. This white part is deliberately applied asymmetrically, to indicate the non-traditional way of relationships. The yellow heart is love in all forms represented by non-monogamous relationships, according to its creator. New was only the colour purple instead of black. Therefore, the full meaning of the flag’s colours after 2022 became:

  • Blue Openness and honesty between all partners with whom relations are conducted.
  • Red: Love and attraction.
  • Purple: The united non-monogamous community.
  • Gold: The energy and perseverance of the community.
More information

The most controversial of all…

The Straight Ally Pride Flag.
The Straight Ally Pride Flag.
Image source: Sexual Diversity.org.

Is this the most controversial flag of all? If you disregard the flags that represent hetero exclusivity, yes. I also ignore that. Those flags also exist and have nothing to do with the LGBTQIA + community. So what does this flag have to do with the community? Who is this flag for anyway?

This flag is for the allies. Indeed, the allies of the LGBTQIA+ community. The straight allies. That immediately makes it controversial. Are straight people discriminated against because they are straight? Are they beaten up for walking down the street holding hands? Are they at risk of being excluded or persecuted for how they love? The latter depends on the type of relationship, but that depends entirely on the country where they live. Under normal circumstances, you can simply answer “no” to most questions. So why should those straight people have their flag?

To be clear (again): this is not the flag as made by the opponents of the LGBTQIA+ community, the ‘gender ideology’ as they call it or ‘everything rainbow.’ So those flags are there too. I call them “hate flags.” No, this Straight Ally Pride Flag is for the allies and it breaks with that sentiment where some straights still think everything is forced on them.

Why don’t straight people have Pride? Did you know that straight people are discriminated against? Heterosexuals are getting more and more difficult, because of everything LGBTQIA+ and all the attention is shifting… Children are being indoctrinated. No, they are being brainwashed. Rainbows, gender ideology, marches for equality…

Does that sound familiar? They could be reactions to any news item on social media. I read those comments about the Canal Parade in Amsterdam for example. Or the moment when a bench was placed in a public park with the cheerful colours of the Pride Flag. Not to mention the zebra crossing with the colours of the Rainbow Flag.

Well, bad news for those who are so worried that there’s no flag for heterosexual people. There are flags. I’m only covering this one. Not the ridiculous hate flags. This one is important, though it is considered controversial.

Is there a need for a flag for the Allies? These Allies aren’t part of the LGBTQIA+ community now are they? Their friends and family can be. Or they are just good citizens who see that these are people that need support and love. Not that they are pathetic and need support because they can’t do it themselves. That is precisely not the message that is linked to the flag and the term Ally.

One, two, three, Ally?

It’s not a matter of one, two, three, Ally… You can’t be an Ally until you’ve gone through three stages.

Phase 1

This first phase is about the people around you. About the people, you care about. Usually, these are relatives or friends. Self-interest comes first, but not necessarily in a negative sense. In this case, your interest is also the interest of the people around you, because as an ally you want to support these people. Consider, for example, how parents support their children when they talk about their sexual preference or their identity. The disadvantage is that the support is limited to a small group or circle. Logical, because the focus is only on the people who are close by. If there is a second phase, then this view is broadened.

Major social problems are seen by the allies in this phase, but they are not tackled. These problems are there, but they would rather arise from certain individuals than from a larger whole. For example, consider bullying. Bullying behaviour arises from a certain behaviour that could be changed by a broad social development.

Phase 2

In the second phase, selflessness is central. The ally is now aware that social developments are necessary to bring about a change, whereby not only one person can be affected positively, but a larger group. It is also clear that the ally enjoys certain social privileges. There is still the feeling that something or someone needs to be helped as or with a kind of life buoy.

Phase 3

The last phase consists of the fight for social justice. Side by side, you could say. To enforce respect for those who are oppressed and deserve equal treatment. The difference here is that the ally is fully aware of the fact that the group being supported is perfectly capable of standing up for itself. Throwing out the aforementioned life buoy is therefore no longer necessary.

Keith Edwards

These phases or stages are based on the thoughts of sociologist Keith Edwards and are described both here and here.

It all starts with empathizing with a certain situation. That’s what I did in 2021 trying to understand the meaning of the different flags I saw during the Pride Walk. Nearly two years later, I felt it necessary to move on. The article was incomplete, as it was missing some relevant links. Moreover, flags had been added and flags had to be removed. I will discuss the latter in a moment.

Before then, of course, I was busy with all this. I went through phase one as a parent of a child who one day told me something beautiful. Phase two came when I had the idea that so much still had to change in our society. That I don’t get beaten up because I belong to a different group. Yet I still felt like I had to throw life preservers into the water everywhere.

Does that make me ready for phase three? I cannot and will not answer that question. That’s why I’m moving on to a completely different topic. It’s the part about why I decided to remove certain flags from this article.

The missing flags

While translating the words ‘De verdwenen vlaggen’ (that’s Dutch, try pronouncing that!), I ended up with The Missing Flags. It almost sounds like it’s the title of an exciting novel.

The Mystery of the Missing Flags. Part one is in stores now!

Seriously, it’s not!

After weeks of working on first the Dutch version of this article and then the English translation of it, I have become a bit jolly. That has nothing to do with the topic. It just shows that I put a lot of time and effort into it. Because I like to do well. That is why I have chosen to give a clear motivation for why certain flags did not return in this version of this article.

Of course, I don’t have to explain that. I am not accountable. I thought it would be a good idea to take you into my world of thoughts. As you’ve noticed, I like doing that.

I don’t think it is necessary to ask whether you know that a lot can change in two years’ time. When you look at the world after corona… We’ve all learned that it’s much easier to work from home, for example.

A lot can also change when it comes to flags. Let me keep it at that. While editing this article, I found out that flags that were introduced earlier with a lot of fanfare were actually not that widely accepted. That was a reason not to include those flags anymore. Only I wanted to know what was the reason why they faded into the background.
Had they suddenly become less important? Were they replaced? Or was there no acceptance?

It turned out to be a bit of everything, actually. Take the Neptunic Pride Flag as an example. This flag belongs to the neptunic or neptunian identity. Chances are you may never have heard of it. This means that the person in question is attracted to non-binary and feminine genders. Basically all genders, except male and masculine genders. Around 2017 there was attention to this identity, but after that, this identity received less attention. Is this identity suddenly no longer important? Not for the person or persons who wish to be identified as such. In fact, the identity together with, for example, uranic (attracted to men, masculine and androgynous and non-binary persons, except female and feminine persons) is the so-called MOGAI. MOGAI is an abbreviation for the English words marginalized orientations, gender alignments and intersex. That means marginalized orientations, gender alignments and intersex (persons).

Not everyone is equally happy with these MOGAI identities because they would often consist of something that already exists. Moreover, it would break with existing history within the community. It is a development of the first half of the 21st century, with some ascribing this to social media, for example. The volatility of social media in particular would play a role in this. This does not necessarily mean that these new identities would automatically be wrong. It is clear that this kind of thing is being thought about. If I take the example of the Neptunic Pride Flag, then it is clear that the flag presented in 2017 did not become it. Another flag that was presented a year later, also via social media, has now become more widely accepted. Which flag is that exactly? Take a guess…

Rotterdam Pride 2022
Rotterdam Pride 2022.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons.

The flags on the photo taken in Rotterdam in 2022 are those of the Progress Pride Flag and aren’t about identity, therefore it concerns a symbol. The message is still the same. It’s the thought that counts here. The idea that people think about what’s important. Whether it concerns their identity or a way to represent a part of the community or even the community itself.

A good question to ask is to what extent it improves clarity. You can compare it with the different political parties. How many political parties are there with, for example, a socialist foundation? How many with a social democratic? Or a Christian? Or how about all the different religions and divisions within these religions? Perhaps not the best example, as not all religions are that open-minded or outreaching to the LGBTQIA+ community. Some of these religions even actively promote hate.

So, a better example is a comparison with food. By that, I mean the different types of food that are similar to each other. They look alike but are different. They are all available in the same supermarket you walk into. Then compare the supermarket with the LGBTQIA+ community. The different types of food with the groups within the community. Think about that the next time you walk into the supermarket.

I have to slow down now. Slow down a bit and maybe even hit the brakes. I have come to the topic we know as xenogender. This can lead to a difficult discussion. A discussion that starts with a simple question: How far do you actually want to go when it comes to identity?

It’s very simple, I don’t want to offend anyone. I chose to include the part about xenogender in a separate part. I do that after the section on gender expression and gender identity.

When it comes to the disappeared flags, it is actually very simple: they disappeared because there was no widespread acceptance. That doesn’t make them any less important. They are important to everyone they stand for or to everyone they represent. There are exceptions though. Then we are not talking about certain excesses. It goes without saying that we are not talking about the insane theories that the LGBTQIA+ community is gearing up for expansion with the letter P of paedophilia. These rumours are still circulating in 2023. Despite being debunked by various fact-checkers, there is still a group actively spreading these fake news stories. That is mainly the alt-right movement.

More information

Gender expression and gender identity

In my opinion, discussing LGBTQIA+ flags is not possible without a section on gender identity and gender expression. Not even without talking about sexual orientation. That’s why I’ve made a section in this article to go into it in more detail.

The flags raise questions about this. Sometimes the terms are used interchangeably. That is possible but does not always have to be the case. The expression does not always have to be linked to identity. Sexual orientation does not always have to be linked to identity. Sexual orientation does not always have to be linked to gender identity.

What exactly do these terms mean?

Gender identity

That’s what you feel inside and it is what you are. The best-known examples are women and men. At least, those are the traditional gender identities. If you look closely at the LGBTQIA+ community, you can add to this list. Then think of all the gender identities I discussed here. There are many more. You can read more about this on this website.

Gender expression

Gender expression is the outside. How to publicly express your gender identity. This includes clothing, hairstyle (as far as possible), make-up, body language and voice. At least, if you want to assign these examples to a specific gender. This makes the discussion about this all the more interesting. For example, what is typically feminine? Or what is a typical male? It is therefore a misconception to think that gender expression can be traced back to gender identity. It is possible, but this is not necessary. Incidentally, addressing someone about it is prohibited by law, because this falls under discrimination (since 2019). Rightly so, by the way!

Sexual orientation

Your sexual orientation is related to concepts such as preference and sexual identity. Yet the orientation is different. It’s about what you want, sexually. Your desires, thoughts and your fantasies. It’s also about your romantic attraction.

There are probably others who can describe the concepts of gender identity, gender expression and sexual preference much better than I did. I made an attempt. From my vision. If there are things that are not correct, I would like to hear from you!

More information

* = The neutrality of some parts of this Wikipedia article is disputed.


First of all, I want to emphasize that I really try to understand a lot. That I do my best to empathize with what others think. It is therefore not the intention to ridicule others in any way. What I describe below is what it’s all about when it comes to xenogender.

What is xenogender?

Xenogenders are identities that go beyond all existing identities as far as we know them. Based on all standards. It even goes further than breaking with the binary system. Xenogender identities can be based on first names, names of existing or non-existent animals, shapes, light, sound or other sensory characteristics.


Xenogender falls under marginalized orientations, gender alignments and intersex (MOGAI). In other words, the marginalized are growing within the LGBTQIA+ community.

This group only generates the necessary resistance both within the community and outside it. The group itself tries to do everything possible to give a good explanation. A lot of information is available in English. The disadvantage of the information is that in many cases it is often not clear. The information is written with good intentions, but mainly contains information for people ‘who are.’ The information is difficult to understand for anyone who would like to understand it. It is also difficult to understand for anyone who wants to read it. A good effort is made in this article on the website LGBTQ Nation.

There’s a chance you might think: “It does make sense.” There’s also a possibility you might not feel that way. In a way, it could be like it’s an attempt to define ‘something’ that’s already there; an identity with another name.

Is this a good idea?

You can ask if it’s a good idea. More booths. Even more distinction. When you have to deal with it yourself, you naturally say yes. If it’s new to you, it might be something that makes you say no. It’s another thing you need to learn more about. Sometimes that’s hard, and sometimes that’s hard. The only problem is: no one should be a nuisance. No one should ever be “too much.” That’s why I also included this part.

More than just xenogender

Trust me, there’s more than just xenogender when it comes to MOGAI. How about (for example): abigender, cadensgender, cosmicgender, dryagender, genderwhat, ilyagender, juxera, metagender, nanogender, paragirl, paraboy…

Indeed, MOGAI is more than just xenogender. These aren’t large groups of people. Sometimes the number of people is limited. Online surveys only provide a limited number of results. It’s about people defining themselves in a certain way. Then you arrive at the point of identification, so at the point of identity.

What is gender identity anyway?

I wrote about gender identity. It’s about this being who you are inside. The gender with which someone can be identified is, in the first place, by that person himself. Let’s not forget that. Your gender identity is entirely up to you.

Is the world ready for this?

Maybe you can ask the question if the world is ready for it. Is the world ready? What I actually mean by this is: are the people who have rigorously set aside the binary system in this way perhaps light years further away from us ordinary people? That is of course also possible. Are they perhaps some kind of advocates of what will come in the future? Or maybe not at all, of course, that is also possible.

Just like the missing flags, this part may also be dropped in a future version of this article. Who’s to say? Don’t know. I’m not an expert, but someone who watches it all from the sidelines. Someone who may have once again used the wrong words. If so, kindly correct me. It wasn’t an attack. You’re valid! By the way, I’m not the one who decides that. Who am I to decide such a thing? I don’t even have that much influence and power! I’m just that simple, writing family man. One trying to understand. That’s all it is. If I have not, again, correct me.

Am I ready for this?

Now the most difficult question of all. Am I ready? Reading the above, you would be tempted to think that I am a proponent of xenogender. I don’t reject anything. I don’t disapprove of anything. I indeed think it might be a wise idea to think carefully about whether a certain identity might not already exist. How important is it to distinguish yourself because it may not exist yet or because you are special? I am not suggesting that it is a question of seeking attention. Everyone is special in my opinion. What I do struggle with is the idea that I have to compare genders with animals, objects or astral projections. Just because I have a problem with that doesn’t mean I reject it. If that is a necessity for you, then this is so for you. Conversely, you respect me, don’t you? You also respect my identity. As I wrote earlier: you are valid.

What I refuse to go along with is the idiotic theory of the alt-right movement, which is not based on truth. This one comes up in several places in this article and has to do with the false claim about the addition of the letter P to the abbreviation LGBTQIA+. Paedophilia would be added to the abbreviation LGBTQIA+ based on a conspiracy theory. A conspiracy theory that is not based on the truth that disgustingly downplays the entire community. I’ve already shared the links to the Reuters and Snopes websites, but just to be clear:

This disgusting theory is not only an insult to everyone who belongs to the community, but also to everyone who supports and cares about the community. It won’t surprise you that I count myself among them. I support the community and care about the community. Not because I think it’s sad what’s happening to the community. No, out of respect. Out of appreciation. The struggle that has been and continues to be fought for emancipation does not only benefit the community. It also benefits other parts of society. Just think about that!

Besides, it would be weird not to support the community when my two darling children belong to it. Although that also happens… unfortunately… Incomprehensible to me…

I’m digressing! It’s time to wrap up.

Final thoughts…

Why does a stay-at-home dad write so extensively about this subject? Shouldn’t I leave it up to others? For instance, people who are part of the LBGTQIA+ community? Are there others who can do this better than I can? This article may contain errors. These are all valid arguments that you can make about why I should not have written this article in 2021, to begin with. Yet I did so with all my enthusiasm, a few days after we went to the Amsterdam Pride Walk as a family. To support our eldest child. Later it turned out that we also supported our youngest child.

Do you know what happened then? I wanted to learn more. About the flags and their history. Because I was interested and because I thought it was special. I didn’t know everything and thought it was time to broaden my knowledge. Wasn’t that part of my role as a supportive parent? I thought so.

I knew something about the subcultures within the LGBTQIA+ community, but not everything. I didn’t know everything about the different gender identities either. Even after researching for a second article, I can honestly share with you that I’m still open to learning new things: I still don’t know everything.

That’s how I learned that the list of gender identities is long. According to one, there are 70 identities. Via Wikipedia, I counted 96. Others say it is as many as 200. The number doesn’t matter. What matters is that there should be respect. The same goes for the way you want to love each other. When it’s in a healthy way of course. I think it is clear what you may understand by that (you have read that before in the text and I will not repeat it).

Our family consists of two girls. One is a cis girl, the other is a trans girl. Both girls have their preference; girls. Both their mother and I support them in who they are. It never occurred to us to question their decision or their feelings. What I did doubt was my knowledge. I knew enough to be able to talk about the topics they thought were important. That is the community they are part of. That’s why I think it’s important to read about it, to know more about it. But also because I value the community. The struggle for emancipation that is being waged is also bearing fruit in other areas. Think of women’s emancipation, and the emancipation of minorities. You are taught to think more critically and to ask questions.

What do I want to achieve with this? I don’t want to convince anyone. Convert no one. It was just to indicate what I found. That’s all it was. If you learned something and found it instructive, that’s a bonus. If you have a bad feeling after this, this can be due to two reasons.

The first reason: I made mistakes while figuring it out. Maybe I misunderstood or misstated things. My apologies for that. Help me by making things right. In a friendly manner. Then I’ll fix it! It’s not unwillingness. No sign of disrespect.

The second reason: you can’t stand all that “rainbow indoctrination” or all that “woke nonsense.” The big question is of course: What do you do on a family man’s website? How woke do you want that? Or is that not woke enough? No idea. Just look for another nice website, there are plenty of them.

If you could appreciate it all and you came this far, I think that’s very clever of you! You may know that putting all this together took more time than in 2021. To be precise: three weeks. The original article took me four days. It is of course a great laugh when this article is full of all kinds of errors…

The article was never intended as some kind of mansplaining. If that’s how it came across, apologies. Nor is it a cisman story. That’s me, sorry. What it is: an involved father. Who is always willing to learn more. So who knows when another update will appear?!

Thanks for reading all this! Do you have suggestions? Then I’d love to hear from you!

Image at the top of this page: Unsplash.

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