A Brief History of the Most Popular LGBTQ+ Flags
Much like the continuing evolution of the LGBTQ+ community so too do we see new flags emerge and in some cases even change with time. Here’s a summary of some of the most common LGTBQ+ flags origin histories:
Progress Pride Flag
The Progress Pride Flag was originally developed in 2018 by non-binary American designer and artist Daniel Quasar. Using the original rainbow flag as inspiration, Qasar integrated additional horizontal stripes which include the BIPOC and Transgender communities into the flag to help highlight these often marginalised communities.
The Rainbow Flag was designed by Gilbert Baker, an ex-serviceman who took up sewing in his spare time. Encouraged by gay leader Harvey Milk and close friend Arthur J. Bressan Jr to create a new symbol to represent “the dawn of a new gay consciousness and freedom”, Baker developed the Rainbow Flag. Initially including a hot pink horizontal line, shortages of hot pink fabric lead to the seven-colour version we commonly see today omitting pink. Seen as the most prevalent flag used by the LGBTQ+ community, it has also lead to updated versions including the Progress Pride Flag.
The Transgender Flag was created by trans woman Monica Helmes in 1999. Monica first flew the trans pride flag at the Phoenix Arizona LGBT pride celebration a year after its initial design. The first flag is now a part of the Smithsonian National Museum as a part of a special LGBT collection.
The Bisexual Flag was designed by Michael Page in 1998 to help increase the visibility of bisexuals in the LGBTQ+ community. Page wanted to help provide a symbol which was unique to bisexuals which could be used in a similar way how the rainbow flag was used for the broader community. Many saw this as important when at the time (and even today) many feel that the bisexual community is underrepresented and in some cases experiences discrimination within the community and greater society as a whole.
The Asexual Flag origin is unique compared to most other LGBTQ+ flag designs. The Asexual Flag was designed after the Asexual Visibility and Education Network held a contest on its online forum to create a flag as a symbol to represent the Asexual community. The winning design was created by the user “standup”. Made in 2010, this flag has increased in popularity with its clear message connecting the community and its allies.
The Intersex Flag was designed in 2013 by Morgan Carpenter. The yellow and purple design came about after Carpenter had travelled the world and not seen a symbol which represented the intersex community with respect and pride.
One of the most common designs of the Lesbian Flag was developed in 1999 by Sean Campbell, a graphic designer who initially published the design in the Gay and Lesbian Times Pride issue. The lesbian flag has seen various interactions be developed with different colours and even a “lipstick” Lesbian Flag which features a large graphic of coloured lips on the top left corner of the flag.
Non Binary Flag
The Non-Binary Flag was created by Kye Rowan in 2014 to help represent those who didn’t feel that they were fully represented by the Genderqueer Flag being used at the time.
The Pansexual Flag was created in 2010 by an anonymous Tumblr account known as Jasper V. The flag was developed to better differentiate with the bisexual community as being attracted to all peoples, even those outside of the male-female binary.
The Genderfluid Flag was designed by JJ Poole, an agender pansexual from New York, in 2013 to create a symbol that would represent those in the LGBTQ+ community whose gender identity and or expression is fluid.
How many pride flags are there?
There are over 30 different pride flags commonly used by the community and more constantly being introduced to help better reflect current and emerging groups. You can check out our range of LGBTQ+ Flags sold in our store.