Here Are 5 Different Flags You’re Likely to See During Pride Month 2021
For a much more comprehensive look at the various LGBTQ flags, head here.
For a second year in a row, Pride Month 2021 is guaranteed to be unlike most Pride Months to come before. Not only is the world still reeling from lockdown, which for a second year has relegated some in-person Pride events to virtual gatherings, but in many places around the globe there’s also been a conscious, continued effort to expend our Pride energy on a battle that needs it now more than ever, the fight for Black, Brown and Asian lives.
But one thing is certain: Pride Month 2021 isn’t going anywhere, and this June is as great an opportunity as ever for the LGBTQ community to showcase our Pride and continue the fight for visibility, representation and equal rights. One of the most simple ways for queer people and allies to show solidarity is through one of the many LGBTQ flags you’ll see making the rounds this month.
Here’s a look at some of the LGBTQ flags you’ll no doubt see during Pride Month 2021:
1. The 6-Color Pride Flag (1979)
The most familiar of all the LGBTQ flags, this is the one you’re most likely to see during Pride Month, and the one most commonly associated with the community. You’ll see it just about everywhere this month, including in the social media campaigns and new Pride merch of allied organizations and companies.
But did you know this flag isn’t actually the LGBTQ community’s original rainbow flag?
2. Gilbert Baker’s original Pride Flag (1978)
While it was only used for around a year, gay activist Gilbert Baker’s original Pride flag featured two additional stripes compared to the LGBTQ flags most people are familiar with: one band of hot pink, and one band of turquoise. Those two stripes were removed not long after the flag’s original design (hot pink was the first to go, followed by turquoise) due to fabric unavailability, and indigo was replaced with royal blue.
But did you also know that the eight original stripes were each assigned their own significance? Hot pink represents Sex, red represents Life, orange represents Healing, yellow represents Sunlight, green represents Nature, turquoise represents Magic/Art, indigo represents Serenity and violet represents Spirit.
(And another piece of LGBTQ flags trivia: In 2017, Gilbert Baker himself created a nine-stripe version of his original flag, adding a lavender stripe to the top, symbolizing diversity.)
Of all the LGBTQ flags you’re likely to come across during Pride Month, this flag is the most rare, but many people appreciate that it’s the original design and that each color was imbued with a specific significance.
3. More Color More Pride Flag (2017)
In a concerted effort to raise awareness for queer people of color, the city of Philadelphia in 2017 redesigned the most commonly used of the LGBTQ flags to add a brown and black stripe, as part of a new campaign, “More Color More Pride.” Read more about that here.
The flag redesign sparked intense conversation within the LGBTQ community, with many loving the new design and many opposing the change. But the flag continues to see support today, and actor-producer-mogul Lena Waithe famously wore this more-inclusive flag as a cape to the 2018 Met Gala.
4. The Resistance Pride Flag (2017)
Shortly after the release of the Philadelphia Pride flag, an artist created the “Resistance Pride flag,” which features a clenched fist in every skin tone. (Some have attributed the creation of this flag to a Tumblr user named Yoshi, though we were unable to verify that.)
This flag received some criticism for co-opting the raised fist, which is commonly understood as a symbol of Black power, but of all the LGBTQ flags, this one is being seen more and more of late due to many queer people’s desire to support the Black Lives Matter and All Black Lives Matter movements.
5. The Progress Pride Flag (2018)
A brand-new flag entered the mix in 2018 when queer, non-binary, demisexual, Oregon-based designer Daniel Quasar created his “Progress Pride Flag,” adding a chevron to the flag’s left-hand side to represent the trans community, QPOCs and those we have lost to HIV/AIDS.
“I felt there needed to be more thought put into the design and emphasis of the flag to give it more meaning,” Quasar said. Similar to what Gilbert Baker had done, Quasar also assigned specific significance to each color: red represents life, orange represents healing, yellow represents sunlight, green represents nature, blue represents peace and harmony, purple represents spirit, light blue/light pink/white represents trans individuals, black and brown represents marginalized QPOC communities and black represents those living with HIV, those no longer living and those surrounded by stigma.
This flag, too, was met with many heated discussions. Many called the flag divisive, while others just weren’t happy with the flag’s aesthetic value.
Which of these 5 LGBTQ flags will you be flying proudly during Pride Month 2021?
This article was originally published on June 1, 2020. It has since been updated.