Wellness Mental Health Social and Public Health 23 LGBTQ+ Pride Flags and What They Represent See each pride flag, and discover the history behind them. By Claire Gillespie Claire Gillespie Claire Gillespie is an experienced health and wellness writer. Her work appears across several publications including SELF, Women’s Health, Health, Vice, Verywell Mind, Headspace, and The Washington Post. health's editorial guidelines Updated on December 4, 2022 Share Tweet Pin Email The brightly colored flags that you may see on social media or in person to celebrate Pride and support LGBTQ+ rights serve an important purpose. While you are probably familiar with the traditional rainbow pride flag, there are many specific groups of people within the vast LGBTQ+ community that have their own flags and histories. Here are 23 pride flags that you should know and what they represent to people in the LGBTQ+ community. Adobe Stock The Importance of Pride Flags "Having a wide range of flags helps those groups feel more seen and offers them a simple visual way to identify themselves to others if or when they want to," Jo Eckler, PsyD, licensed clinical psychologist and author of "I Can't Fix You—Because You're Not Broken," told Health. Dr. Eckler explained that the different flags can help people find others who share their sexual or gender identity. Additionally, the flags can serve as an important teaching tool. "People sometimes see these flags, wonder what they mean, go and look them up, and end up learning something in the process," noted Dr. Eckler. The bigger picture is that a flag is more than simply a flag. LGBTQ+ identity intersects with all aspects of health—including mental, physical, and sexual health, among others. Far too often, LGBTQ+ people do not receive the same level of care as others. In 2017, the Center for American Progress conducted a survey, revealing that nearly one in 10 LGBTQ+ individuals reported adverse outcomes in clinical settings. For example, nearly three in 10 transgender people reported that providers refused to see them because of their gender identity. "Research has found that the less comfortable people are with their LGBTQ+ identities, the more likely they are to be depressed or more anxious, use or abuse substances, or have low self-esteem," Kevin L. Nadal, PhD, professor of psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, told Health. According to a report published in 2016 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 42.8% of gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents seriously contemplated attempting suicide. That statistic was compared to 14.8% of those who identified as heterosexual. "People who are uncomfortable with their LGBTQ+ identities are likely to have an array of physical health problems, and sometimes may even suffer from sexual health issues," noted Dr. Nadal. "This is why it's so important to celebrate LGBTQ+ people from a very early age." So, if you identify as straight and want to be an ally for the LGBTQ+ community—and there's even a flag for you, but more on that later—you should get to know the various flags and the history behind them. It's not an exhaustive list, but it's a good place to start. Original Rainbow Pride Flag Antonio Santos / Getty Images Per the National Park Service, artist Gilbert Baker designed the original rainbow pride flag in 1978 after witnessing several hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community. After the former Mayor of San Francisco Dan White shot and murdered Harvey Milk—who served as one of the first openly gay members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors—Baker set out to decorate the Gay Freedom Day Parade in 1978 with as many rainbow flags as possible to bring attention to that and several other tragedies. The original rainbow flag consisted of eight differently colored stripes, each one holding a specific meaning. From top to bottom, the colors were pink, red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, indigo, and violet, which represented sex, life, healing, sunlight, nature, magic and art, serenity, and spirit, respectively. Traditional Rainbow Pride Flag Antonio Santos / Getty Images In 1979, the traditional rainbow pride flag became popular, dropping the pink and turquoise stripes from Baker's version. According to EqualityMaine, distributors were unable to obtain enough pink fabric. Then, with the resulting uneven number of stripes not allowing activists to easily fly their flags, distributors also dropped the turquoise stripe. The six-stripe flag is the version that most people may be familiar with. More Color More Pride Flag Antonio Santos / Getty Images In 2017, the rainbow flag underwent further changes. Philadelphia campaign group More Color More Pride added two stripes, one black and the other brown, to the traditional rainbow flag in an effort to support racial diversity within the LGBTQ+ community. Screenwriter Lena Waithe showed her support for people of color, who are often excluded from the LGBTQ+ community, by wearing the More Color More Pride flag as a cape to the Met Gala in 2018. Bisexual Pride Flag Antonio Santos / Getty Images In 1998, after artist Michael Page learned many bisexual people like himself felt no connection to the rainbow pride flag, he created a flag as a new representative symbol. The bisexual pride flag has three sections: The top 40% is magenta, the middle 20% is lavender, and the bottom 40% is royal blue. The magenta stands for same-sex attraction, while the blue stands for opposite-sex attraction. In the middle of the flag, the lavender is a mixture of magenta and blue, representing both attractions. Lesbian Labrys Pride Flag Antonio Santos / Getty Images There are a number of flags representing lesbian pride, but the lesbian labrys pride flag takes inspiration from Greek mythology. In Ancient Greece, the Amazons were a tribe of warrior women who wielded the double-headed labrys axe. And during the 1970s, lesbian feminists adopted the labrys axe as a symbol. Per the Horniman Museum and Gardens, the black triangle on the flag refers to the marking used to identify lesbians who were forced into Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust, a symbol that the lesbian community later reclaimed. In 1999, graphic designer Sean Campbell brought the labrys and the black triangle together on one flag. Lipstick Lesbian Pride Flag Antonio Santos / Getty Images Another flag celebrating lesbian pride features stripes in shades of pink and red, a white bar in the center, and a lipstick kiss symbol in the top left corner. In 2010, artist Natalie McCray created the lipstick lesbian pride flag to represent femme lesbians, who adopt a traditionally feminine expression of their gender identities. However, according to the Horniman Museum and Gardens, some lesbians are uncomfortable being represented by the lipstick lesbian pride flag after McCray made bigoted comments online. Others have also criticized the flag for excluding butch lesbians, who adopt a traditionally masculine expression of their gender identities. New Lesbian Pride Flag Antonio Santos / Getty Images Following calls to update the lipstick lesbian pride flag to be inclusive of all lesbians, Emily Gwen modified the flag. Gwen removed the lipstick kiss symbol and added orange stripes to the top part of the new lesbian pride flag. From top to bottom, the seven stripes of the flag represent gender non-conformity, independence, community, unique relationships to womanhood, serenity and peace, love and sex, and femininity. Generally, the lesbian community accepts Gwen's creation because their flag represents butch, femme, and gender non-conforming lesbians. How the Gender-Neutral Barbie Would Have Completely Transformed My Childhood Pansexual Pride Flag Antonio Santos / Getty Images Nobody knows who designed the pansexual pride flag, which first appeared online in or around 2010. According to the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center at the University of Northern Colorado (GSRC) in Greeley, Colo, the flag consists of three stripes to symbolize pansexuality, which refers to either attraction regardless of gender or attraction to all genders. From top to bottom, the stripes are pink, yellow, and blue, which respectively represent attraction to women; attraction to those who identify as genderqueer, non-binary, agender, or androgynous; and attraction to men. Intersex Pride Flag Antonio Santos / Getty Images Intersex people are born with variations in sex characteristics—including chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals. Generally, intersex people do not conform to the societal expectations of cisgender men or cisgender women. So, it's fitting that the intersex pride flag, designed by bioethicist Morgan Carpenter in 2013, stays away from the blue and pink, colors traditionally associated with being masculine and feminine, respectively. "The circle is unbroken and unornamented, symbolizing wholeness and completeness, and our potentialities," wrote Carpenter in a statement for the advocacy group Intersex Human Rights Australia. "We are still fighting for bodily autonomy and genital integrity, and this symbolizes the right to be who and how we want to be." Asexual Pride Flag Antonio Santos / Getty Images Asexual is a term that represents people who have limited or no sexual feelings or desires. According to the Asexuality Archive, in 2010, a member of the Asexuality Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) created the asexual pride flag as part of a contest. From top to bottom, the flag includes black, grey, white, and purple stripes, which respectively represent asexuality, grey-asexuality or demisexuality, allies, and the asexual community. 5 Things You Need to Know About Being Asexual Transgender Pride Flag Antonio Santos / Getty Images In 1999, transgender activist and author Monica Helms designed the transgender pride flag. The flag includes a white stripe in the middle, flanked by one pale blue and one pale pink stripe on the top and bottom. Pale blue and pale pink traditionally represent baby boys and baby girls, respectively. Per the transgender advocacy group Point of Pride, the white stripe represents people who identify as intersex, are transitioning, or have not yet identified their gender. Genderqueer Pride Flag Antonio Santos / Getty Images Genderqueer writer and advocate Marilyn Roxie designed the genderqueer pride flag, featuring lavender, white, and chartreuse stripes, in 2011. Roxie chose lavender to represent androgyny, as well as queer identities, because it's a mixture of pink and blue. The white stripe, like the transgender pride flag, stands for agender or gender-neutral identities. And the chartreuse stripe, which is the inverse of lavender, represents third-gender identities and identities that don't fall within the gender binary. Genderfluid Pride Flag Antonio Santos / Getty Images In an interview with artist Deramin, JJ Poole stated that they created the genderfluid pride flag in 2012 after feeling disappointed by the lack of symbols to represent their identity. The genderfluid pride flag has five horizontal stripes. From top to bottom, they are pink, white, purple, black, and blue. Respectively, those colors represent femininity, all genders, both femininity and masculinity, a lack of gender, and masculinity. What Does It Mean to Be Gender Fluid? Here's What Experts Say Agender Pride Flag Antonio Santos / Getty Images Salem X created the agender pride flag in 2014. In an interview with Deramin, Salem X described that time as a "huge influx of identities, pronouns, and other means of personalizing one's identity." Agender refers to someone who does not identify with any particular gender. The flag features a green stripe in the center, representing non-binary genders. One black, one grey, and one white stripe flank the central green stripe on the top and bottom of the flag. Respectively, the black and white stripes stand for an absence of gender, and the grey strip represents semi-genderlessness. Non-Binary Pride Flag Antonio Santos / Getty Images Kye Rowan created the non-binary pride flag in 2014 to represent non-binary people who feel that the genderqueer flag does not represent them. From top to bottom, the flag features four stripes, which are yellow, white, purple, and black. Respectively, they represent people whose gender exists outside the gender binary, people with many or all genders, the fluidity and flexibility of many genders and those who are considered a mix of male and female, and agender and other genderless identities. "Progress" Pride Flag Antonio Santos / Getty Images In 2018, artist Daniel Quasar campaigned for an updated version of the traditional rainbow pride flag. "I wanted to see if there could be more emphasis in the design of the flag to give it more meaning," Quasar, who identifies as queer and non-binary, wrote on his Kickstarter page. His reboot aimed to be inclusive of queer people of color and transgender people, as well as represent people afflicted by HIV/AIDS. The "progress" pride flag features white, pink, and blue stripes to represent the transgender community and brown and black stripes to represent LGBTQ+ people of color on the hoist. The main section of the flag features the traditional rainbow pride flag. Intersex-Inclusive "Progress" Pride Flag Antonio Santos / Getty Images Designed by intersex writer and founder of the organization Intersex Equality Rights UK (IERUK) Valentino Vecchetti in 2021, the updated version of the "progress" pride flag features an additional yellow stripe, with a purple circle at its center on the hoist to represent intersex individuals. "Please know that our intention for this flag is to create intersex inclusion because we need to see it," the IERUK shared in an Instagram post showcasing the updated flag. Polysexual Pride Flag Antonio Santos / Getty Images Per the GSRC, Tumblr user "Samlin" designed the polysexual pride flag in 2012. Polysexuality refers to attraction to multiple genders, but not all of them.From top to bottom, the polysexual pride flag has three stripes, which are purple, green, and blue. In order, they represent attraction to women, attraction to people who do not conform to either woman or man, and attraction to men. Gender Dysphoria Symptoms: Here's How to Know if You Have It Straight Ally Pride Flag Antonio Santos / Getty Images Nobody knows who created the straight ally pride flag, which dates back to the late 2000s. The flag celebrates all straight and cisgender people who are proud allies of the LGBTQ+ community. The flag features black and white stripes, representing the gender binary, overlaid by an A-shaped rainbow. The A stands for both "ally" and "activist," demonstrating a commitment to supporting and advancing LGBTQ+ rights and inclusion. Demisexual Pride Flag Antonio Santos / Getty Images According to the GSRC, nobody knows who created the demisexual pride flag or when it first appeared. Coined in 2006, demisexual describes someone who only becomes sexually attracted to another person after forming an emotional bond with that person. On the flag, a singular black stripe on the hoist represents asexuality. On the main section of the flag, from top to bottom, there are three stripes—white, purple, and grey. Respectively, they represent sexuality, community, and asexuality and demisexuality. Aromantic Pride Flag Antonio Santos / Getty Images People who identify as aromantic may or may not be sexually attracted to others, but they never or rarely experience romantic attraction. Tumblr user "cameronwhimsy," or Cameron, unveiled the aromantic pride flag in 2014, per the GSRC. From top to bottom, the aromantic pride flag features five stripes, which are dark green, light green, white, grey, and black. They represent aromanticism, the aromantic spectrum, "aesthetic" attraction (that means objectively finding someone beautiful without being sexually or romantically interested in them), gray-aromantic and demiromantic people, and the sexuality spectrum. What's the Difference Between Asexual and Aromantic? We Called in the Experts Demigender Pride Flag Antonio Santos / Getty Images Demigender refers to partial gender, and the LGBTQ+ community employs the term as a catch-all for people who are non-binary but have a partial connection to a certain gender. According to grassroots community newspaper The LGBT Sentinel, the flag features a white stripe in the middle, which represents people who identify as agender or a third gender. Flanking the white stripe on the top and bottom are one dark grey and one light grey stripe, as well as one yellow stripe. Respectively, they represent the gender binary and non-binary genders. Two variations of the demigender flag are the demi-girl and demi-boy flags, which replace the yellow stripes with pink and blue stripes, respectively. Androgynous Pride Flag Antonio Santos / Getty Images The androgynous pride flag represents those who possess both feminine and masculine identities—though not necessarily in equal measure. The flag features an "equals" symbol—one blue stripe representing masculinity and one pink stripe representing femininity. The symbol presents on grey background, which symbolizes the grey area between those two genders, per The LGBT Sentinel. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources Health.com uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Center for American Progress. Widespread discrimination continues to shape LGBT people’s lives in both subtle and significant ways. Kann L, Olsen EO, McManus T, et al. Sexual identity, sex of sexual contacts, and health-related behaviors among students in grades 9-12—United States and selected sites, 2015. MMWR Surveill Summ. 2016;65(9):1-202. doi:10.15585/mmwr.ss6509a1 National Park Service. Gilbert Baker. Equality Maine. History of the pride flag. City of Philadelphia. More color, more pride. Time. People are rallying behind Lena Waithe's powerful pride fashion statement at the 2018 Met gala. Queer Art History. Michael Page- Bisexual pride flag (1998). Horniman Museum & Gardens. A Horniman lesbian flag. Emily Gwen. Emily Gwen. Gender and Sexuality Resource Center at the University of Northern Colorado (GSRC). Pride flags. Morgan Carpenter. The intersex flag. Intersex Human Rights Australia. An intersex flag. Asexuality Archive. The asexuality flag. Point of Pride. The history of the transgender flag. Marilyn Roxie. Genderqueer flag. Majestic Mess. Interview: Creator of the genderfluid flag. LGBTQ Nation. The genderfluid flag: here’s everything you need to know. Majestic Mess. Interview: Creator of the agender flag. Majestic Mess. Nonbinary flag. Kickstarter. "Progress" a pride flag reboot. City of Austin. A brief history of the evolution of the pride flag. The LGBT Sentinel. The gender identification flags you should know about for pride season!