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21 LGBTQ+ Pride Flags and What They Stand For

These are the banners that help members of the LGBTQ+ community feel seen, heard, and celebrated.

Headshot of Kori WilliamsBy Kori Williams
preview for 10 LGBTQ+ Flags That Celebrate Pride

During Pride Month 2023, you’ll notice the iconic rainbow Pride flag waving at all celebrations and events. But its original design is not the only banner that LGBTQ+ folks connect and identify with. The LGBTQ+ community is beautiful and diverse, and while the rainbow flag has always been a symbol of queer representation and celebration, unique iterations have been created over the years to bring awareness to different sexual orientations and gender identities, and their distinctive experiences.

The first Pride flag originated in 1978, when Harvey Milk, champion of LGBTQ+ rights and the first openly gay man elected to public office in California, asked artist Gilbert Baker to design a symbol for the community. Now, flags for bisexual, pansexual, trans, asexual, queer people of color, and dozens more exist to represent and show support for all LGBTQ+ folks.

While LGBTQ+ pride should be celebrated all day, every day, honor the community during Pride Month 2023 with a Pride flag waving high in the air. Whether you identify as LGBTQ+ or as an ally, gain a better understanding of the community with our comprehensive guide to the 21 Pride flags and their meaning below.


Gilbert Baker Pride Flag

pride flags
Wikimedia Commons

In 1978, Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man elected to public office in California, asked artist Gilbert Baker to create a Pride flag. Gilbert wanted to create “something that was positive, that celebrated our love.”

“A Rainbow Flag was a conscious choice, natural and necessary,” Gilbert said, per his personal website. “The rainbow came from earliest recorded history as a symbol of hope.” The colors have the following meanings:

  • Pink: Sex
  • Red: Life
  • Orange: Healing
  • Yellow: Sunlight
  • Green: Nature
  • Turquoise: Magic
  • Blue: Harmony
  • Violet: Spirit

1978-1999 Pride Flag

pride flags
Wikimedia Commons

Following Harvey’s assassination in 1978, demand for the flag increased. Gilbert, however, found the pink color hard to come by, so he opted to decrease the number of colors on the flag to seven in order to keep up with the demand.


Rainbow Pride Flag

rainbow pride flag
Wikimedia Commons

This flag is used to symbolize the overall LGBTQ+ community. Many organizations and businesses use this flag as a symbol to show that their establishment is a safe space for everyone in the community. However, the pink and turquoise from Gilbert’s original flag were excluded, so it would be easier to mass produce.

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Philadelphia’s People of Color Inclusive Flag

philly pride flag
Wikimedia Commons

This flag was created in 2017 to give representation to Black and Brown people in the LGBTQ+ community and the unique challenges they face. A source told Philadelphia Magazine, “With all of the Black and Brown activism that’s worked to address racism in the Gayborhood over the past year, I think the new flag is a great step for the city to show the world that they’re working toward fully supporting all members of our community.”

Actress and director Lena Waithe wore a cape featuring these colors to the 2018 Met Gala.


Queer People of Color Flag

pride flags
Wikimedia Commons

The origins of this flag are unknown, but it represents solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and the intersection of the queer and Black communities. It became a symbol for change during the height of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020.


“Progress” Pride Flag

progress pride flag
Daniel Quasar

This flag was created in 2018 by Daniel Quasar in response to Philadelphia’s updated Pride flag. It combines the colors and stripes from Philly’s version of the Pride flag and the colors of the transgender pride flag.

On the flag’s Kickstarter page, Quasar says, “When the Pride flag was recreated in the last year to include both black/brown stripes as well as the trans stripes included this year, I wanted to see if there could be more emphasis in the design of the flag to give it more meaning.”

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Bisexual Flag

bisexual pride flag
Wikimedia Commons

Bisexuality is defined as an attraction to more than one gender, but not all genders. Some describe it as attraction to the gender you identify as and at least one other gender.

According to Pride, this flag was created by activist Michael Page. He wanted to create a symbol for bisexual people to feel connected to. Each of the colors symbolize some kind of attraction:

  • Pink (or magenta): Same-sex attraction
  • Blue (or royal blue): Opposite-sex attraction
  • Purple (lavender): Attraction to both sexes

Pansexual Flag

pansexual pride flag
Wikimedia Commons

According to Pink News, it’s unclear who actually created this flag, but ever since it started showing up online in 2010, it’s become a symbol of attraction to all people, regardless of sex or gender.


Polysexual Flag

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Getty Images

Unlike someone who is pansexual, someone who identifies as polysexual is attracted to multiple genders, but not all. This flag was created on Tumblr in 2012.

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Asexual Flag

asexual pride flag
Wikimedia Commons

According to the Asexual Visibility and Education Network, asexuality is defined by a lack of sexual attraction: “They are not drawn to people sexually and do not desire to act upon attraction to others in a sexual way.”

Asexuality is a spectrum of attraction, where people can fall into a subset called “gray asexuality” or graysexual. People who identify this way may call themselves “gray-a.” This spectrum includes people who feel sexual attraction infrequently, or who only feel sexual attraction under a specific set of circumstances and more.

According to Medium, the asexual flag was created in 2010 to help create awareness to the community. The meaning of the colors are as follows:

  • Black: Represents asexuality as a whole
  • Gray: Represents graysexuality and demisexuality [Demisexuality is defined as no sexual attraction unless there is a strong emotional bond, according to AVEN.]
  • White: Represents sexuality
  • Purple: Represents community

Demisexual Flag

pride flags
Wikimedia Commons

Since demisexuality exists on the asexual spectrum, the colors are similar to the asexual flag, though it does have its own, unique configuration.


Lesbian Flag

lesbian pride flag

The original lesbian pride flag had a red kiss mark in the top left corner. It was introduced to the world to the world in a blog post back in 2010, according to OutRight Action International. It was created by Natalie McCray.

In a 2018 Medium article, McCray was accused of transphobia, biphobia and racism among other things. As a result, artist Emily Gwen designed the new flag with orange stripes in 2018. The colors represent:

  • Darkest Orange: Gender non-conformity
  • Middle Orange: Independence
  • Lightest Orange: Community
  • White: Unique relationships to womanhood
  • Lightest Pink: Serenity and peace
  • Middle Pink: Love and sex
  • Darkest Pink: Femininity
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Intersex Flag

intersex pride flag
Wikimedia Commons

According to Planned Parenthood, intersex is an umbrella term for those whose bodies do not align with the gender binary of male and female. Some people can have both sets of genitals, various combinations of chromosomes, or more differences.

This flag was created in 2013 by Morgan Carpenter. In an interview with Intersex Peer Support Australia, Carpenter said, “I wanted to create an image that people could use to represent intersex people without depending upon what I think are often misconceptions or stereotypes.”

Carpenter chose these colors as symbols to the community:

  • Gold or yellow: Inspired by a story told by fellow intersex individual Mani Mitchell to reclaim the slur “hermaphrodite,” used against the intersex community.
  • Purple Circle: In the interview, Carpenter said, “The circle is about us being unbroken, about being whole and complete,” as well as the right for Intersex people to make decisions about their bodies.

Transgender Flag

transgender pride flag
Wikimedia Commons

According to Pride, this flag was created by transgender woman Monica Helms in 1999. Pride quotes her saying, “The pattern is such that no matter which way you fly it, it will always be correct. This symbolizes us trying to find correctness in our own lives.”

  • Blue: Represents the traditional color for baby boys
  • Pink: Represents the traditional color for baby girls
  • White: Represents people who are transitioning, have no gender or are gender neutral

Genderqueer Flag

Green, Violet, Purple, Lilac, Lavender, Pink, Grass, Rectangle, Magenta,

Genderqueer people don’t conform to society’s ideas of how they should act or express themselves based on the gender they were assigned at birth. According to Psychology Today, “This may be in terms of their thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and, most importantly, their gender identity.”

The flag was created by Marilyn Roxie in 2011, according to Pride.

  • Lavender: Represents androgyny
  • White: Represents agender identities
  • Green: Represents non-binary people
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Genderfluid Flag

genderfluid pride flag
Wikimedia Commons

People who are genderfluid don’t identify with one gender, but rather their gender identity shifts between male, female, or somewhere else on the spectrum. How often someone’s identity shifts depends on the person.

The flag was created by JJ Poole in 2012 according to OutRight Action International.

  • Pink: Represents femininity
  • White: Represents all genders
  • Purple: Represents both masculinity and feminity
  • Black: Represents a lack of gender
  • Blue: Represents masculinity

In an interview with Majestic Mess Designs, Poole said they created the flag because genderfluidity lacked a symbol and the term “genderqueer” didn’t exactly fit.

“I had been trying to find an identity that fit me. At the time I knew genderqueer fit me, but it still felt too broad. I found genderfluid to be fitting but was disappointed with the lack of symbolic representation,” Poole said. “I wouldn’t call myself an artist, but I’ve dabbled with drawing and bits of Photoshop, so I decided to create it myself. And I made a couple flags actually, but this one I submitted to a blog on Tumblr about genderfluidity and gender fluid people. It had a big following at the time. And they loved it. And it took off.”


Agender Flag

agender pride flag
Wikimedia Commons

According to Oxford Dictionary, someone who is agender doesn’t identify with any gender. This pride flag was created in 2014 by Salem X according to OutRight Action International. The colors represent:

  • Black and white: Represent an absence of gender
  • Gray: Semi-genderlessness
  • Green: Non-binary genders

Aromantic Flag

pride flags
Getty Images

Someone who is aromantic may have little or no romantic attraction to others. In the flag, that is represented by the green, while the gray and black represent all aromantic sexualities, both asexual and sexual.

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Non-Binary Flag

non binary pride flag
Wikimedia Commons

Non-binary people identify outside the gender binaries of male and female. Using a blend of the binary pronouns (he/him/his and she/her/hers), they/them, or neopronouns better express their identity.

OutRight Action International says this pride flag was created in 2014 by Kye Rowan for non-binary people who didn’t feel the genderqueer flag represents them. The term “queer” has also been used as a slur against the LGBTQ+ community, although many people have reclaimed the term.

  • Yellow: Represents genders outside of the gender binary
  • White: Represents people who identify with many or all genders
  • Purple: Represents genders that are a combination of male and female
  • Black: Represents people who are agender

Polyamory Flag

pride glags
Getty Images

Those that are polyamorous may have infinite partners, so pi, which goes on indefinitely, is the symbol for the polyamory flag. The golden color, meanwhile, represents emotional connection, as opposed to sexual love.

Headshot of Kori Williams
Kori Williams
Kori Williams is the Editorial Fellow at Seventeen and covers celebrities, pop culture, music and what’s interesting on the internet. She enjoys reading, crafting and eating out to the dismay of her wallet.



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