The Pride Flag: What Does it Mean? It’s Not The Rainbow Flag

A symbol of pride in queer culture and queer identity, especially as a political statement against heterosexism and homophobia.

Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple: since the late 1970s, the rainbow flag with its only six colors has stood as a symbol of tolerance and sexual freedom. It has long been a globally established symbol of the lesbian and gay movement.

For more than 40 years, the rainbow flag has stood as a symbol of acceptance and equality for people who do not identify with the traditional roles of men and women or other norms relating to gender and sexuality. For example, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and trans people see themselves represented by the flag.

The Meaning of The Colors

The first big appearance of the colorful pattern is usually a demonstration of gay rights on June 25, 1978, in San Francisco. The design was created by the gay artist Gilbert Baker. He chose the rainbow because he saw it as the “natural flag of the sky”.

At 18 by 9 meters, each of the eight colors had its own meaning, such as red for life or yellow for the sun. Our job as homosexuals was to show ourselves, to be visible, to live in the truth, said Baker.

In the variant most commonly used today, the flag only shows six colors, which express diversity and cohesion. From top to bottom: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. The German Football Association, for example, sees the flag as a symbol and commitment “for diversity, openness, tolerance and against hatred and exclusion”.

“Pride Flag” is Not The Rainbow Flag

The “Pride Flag”, as the rainbow flag is called in English, should not be confused with the colorful anti-war flag. The arrangement of the seven colors of the peace symbol with the lettering “Pace”, which was designed in Italy in 1961, is different: violet above and red below.

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