History of the Pride Flag

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The rainbow flag is a symbol of hope, diversity and inclusivity. Let’s take a look at some history of the Pride flag.

Where did the rainbow come from?

The LGBT+ flag is represented by the rainbow. The rainbow itself was thought to be inspired in the 1970’s by Judy Garland singing ‘Over the Rainbow’ which originated in the movie Wizard of Oz. During the Stonewall Riots that happened a few days after Judy Garland’s death, the rainbow was adopted. It’s also thought that the rainbow was inspired by colleges in the 1960’s that were protesting for world peace and used a flag called Flag of the Races or Flag of the Human Race which was made up of five stripes – red, white, black, brown, and yellow. In 1979, the LGBT+ community landed on a six-color version of the flag, which is the more common Pride flag. The rainbow has since been used and each colour has its own meaning.

What is the Progress Flag?

Some additions have been made to the common rainbow flag in showcase of solidarity between sexuality, race and gender identity. These additions are called the Progress Flag which were created by graphic designer Daniel Quasar.

In more recent years during current protests and marches taking place worldwide, recognition for the added struggles that black, people of colour, ethnic minority groups face when part of the LGBT+ community and as a whole have been acknowledged, adding a brown and black stripe. This signifies the support and solidarity for the oppression and discrimination they face. The trans flag is light blue, pink and white. This has been added to represent the transgender community and wider gender identities.

While retaining the common rainbow flag as a base, the progress flag variation adds a chevron along the left edge that features a brown, black, light blue, pink, and white. This puts marginalised communities of people of colour and transgender people to the forefront. The arrow points to the right to show movement forward but sits along the left edge to show the progress that still needs to be made.

The reason for adoption the new flag is not only to distinguish between the use of the rainbow as support of the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic, but also to represent the changing times of our community and world.

Additional Information

Explore more about LGBT+ communities in TheSprout’s LGBT+ Information Page.

Whether you are LGBT+ or would like to support someone who is, you can find help and advice here.

Unsure what LGBT+ means? Have a look at TheSprout’s LGBT+ Glossary.

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