A breakdown of pride flags and symbols

We’re working on a branding project for an LGBTIQ+ organisation this week, and needed to formalise some of research. Here it is!

Queer symbols & icons


When designing the traditional pride flag, Gilbert Baker saw the rainbow as a natural flag from the sky. He adopted eight colors for the stripes, each color with its own meaning.

The best animals

Although the reason is disputed, a variety of animals have become emblematic of queer communities and subcommunities.

Pink triangle

The pink triangle is a reclamation from the events of World War 2. Just as Jewish people were forced to wear a yellow Star of David, prisoners labelled as gay were made to wear the inverted pink triangle.

Pride Flags

Baker Pride Flag

The longest running pride flag, designed by Gilbert Baker (1951-2017) in 1978. The original design for this flag had an extra violet and pink stripe, which were removed due to the difficulty in printing those colours in the 70s/80s.

Philadelphia Pride Flag

The next big change for the flag was in 2017, with the introduction of the Philadelphia Pride Flag. This design added a brown and a black stripe at the top, to represent diversity and inclusivity.

Progressive Pride Flag

The most recent update is known as the Progressive Pride Flag, which also adds in the colours of the trans flag (white, pink and light blue).

Contrary to some theories, the colours on the flag do not represent individual sexualities. Rather, they represented concepts and emotions.

  • Red = Life
  • Orange = Healing
  • Yellow = Sun
  • Green = Nature
  • Royal Blue = Harmony
  • Violet = Spirit






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