When the Pride flag was recreated in 2017 and 2018 to include both black/brown stripes, as well as the trans stripes, I wanted to see if there could be more emphasis in the design of the flag to elevate its message. This new design forces the viewer to reflect on their own feelings towards the original Pride flag and its meaning as well as the differing opinions on who that flag really represents, while also bringing into clear focus the current needs within our community. You can’t avoid the message as it is right there in front of you.
I challenge you as the viewer to look at this design and acknowledge the thoughts and feelings it brings up within yourself. No matter what they are, take this opportunity to reflect and self-critique if necessary.
The 6 stripe LGBTQ flag should be separated from the newer stripes because of their difference in meaning, as well as to shift focus and emphasis to what is important in our current community climate. The main section of the flag (background) includes the traditional 6 stripe LGBTQ flag as seen in its most widely used form so as not to take away from its original meaning.
The trans flag stripes and marginalized community stripes were shifted to the Hoist of the flag and given a new chevron shape. The arrow points to the right to show forward movement, while being along the left edge shows that progress still needs to be made.
Background: LGBTQ 6 full sized color stripes representing life (red), healing (orange), sunlight (yellow), nature (green), harmony/peace (blue), and spirit (purple/violet)
Hoist: 5 half sized stripes representing trans and non-binary individuals (light blue, light pink, white), marginalized POC communities (brown, black), as well as those living with AIDS and the stigma and prejudice surrounding them, and those who have been lost to the disease (black)
The Trans Pride flag was original created by Monica Helms. The use of black and brown was original conceptualized and created into the More Color, More Pride flag in Philly, introduced by Amber Hikes. The use of a black stripe to represent those lost during the AIDS crisis, referred to as the Victory Over AIDS flag was suggested by Sergeant Leonard Matlovich. It is elevated here to bring awareness to the stigma surrounding those living with HIV. Red also represents AIDS Awareness and the constant search for a cure. Gilbert Baker was the creator of multiple forms of the original Pride flag that is seen most often today.
My thoughts and desires for what this new flag means are mine, but what does it mean to you?
Art is subjective and new meanings come from the individual who views it. So, please take this moment to find what this flag means to you as an individual and also how you might be able to impact the community as a whole through its message.