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Lesbian flag

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Various lesbian flags have been used to symbolise the lesbian community. Since 1999, many designs have been proposed and used. Although personal preferences exist, no design has been accepted by the community as the official lesbian flag.


The labrys lesbian flag was created in 1999 by graphic designer Sean Campbell, and published in June 2000 in the Palm Springs edition of the Gay and Lesbian Times Pride issue.[1][2] The design involves a labrys, a type of double-headed axe, superimposed on the inverted black triangle, set against a violet background. Among its functions, the labrys was associated as a weapon used by the Amazons of mythology.[3][4] In the 1970s it was adopted as a symbol of empowerment by the lesbian feminist community.[5][6] Women considered asocial by the Third Reich because they did not conform to the Nazi ideal of a woman, which included homosexual females, were condemned to concentration camps[7] and wore an inverted black triangle badge to identify them.[8] Some lesbians reclaimed this symbol as gay men reclaimed the pink triangle (many lesbians also reclaimed the pink triangle although lesbians were not included in Paragraph 175 of the German criminal code).[8] The color violet became associated with lesbians via the poetry of Sappho.[9]

The lipstick lesbian flag was introduced in 2010 in the weblog This Lesbian Life.[10][11] The design contains a red kiss in the left corner, superimposed on seven stripes consisting of six shades of red and pink colors and a white bar in the center.[12][13] The lipstick lesbian flag represents "homosexual women who have a more feminine gender expression",[14] but has not been widely adopted.[1]

The "pink" lesbian flag was derived from the lipstick lesbian flag but with the kiss mark removed.[13] The pink flag attracted more use as a general lesbian pride flag.[15]

The "orange-pink" lesbian flag, modeled after the seven-band pink flag, was introduced on Tumblr by blogger Emily Gwen in 2018.[16][17] The colors include dark orange for "gender non-conformity", orange for "independence", light orange for "community", white for "unique relationships to womanhood", pink for "serenity and peace", dusty pink for "love and sex", and dark rose for "femininity".[17] A five-stripes version was soon derived from the 2018 colors.[18]


Flags at events

See also


  1. ^ a b c Bendix, Trish (September 8, 2015). "Why don't lesbians have a pride flag of our own?". AfterEllen. Archived from the original on September 9, 2015. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  2. ^ Kasandra Brabaw (19 June 2019). "A Complete Guide To All The LGBTQ+ Flags & What They Mean". Refinery29. Retrieved 6 July 2019.
  3. ^ "Gay Symbols Through the Ages". The Alyson Almanac: A Treasury of Information for the Gay and Lesbian Community. Boston, Massachusetts: Alyson Publications. 1989. pp. 99–100. ISBN 0-932870-19-8.
  4. ^ Murphy, Timothy F., ed. (2000). Reader's Guide to Lesbian and Gay Studies (1st ed.). Chicago, Illinois: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers. p. 44. ISBN 1-57958-142-0.
  5. ^ a b Zimmerman, Bonnie, ed. (2000). "Symbols (by Christy Stevens)". Lesbian Histories and Cultures: An Encyclopedia. Vol. 1 (Encyclopedia of Lesbian and Gay Histories and Cultures) (1st ed.). Garland Publishing. p. 748. ISBN 0-8153-1920-7.
  6. ^ Pea, Georgie (9 August 2013). "LABRYS Tool of Lesbian Feminism". Finding Lesbians. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  7. ^ "Lesbians Under the Nazi Regime". Holocaust Encyclopedia. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. March 31, 2021.
  8. ^ a b Elman, R. Amy. "Triangles and Tribulations: The Politics of Nazi Symbols". Retrieved December 10, 2016. (Originally published in the Journal of Homosexuality, 1996, 30 (3): pp.1–11, doi:10.1300/J082v30n03_01, ISSN 0091-8369)
  9. ^ Prager, Sarah (January 29, 2020). "Four Flowering Plants That Have Been Decidedly Queered (Sapphic Violets)". JSTOR Daily. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  10. ^ Mathers, Charlie (1 January 2018). "18 Pride flags you might not have seen before". Gay Star News. Retrieved 4 June 2019. (The Mathers article shows the derivative design, but not the original flag.)
  11. ^ a b Redwood, Soleil (26 February 2020). "A Horniman Lesbian Flag". Horniman Museum. Retrieved 21 November 2021.
  12. ^ McCray, Natalie (July 2010). "LLFlag". This Lesbian Life. Archived from the original on October 11, 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2021.
  13. ^ a b Rawles, Timothy (July 12, 2019). "The many flags of the LGBT community". San Diego Gay & Lesbian News. Archived from the original on July 12, 2019. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  14. ^ Blaxk, Natasha A.; Stern, Alana (June 22, 2016). "9 Queer Pride Flags That You Probably Didn't Know About". Odyssey. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  15. ^ a b Andersson, Jasmine (July 4, 2019). "Pride flag guide: what the different flags look like, and what they all mean". i. Archived from the original on 24 August 2019. Retrieved 15 September 2021.
  16. ^ Dastagir, Alia E.; Oliver, David (June 1, 2021). "LGBTQ Pride flags go beyond the classic rainbow. Here's what each one means". USA Today. Archived from the original on June 1, 2021. Retrieved 1 June 2021.
  17. ^ a b c "LGBTQIA+ Symbols: Lesbian Flags". Old Dominion University. April 2020. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  18. ^ a b Murphy-Kasp, Paul (6 July 2019). "Pride in London: What do all the flags mean?". BBC News. Retrieved 6 July 2019. (video)
  19. ^ "Variations of the Gay Pride Rainbow Flag: Rainbow flags with double Venus symbol". Flags of the World. September 5, 2020. Retrieved 3 June 2021.