Unlike within the wider LGBT communities worldwide which have adopted the Rainbow flag, the various transgender individuals, organizations and communities around the world have not coalesced around one single flag design. Instead there are several flags used and endorsed by the varying transgender individuals, organizations and communities. There have even been, and continue to be, alternatives to these flags suggested. The varying flags have been and continue to be used to represent transgender pride, diversity, rights and/or remembrance by transgender individuals, their organizations, their communities and their allies.
Transgender flags in use today
There are several flags used and endorsed by the varying transgender individuals, organizations and communities.
Transgender Pride flag
The most prominent of these flag designs is known as the "Transgender Pride flag" which is a symbol of transgender pride and diversity, and transgender rights.
The flag represents the transgender community and consists of five horizontal stripes: two light blue, two pink, and one white in the center.
Helms describes the meaning of the transgender pride flag as follows:
- "The stripes at the top and bottom are light blue, the traditional color for baby boys. The stripes next to them are pink, the traditional color for baby girls. The stripe in the middle is white, for those who are intersex, transitioning or consider themselves having a neutral or undefined gender. The pattern is such that no matter which way you fly it, it is always correct, signifying us finding correctness in our lives."
It was flown from the large public flagpole in San Francisco's Castro District (where the rainbow flag usually flies) for the first time on 19 and 20 November 2012 in commemoration of the Transgender Day of Remembrance. The flag-raising ceremony was presided over by local drag queen La Monistat.
On 19 August 2014, Monica Helms donated the original Transgender Pride Flag to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
In 2002 Jennifer Pellinen created a transgender flag she describes the meaning of her transgender pride flag as follows:
- "The colors on the flag are from top to bottom. Pink, light purple, medium purple, dark purple, and blue. The pink and the blue represent male and female. The 3 purple stripes represent the diversity of the TG community as well as genders other than male and female."
Her flag is in the public domain.
In Ontario a flag known as the "Trans Flag", created by Ottawa graphic designer Michelle Lindsay, is used. It consists of two stripes, the top in Sunset Magenta representing female, and the bottom in Ocean Blue representing male, with the transgender symbol centred in white overlaying them.
The Trans Flag was first used by the Ottawa area trans community for Ottawa's 2010 edition of the Trans Day of Remembrance. This event included a ceremony in which the Ottawa Police unveiled and raised this flag. The ceremony was repeated during the 2011 Ottawa and Gatineau editions of the Trans Day of Remembrance, this time joined by the Ottawa Paramedics, Ottawa City Hall and Gatineau City Hall also raising the Trans Flag during their own ceremonies. The list of groups doing official unfurling/raising of the Trans Flag in the Ottawa-Gatineau area as part of their Trans Day of Remembrance has grown each year. The Trans Flag has also been used as part of the Peterborough Pride Parade.
Israeli transgender and genderqueer flag
Alternative transgender flag designs
Over the years several transgender flags have been adopted by various transgender individuals, organizations and communities. There have even been, and continue to be, alternatives to these flags suggested.
In 1999 Captain John designed a flag for those within the transgender community that identify as transsexual. This flag consists of seven stripes alternating in rosy pink and light blue separated by thin white stripes and featuring, in the upper left hoist, a twinned Venus and Mars symbol ("⚥") in pink (a "bluer" shade than the pink stripes).
In 2012 Spokane Trans created their own version of the transgender flag. They describe it on their web site as follows: "The top two stripes represent male (blue) to female (pink). The purple represents non-binary and genderqueer people (as the genderqueer flag colors are green, white and purple) the thin white stripe represents all people as well as the “line” trans* folks cross during their transition. Then the female (pink) to male (blue) along the bottom."
- "History of Transgender Symbolism". Retrieved 11 October 2014.
- "Spokane Trans* Flag". Retrieved 28 November 2014.
- A Storied Glossary of Iconic LGBT Flags and Symbols Matt Petronzio, 13 June 2014
- Gay and Lesbian Times Brian van de Mark, 10 May 2007
- Fairyington, Stephanie (12 November 2014). "The Smithsonian's Queer Collection". The Advocate. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
- "Transgender Flag Flies In San Francisco's Castro District After Outrage From Activists" by Aaron Sankin, HuffingtonPost, November 20, 2012
- "The History of the Transgender Flag". http://point5cc.com. April 23, 2015. Archived from the original on 2015-07-09. Retrieved 9 July 2015. External link in
- Council flagpoles now celebrate diversity and druids; The Daily Telegraph, 4 April 2011
- Wilkey, Robin (23 October 2012). "Controversy Erupts Over San Francisco's Famous Rainbow Flag". Huffington Post.
- "USA - Transgender Pride flag raised for the first time in the Castro".
- "FOF #991 – La Monistat Keeps it Fresh!". Feast of Fun.
- Kutner, Max. "A Proud Day at American History Museum as LGBT Artifacts Enter the Collections". Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
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- GoTrans. "יום הזיכרון בתמונות - Trans* memorial day in pictures". http://gogay.co.il. gogay. Retrieved 20 November 2009. External link in
- "Transsexual flag". Retrieved 26 November 2014.
- "Putting Out the Trans Flags". Retrieved 26 November 2014.