Progress Pride Flag: History, design and where it has risen

The Progress Pride flag adds more colors and symbols to the original rainbow flag. We explain what these are about and why the flag stands for even more inclusion.

Since the beginning of its development, the Pride flag has stood for pride and the strengthening of oppressed marginalized groups and represents queer communities. It is an important symbol against homophobia and sexism and should not be missing from any Christopher Street Day or Pride Parade. In its original form, the flag consists of six different colors arranged vertically.

The Progress Pride flag adds additional colors to the flag that specifically represent colored queer and transgender people, giving these groups more visibility. The flag is thus an important symbol for intersectionality. It thus shows that human identity can be affected by different mechanisms of oppression, for example by homophobia and racism at the same time.

Progress Pride Flag: The Story of the Rainbow Flag

The original six-color Pride flag was created in San Francisco in 1978. It was developed by American activist and artist Gilbert Baker. According to him, the red color in the flag stands for life, orange for health, yellow for the sun, green for nature, blue for harmony and violet for the spirit. Actually, Baker had also planned a turquoise and a pink stripe for the flag. Turquoise should stand for art and pink for sexuality. However, these two colors were lost in the production process.

Baker developed the flag to celebrate Gay Freedom Day. With each subsequent year, the flag became better known in the queer scene and grew into an increasingly important symbol. In 1996, for the first time, politicians hoisted the flag on public buildings in Berlin. Since 2015, the Pride flag can also be found in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

In 2018, Daniel Qasar developed the Progress Pride flag. Qasar is from the United States and is a non-binary graphic designer. With the expansion of the flag, Qasar wants to recognize the progress already made in the fight against oppressive mechanisms. In return, he would like to call for more progress and inclusive solutions.

Progress Pride Flag: That’s what it stands for

Qasar added five more colors to the six original colors on the rainbow flag, arranged as triangular arrows on the left side of the flag. The black and brown arrows stand for queer-black and colored and are an example in the fight against racism. Qasar took these ideas from the so-called Philly flag. In this variant of the Pride flag, the colors black and brown are printed as additional vertical stripes.

Qasar also added the colors white, light blue and pink. These are the colors of the trans flag. The trans flag is designed by activist and author Monica Helms. Pink and blue are the colors we typically associate with men and women. So they stand for all cis people. These are persons whose gender identity (gender) matches the gender determined at birth based on visible sexual characteristics. White represents anyone who changes their gender identity over time, does not identify as a gender or is intersex.

There is also a new variant of the Progress Pride flag: Qasar’s design of the Pride flag is linked to the Intersex flag. The intersex flag is yellow with a purple colored circle in the middle. The idea to combine the flags came from Valentino Vecchietti, an intersex activist. The intersex symbol is primarily intended to draw attention to the struggle between people for the right to physical integrity.

Intersex people are born with genitals that can not be clearly classified as men or women. In medicine, this often still counts as a “disorder” or “syndrome”. As a result, doctors sometimes operate on intersex children after birth or give them medication to adapt them to the current binary gender system. The Progress Pride flag with the intersex symbol gives visibility to this repression. Although still rare to find, it is already officially recognized in the queer community.

Where does the Progress Pride flag hang?

This year, the Progress Pride flag with the extra symbols officially hangs in Berlin for the first time. This was commissioned by the Senate Department of Justice, Diversity and Anti-Discrimination on the occasion of the Day Against Homophobia on 17 May. With this, the politicians also want to draw attention to the situation of queer people who are currently on the run from the Russian war of aggression, and whose escape is hampered by discrimination.

The Progress Pride flag has already been established in other cities around the world. You can find the hoisting flag in, for example, Sydney, London or New York.

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Keywords: Society Such social justice

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