The rainbow flag has been the symbol of the LGBTQIA+ community since 1978. But did you know that this by no means is the only flag in use? As diverse and colorful as our community is, so is the diversity of flags to express different sexual orientations, gender identities and communities.

During this first edition of the Rainbow Festival, a selection from the large collection of flags in our community will be displayed in the Schoutenstraat. On this page you will learn more about the meaning of these flags.

We have tried to present a broad and inclusive collection of flags, but we are aware this collection is by no means complete. ‘Community Flags’ is inspired by the “Find All Flags Tour” that was organized this year as an alternative to the Pride Walk in Amsterdam by Daan Smeelen and Janne Mooij. Texts are edited by Erik Slotboom, if you have any suggestions for improvements, please let us know at:

Nederlandse versie


The six-colored rainbow flag is perhaps the most famous symbol of the LGBTQIA+ movement. However, Gilbert Baker’s original 1978 design consisted of not six, but eight colors: pink for sexuality, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for the sun, green for nature, turquoise for art, indigo for harmony and violet for spirit. The rainbow flag is recognized worldwide as the symbol for Pride, but is also, for example, a symbol for the peace movement.


There are several flags in use that represent the lesbian community. A purple flag with a black triangle containing a white double ax or ‘labrys’ represents “butch” lesbians. There is also a 2010 “lipstick” lesbian flag, to respresent lesbians who display more typical “feminine” gender expressions. From a variant of this flag, the flag with seven stripes that you see hanging was developed in 2018. Dark orange stands for ‘gender nonconformity’, orange for ‘independence’, light orange for ‘community’, white for ‘unique relationships with femininity’, light pink for ‘serenity and peace’, pink for ‘love and sex’, and dark pink for ‘femininity. There is also a five-stripe flag in circulation.


Transgender is an term for people whose gender identity or expression does not correspond to the sex determined at birth. The Transgender Pride flag was designed in 1999 by trans woman Monica Helms. This flag is not the only Trans Pride flag, but the most recognized and recognizable symbol for Trans Pride and transgender rights worldwide. The white stripe in the middle symbolizes those who are in transition, or have a neutral or undefined gender.

The term “cisgender” refers to people whose gender identity or expression match the sex they were assigned at birth.


The International Bear Brotherhood Flag is designed to represent the “bear” subculture within the LGBT community. Craig Byrnes created the flag in 1995 with inclusivity in mind. The colors do not necessarily represent human skin and hair tones though, but rather the colors of the fur of natural bears worldwide. The Bear community, usually gay men, mainly celebrates typically masculine traits (body hair, build, etc.). However, there are many subcategories of people that can be referred to as “bear”.


Bisexuality is a sexual orientation for people who feel sexual and/or romantic attraction towards at least two genders. The Bisexual Pride flag was designed in 1998 by Michael Page to increase the visibility of bisexuals within the LGBT community. In the flag, pink represents atrraction to the same sex/gender, blue atraction to the opposite sex/gender and purple attraction accross the gender spectrum.


A non-binary or not binary person is someone who does not feel at home in the binary gender identies of only ‘male’ or ‘female’. The non-binary flag was designed in 2014 by activist Kye Rowan. Each color represents a non-binary identity: yellow for people who identify outside the binary spectrum, white for non-binary people with multiple genders, purple for people with a combination of both male and female genders, and black for people without gender.


The term “drag” refers to the imitation of masculinity, femininity or other forms of gender expression through clothing and / or make-up. Drag is usually a form of performance art and the drag scene has always been an important part of the LGBTQIA+ community and queer nightlife. There are several flags that represent the drag community, such as the “Feather Pride” flag, which depicts a phoenix The flag you see is an adaptation of a 2010 flag designed by Veranda L’Ni Purple stands for the passion for drag, white for the “becoming state’, blue for self-expression, the crown for leadership in the community and the stars for the many forms of drag. In 2020 Daan Smeelen and Janne Mooij added a mustache to symbolize Drag Kings.


Asexuality is the lack of sexual attraction to others and / or low or no sexual desire. Some people also consider asexuality to be the lack of or lack of a sexual orientation. The asexuality flag was created in 2010 after a vote at an Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) meeting. The flag represents asexuality (black), asexuals and demisexuals (gray), allies (white) and community (purple).


Intersex people are people who do not exhibit all biological masculine or feminine characteristics, or a combination of both. This can be evident at birth or become later in life. The intersex flag originated in Australia in 2013 and the circle symbolizes wholeness and completeness. Intersex people, just like anyone else, can identify with any sexual orientation or gender identity.


Since it’s design in 1989 by artist Tony DeBlase, the leather pride flag has become a symbol embraced by the gay leather subculture. It has since become associated with leather in general and also with related groups such as the BDSM community. The artist did not have any specific meaning in mind for the colors and symbols used in the design, intentionally leaving the meaning up to the interpretation of the viewer. Although the flag is common in the gay leather community, it is not an exclusively gay symbol and represents the entire leather community.


Pansexuality refers to being attracted to people regardless of their gender identity or sex, derived from the Greek word pan, meaning “all”. The pansexual flag was introduced in 2010, meant to raise awareness for pansexuality and as a way to distinguish pansexuality from bisexuality. Pink represents attraction to people who identify as female, the blue attraction to people who identify as male, and the yellow attraction to non-binary, agender, bigender or genderfluid identying persons.


Genderfluid is a gender identity in which people do not commit to a single gender identity. Genderfluid people often express a desire to remain flexible about their gender identity. The flag, created by J.J. Poole in 2012, represents the fluctuations and the flexibility of gender. Pink represents femininity, white the lack of gender, purple the combination of masculinity and femininity, black all genders (including third genders) and blue represents masculinity.


Polysexuality is the sexual attraction to many, but not all, genders. Polysexuality should not be confused with polyamory, the capacity to be in a relationship with multiple people at once. It also differs from pansexuality, in which one is attracted to all genders and gender identities. The polysexual flag, created by Tumblr-user Samlin in 2012 represents attraction to women (pink), to non-binairy people (green)and to men (blue).


Genderqueer is an umbrella category for gender identities that are not strictly masculine or feminine and/or which are outside the binary contrsutuion of gender. Genderqueer is often used by people to self-identify as someone who challenges binary social constructions of gender. The genderqueer flag was designed in 2011 by Marilyn Roxie. It represents androgyny or queerness (lavender), agender identity (white) and identities outside of the gender binary (green).


In June 2018 queer and nonbinary designer Daniel Quasar released a redesign of the rainbow flag to focus on inclusion and progress within the LGBTQIA+ community. The black and brown stripes were first added in a 2017 rendition of the rainbow flag in Philadelphia to represent people of color and marginalized communities. Quasar placed these stripes, along with the colors of the transgender Pride flag to the left of the rainbow flag in an arrow. The arrow points to the right to show forward movement, while being along the left edge shows that progress still needs to be made. The black stripe also represents those living with hiv/AIDS, those no longer living, and the stigma surrounding them.

Deelnemende organisaties


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COC Midden Nederland

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Het Midzomergracht festival

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Colored Qollective

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Queer Film Festival Utrecht

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