Pride season has started and a question came up in many messages sent it to us: Should we use – the “traditional” or the “progressive” flag? Not unexpectedly it became an emotional discussion. Some see it as transphobia and racism when we don’t use the “progressive” flag. We think it’s time to talk!
The original rainbow flag was designed by Gilbert Baker in 1978. The colors reflect the diversity of the LGBT+ community and the spectrum of human sexuality and gender.
The progressive flag was designed by Daniel Quasar in June 2018. He wanted to raise awareness for the struggle for the most marginalized group of Person of Color (PoC) and Trans people in our community.
To make it clear, we support the intention of the progressive flag. Racism and Transphobia have no place in our community. But it’s 2022 now and most big corporations have changed their flags. You see the new flag everywhere and it already feels like social pressure. Understandably everyone wants to show solidarity in the pride season and not risk a brand ‘shit storm’.
Since we are part of the LGBT+ community this is an important topic for us. So let us be the one who loudly asks: Is it really progress to make the new flag the standard?
We are all special
The traditional flag stands for unconditional love for everyone. Highlighting one group can be seen as inequality by others. This in combination with social pressure can lead to silencing voices and mistrust. Bear in mind some Trans people or PoC don’t want to be singled out. They just want to be an equal part of our community. We fear the new flag is leading to division and it will be even harder to make progress.
The Rainbow has no borders
The new flag originated in the USA and has for sure relevance for the western world. But what about countries where the majority are PoC? Each country has its very own issues to be highlighted. That’s why we don’t believe that the new flag will be accepted internationally. As a result, we would lose the ONE simple flag that unites us worldwide.
The Rainbow is not for profit
The traditional rainbow flag is free to use for everyone. In contrast, the new flag is under copyright by Daniel Quasar: “I don’t believe in the continuous stigma that art is free and artists are poor”. We agree but please don’t monetize our rainbow. What if he sells tomorrow to Disney? The flag we all use should never be anyone’s legal property!
One of our principles is: “We value all the same, irrespective of their age, gender, race or payment status”. That’s why we love the intention of the new flag. But at the same time, we will not make it our standard flag.
Wave whatever flag you want, just do it with happiness and pride. But don’t forget, actions speak louder than flags. We believe that we have the best chances for progress if we do it under one flag that unites us all.
Gilbert Baker created the rainbow flag and intentionally never trademarked it; he chose to see the rainbow flag as his gift to the world. He even returned to San Francisco to recreate the banners and flags he originally made in the 1970s to bring authenticity to the Academy Award-winning feature film Milk (2008).
An interview with Gilbert Baker when his original flag design has been acquired for the prestigious MOMA’s design collection in New York City here.
An article inspired by Romeo.com which uses the traditional gay pride flag.