So many of my best thoughts have start with a tweet thread: the creation of this flag is no different, spawned from early morning musings on November, 22, 2022.
I can’t tell you why, exactly, I woke up thinking about wanting a new Queer flag: I can’t tell you what really urged me to stick with this project until its actual completion, as that’s something I struggle with due to my AuDHD.
What I can tell you is this: when I set out to create this flag, I wanted to create a Queer flag that wholly wasn’t the Pride flag, but a flag for Queer sexuality and identity specifically, and for all that it encompasses and embodies. I wanted a flag that reflects my experience with Queerness on four distinct levels: as a sexuality, as a gender expression, as a lived experience, and as a joyful way to be in the world.
Thus, the Community Queer Pride Flag, which I only named on the day of its debut.
The flag went through twelve different designs, ranging from a simple horizontal stripe pattern to more… abstract patterns that were far too confusing to the eye. Initially, I had five colors–orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple—but after running that past my roommates and a few others, I ultimately decided to eliminate the color green and keep a tangerine-ish orange, a sunflower-esque yellow, a vivid royal blue, and of course, lavender, for the final color scheme.
I also had to consider the actual stripes themselves: I had, as I said, twelve designs, and some of them were… too creative. What eventually was settled on were the two final designs: a vertical arrangement starting with lavender on the left and ending with tangerine on the right, and an angled arrangement with the stripes at an asymmetrical 45 degrees. The latter is a personal favorite amongst those who I showed the final designs to: and I have to admit, it’s my favorite as well, which is why I’ve chosen it as the formal flag. (I will be including the alternative version as well!)
After a week of pushing minute shifts in color values here and there, I’ve finally arrived at what I wanted when I first decided to actually make a pride flag: a Queer flag that centers community at its core, opening up Queerness to everyone from a different, but not necessarily new, angle, be they Queer and Bi, Queer and Cis, Queer and Asexual, or any of the beautiful, infinite expressions that are tangled up in being Queer.
Of course, I’m not the first person to have this idea: I’d be remiss if I didn’t give credit to Pastelmemer’s Queer Flag, which was created in 2015. It uses a beautiful array of colors, each imbued with meaning:
- Pinks and Blues for same-gender attraction
- Orange and Green for non-binary individuals
- Black and White for asexuality, aromanticism, and agender individuals
There’s also the lesser known Chevron queer flag by Tumblr user bizexuals, as well as a number of individuals, which uses two lavender-colored cheverons–for their historic coloration and for the non-straight lines–on an off-white background, chosen because white is the color the results from all the colors of the rainbow combining. It’s beautiful in its simplicity, and was made with sensory issues in mind.
Both were my models and inspiration as I decided to create a Queer pride flag centered on community over gender as a way to add to the already existing pantheon of Queer-specific flags. As an agender person–something new that I’m only just really exploring for myself alongside my own Queer exploration–it was important to me that whatever flag I created be wholly uncentered on gender, opening itself up to what Queerness can be when applied on mutiple levels that don’t necessarily elide gender, but also, doesn’t put it front and center.
What about the Queers who are wholly divorced from gender? What about Queers for whom gender has never been a factor in who they are? What about the Queers who will never fit in the binary or the non-binary spectrums? First and foremost, that’s who I wanted this flag to speak to, myself included. This flag wouldn’t be as meaningful, in my mind, had it centered on anything but an expression that was ungendered and communal. For most of my life, I’ve had gender foisted on me: it’s only been in the past eight months that I’ve recognized my beautiful lack of gender and started to celebrate that. That’s what I carried with me as I opened Canva and started mocking up designs.
That said, the Queer Community is for all, and it’s critical to me, as I prepare to send it out into the world, that this flag remains for all and is never gatekept by anyone. Part of community is opening our arms to all experiences: Queerness should not be bound by its limitations. Rather, the Community Queer fllag is a symbol of the infinite ways queerness can shape itself, across cultures, backgrounds, expressions, lived experiences, and so much more.
So… without further adieu, let me formally introduce the Community Queer Pride Flag and its colors:
- Lavender (Hex code #D0C3F1) for its historic importance to queerness and for Spirit, Spirituality and Healing
- Blue (Hex code #3552C8) for Inspiration and Liberation
- Yellow (Hex code #F6E678) for Joy and Optimism
- Orange (Hex code #FF955F) for Energy and Community
Together, these colors, bordered by white (Hex Code #FDFDFD) and charcoal (Hex Code #21221F) make a flag bound by community and communal celebration of Queerness on all levels. When these colors combine, they are a representation of unchecked joy, unbound optimism, and healing.
They’re a symbol that we’re here, we’re Queer, and we ain’t going anywhere.
As promised, I’m also going to put the alternative version out there, which is also free for use with credit:
My hope for this flag is simple: if even just one person finds it and sees themself and their experiences reflected in it, then I’m happy. If one person finds it and creates something from it–pins, fiber art, shirts, OC fanart, a mug–then I’m still just as happy. Feel free to create what you’d like, to wear it, tattoo it, celebrate it, and uplift it: my goal with putting this out into the world isn’t ownership, though I do ask for people to link to this post and credit me, Cypress L. Catwell, for this flag.
All in all, I hope that the Community Queer Pride Flag finds its way into the pantheon of flags and continues to provide both shelter and community for those who need it. Use it, share it, love it: may it be a symbol of your own pride as you move through the world.
Truly wishing every Queer person in existence, who’s ever been and who’s to come, all the joy you so rightfully deserve.
Keep on being you.