Independence & Community
Relationships Unique to Womanhood
Serenity, Peace, Love, and Sex
In 2018, a new Lesbian Pride Flag was revealed, and was featured in a BBC News report about Pride in 2019, giving it much exposure.
It was designed after consultation on a Tumblr account called ‘The Search for the Official Lesbian Flag‘.
The original design for this version had seven stripes: consisting of three shades of orange (dark to pale), a white stripe, and three shades of purple (pale to dark). Each stripe had a specific meaning, from top to bottom – gender non-conformity, independence, community, relationships unique to womanhood, serenity and peace, love and sex, and femininity.
The flag was then condensed to five stripes. Those involved in designing and selecting the flag wanted a flag that was inclusive of all kinds of lesbians, including those who were ‘femme’ and those who are transgender.
Although there had previously been Lesbian pride flags, the two to gain any prominence was the Labrys version, and the one designed for “lipstick lesbians” – that is, lesbians that are feminine.
A version of the flag was later reproduced with the ‘lipstick’ sign removed that was intended to represent the entire lesbian community. However, when the designer’s blog was unearthed, some Queer advocates and lesbians themselves started to take issue with some of the contents of the blog, with some highlighting comments made by the designer that they described as being transphobic, biphobic, racist and even anti-butch.
The flag’s designer would later go on to deny being racist (citing that she was mixed-race herself), that she wasn’t biphobic because she “had dated more bisexuals than lesbians… but bisexuals tend to flip-flop too much” and said she worked with homeless people, many of whom are transgender.
It also appeared that the lipstick lesbian flag itself was plagiarised from a “Cougar Pride Flag”, a flag a Drag Queen designed as a tongue-in-cheek way to highlight the ageism and sexism in societal attitudes towards women’s sexuality.