Pride Symbols
Common Pride Symbols and Their Meanings

6 Color Rainbow FlagUse of the Rainbow Flag by the gay community began in 1978 when it first appeared in the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Freedom Day Parade. Borrowing symbolism from the hippie movement and black civil rights groups, San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker designed the rainbow flag in response to a need for a symbol that could be used year after year. The 6 Colors of the flag are Red for life Orange for healing Yellow for sun Green for nature Blue for harmony Purple for spirit

Pink TriangleThe Pink Triangle is easily one of the more popular and widely-recognized symbols for the gay community. The pink triangle is rooted in World War II times, and reminds us of the tragedies of that era. Although homosexuals were only one of the many groups targeted for extermination by the Nazi regime, it is unfortunately the group that history often excludes. The pink triangle challenges that notion, and defies anyone to deny history.

symbol4.jpg (2763 bytes)The Labrys, or double-bladed ax comes from the goddess Demeter (Artemis). It was originally used in battle by Scythian Amazon warriors. The Amazons ruled with a dual-queen system, and were known to be ferocious and merciless in battle, but just and fair once victorious.
Rites associated with the worship of Demeter are believed to have involved lesbian sex.
Today, the labrys has become a symbol of lesbian and feminist strength and self-sufficiency.

Black TriangleBlack Triangle is also rooted in Nazi Germany. Although lesbians were not included in the Paragraph 175 prohibition of homosexuality, there is evidence to indicate that the black triangle was used to designate prisoners with anti-social behavior. Considering that the Nazi idea of womanhood focused on children, kitchen, and church, black triangle prisoners may have included lesbians, prostitutes, women who refused to bear children, and women with other "anti-social" traits.

LambdaNo one seems to have a definitive answer why the Lambda was originally chosen as a gay symbol. Some suggest that it is simply the Greek lower-case letter l for liberation. Others disagree, citing the use of lambda in physics to denote energy (the energy we have when we work in concert) or wavelength (are gays and lesbians on a different wavelength?). Lambda may also denote the synergy of the gay movement, the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The lambda also may represent scales and balance, and the constant force that keeps opposing sides from overcoming each other -- the hook at the bottom of the right leg signifies the action needed to reach and maintain balance. The ancient Greek Spartans regarded the lambda to mean unity, while the Romans considered it "the light of knowledge shed into the darkness of ignorance."


TriangleWhen the war was finally over, many homosexuals remained prisoners in the camps until 1969 when Paragraph 175 was repealed in West Germany. The Pink Triangle was adopted by many Gay rights groups in the 1970s. Because, it draws attention to the oppression and persecution -- then and now. In the 80s, ACT-UP (Aids Coalition To Unleash Power) started using a Pink Triangle that pointed up, to signify an active fight back , rather than a passive resignation to fate. Today , for many, the Pink Triangle represents Pride and Solidarity...Convicted offenders, an estimated 25,000.

Bear Pride FlagThe Bear Pride Flag was first displayed on June 18, 1995, at Spags, a Seattle bear bar. What is a Bear, you may ask? A Bear is a man that has an abundance of hair on their face, chest and body. The colors of the flag represent the Earth and the different bears that live between the sky and the ground. The Golden yellow paw shaped sun Represents the spirit and brotherhood of all bears. The blue stripe represents the sky; white for Polar bears; black for black bears; brown for brown bears and green for the Earth.

Bear Brotherhood Flag The International Bear Brotherhood Flag

symbol1.jpg (2662 bytes)Created by Tony DeBlase and first displayed in Chicago, 1989, at the Mr. Leather Contest, the Leather Pride Flag, gained quick, universal recognition as a symbol of those with leather, S M B D, uniform, latex, western and other fetishes.

Freedom RingsFreedom Rings, designed by David Spada with the Rainbow Flag in mind, are six colored aluminum rings. They have come to symbolize independence and tolerance of others.

Bi Pride Flag    Bisexual Pride Flag The pink color represents sexual attraction to the same sex only (gay and lesbian), the blue represents sexual attraction to the opposite sex only (straight) and the resultant overlap color purple represents sexual attraction to both sexes (bi).

Transgender SymbolThe IFGE (International Foundation for Gender Education) Logo, or Transgender symbol, is the widely recognized symbol for or crossdressers, transvestites, transsexuals and transgenderists.

Red RibbonThe Red Ribbon is a symbol of our concerns for our brothers and sisters afflicted with AIDs and HIV related disease.
The wearing or displaying of the Red Ribbon also indicates our disgust and abject horror at the negligence of governments and health organizations to act promptly when this disease was first encountered in the early 80s.

Pink RibbonThe Pink Ribbon is worn to raise awareness about the devastating number of women that breast cancer effects and to encourage support toward finding a cure.

2 MalesThe gender symbols were originally common astrological signs coming from Roman times. The interlocking Male symbols have been used since the 1970's as a symbol of pride for gay men.

2 FemailesThe interlocking Female symbols are used as a lesbian pride symbol. Some feminists also use the double female symbol (one ring with two crosses) as a symbol of sisterhood among women.