Colors of the Rainbow

To wrap up Pride Month in style, let’s take a look at the meanings behind the colors of Pride! Color has been, is, and probably always will be a major part of Pride and the LGBTQ+ community.

Everyone recognises the iconic Pride flag - but did you know that every color in it actually has its own special meaning? Or that the Pride flag most often used today is not actually the original one?

The first Pride flag was created by Gilbert Baker in 1978 - and it had EIGHT stripes, not the six we usually see today! In order, the stripes were: hot pink, red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, blue, and purple, and each one represented something Baker considered integral to the LGBTQ+ experience.

Hot pink = sexuality

Red = life

Orange = healing

Yellow = sunlight

Green = nature

Turquoise = magic

Blue = serenity

Purple = spirit

The pink stripe was dropped first because at the time, there was a shortage of hot pink fabric. Then in 1979, the turquoise stripe was taken out because an equal number of stripes made it easier to display. Which is how we got to the six-stripe flag most of us are familiar with!

Baker’s flag isn’t the only one that gets used, though. Lots of artists have created slightly different versions, with extra stripes to add important meaning to the flag.

In 2017, the city of Philadelphia created the Philadelphia People Of Color Inclusive Flag, adding black and brown stripes to call attention to the place of people of color within the LGBTQ+ community.

Artist Daniel Quasar designed the Progress Flag in 2019, which brings in the black and brown stripes as a triangle over the traditional six-stripe rainbow, and includes the stripes of the Transgender Pride Flag as well (pale blue, pale pink, and white). Quasar explained that the arrow shape pointing right is meant to show the forward progress of the issues faced by people of color and transgender people in the LGBTQ+ community, while the arrow itself being on the left means that there is still a way to go.

There are hundreds and hundreds of other flags, including one for every sexuality or gender identity - and each one has special meaning attached to the colors and symbols in it. Our Parade palette features just a handful of them, but when you color with that palette, take a moment to think about how much history and love has gone into every single color in it.

Here are the flags and colors that inspired our Parade Palette gradients!

Lesbian Pride Flag:

Gay Pride Flag:
Bisexual Pride Flag:
Transgender Pride Flag (black version):
Transgender Pride Flag (white version):
Intersex Pride Flag:
Pansexual Pride Flag:
Polysexual Pride Flag:
Nonbinary Pride Flag:
Asexual Pride Flag:
Demisexual Pride Flag:
Genderqueer Pride Flag:
Agender Pride Flag:
Aromantic Pride Flag:
Genderfluid Pride Flag:
Polygender Pride Flag:
Genderflux Pride Flag:

We hope you had an incredible Pride Month, and that you’ll stand with us under the rainbow for the other 11 months of the year as well! Keep on showing us your true colors in your galleries!