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LGBT history symbols

LGBT history symbols

LGBT History Symbols –  LGBT symbols  are a set of symbols embraced by  lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people  as items of self-identification, meant to demonstrate the unity, pride, and values ​​shared by these people.

Symbols of LGBT history during the war

During World War II

The pink triangle (German:  Rosa Winkel ) was the symbol used to “identify” male homosexuals in the Nazi concentration camp universe.

The deportation of homosexuals by the Nazis did not respond to a logic of persecution (as was the case in particular for the Jewish or Roma populations), but was part of a logic of repression of “undesirables” (asocials, criminals, etc.) or people considered dangerous by the regime because of their beliefs (political opponents, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc.). Generally, homosexuals convicted of criminal offenses twice, at least once under paragraph 175, were deported.

LGBT history symbols

Belonging therefore to the lowest caste of the camp, the most difficult work and the most degrading and painful tortures were reserved for them. They were also the favorite guinea pigs of the Nazis for scientific experiments: on the study of malaria, typhus, female sterilization, castration, or even injections of synthetic hormones in the right groin in order to obtain, in principle, a reversal of the tendencies of the individual.

After the Second World War

In the late 1970s, the pink triangle was adopted as a symbol of the LGBT rights movement. Some academics link the recovery of this symbol with the publication, in the early 1970s, of the memoir  Men with the Pink Triangle  by Heinz Hegerpar, survivor of the Nazi concentration camps.

Symbols of LGBT history After the war

Triangle rose

Triangle rose

The pink triangle is the basis for the design of the Homomonument in Amsterdam, the gay and lesbian holocaust memorial in Sydney, the Pink Triangles park in the Le Castro district of San Francisco. It is also the basis of the design of LGBT souvenirs in Barcelona and Sitges. ACT UP adopted an inverted pink triangle with the slogan “Silence = Death” as its logo shortly after forming in 1987.

black triangle

black triangle

In the Nazi concentration camp universe  , the black triangle was the symbol used to mark the prisoners of the camps who were considered by this regime as “socially maladjusted” ( “Asozial”  in German). It is similar to the pink triangle, worn in the camps by homosexual men convicted under paragraph 175.

A category with a very vague name, it grouped together various subgroups of individuals that the Nazis, in their obsession with categorization, had trouble delimiting. That is to say, all the people who, for one reason or another, were on the margins of the system or who had a choice of life contrary to the ideological values ​​of the Nazis, such as lesbians.

Lesbians were therefore equated with them, since they did not fit into the canons of the Nazi system of thought on the family, which was patriarchal and hetero-normative.

The German legal system did not include an offense of lesbianism, as it did not fall within the scope of paragraph 175. It was therefore impossible to criminally convict a woman under this ground in this country. But it was of course possible for a system operating on denunciation, to condemn her or to deport her under another pretext. However, the Austrian penal code included a specific article repressing and condemning relations between women – this article remained in force after the Anschluss in 1938.

Blue and pink triangle

The first bisexual pride flag, unveiled on September 5, 1998, aims to give more visibility to bisexual people, who have been present since the beginnings of the LGBT movement. They also do not benefit from strong symbols.

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The flag uses the colors of the blue and pink triangle. Its creator, Michael Page, explains: “To fully understand the symbolism of this flag, it is necessary to know that the subtlety lies in the fact that the color lavender blends imperceptibly into the two other colors, recalling that in reality too, bisexual people intermingle imperceptibly in homosexual and heterosexual communities, which is the cause of their lack of visibility. »

LGBT symbols – (LGBT flags)


Rainbow Flag

lgbt flag

The flag owes its origin to the artist Gilbert Baker of San Francisco who was inspired by the symbols specific to the hippie movement and the five-color flag used by groups defending the rights of black people. He designs the rainbow flag to meet the needs of the LGBT community who desire a symbol of identity.

Originally, the flags had eight different colors: pink, red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, indigo and purple.

These eight-color flags were first used in 1978 in the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Freedom Day Parade. The following year, for the 1979 parade, Baker commissioned a San Francisco company to mass-produce rainbow flags. However, as some colors are not available, hot pink and turquoise are eliminated and royal blue replaces indigo.

LGBT history symbols

The rainbow flag has six colors symbolizing different aspects of the community: red for life, orange for comfort, yellow for sunshine, green for nature, blue for art and purple for spirituality. The rainbow flag has quickly become the recognized symbol of LGBTQIA+ pride and diversity .

It is also called the “pride flag”.

Bisexual flag

bisexual flag

For more visibility and to create a symbol for the bisexual community to come together, Michael Page created the Bisexual Pride Flag in 1998, modeled after the rainbow flag, to increase the visibility of bisexuals in the world. within the LGBT community.

Magenta represents same-sex attraction. Royal blue represents attraction to the opposite sex. The lavender color represents the combination of the two. The main idea of ​​the bi flag is that the bi color (lavender) is barely noticeable in the gay and straight colors (magenta and royal blue), as in reality. This shows the invisibility of bisexuals in homosexual and heterosexual communities.

Lesbian flags

flags lesbian variants

There are different lesbian flags: the rainbow lesbian pride flag. It is made up of two interlocking Venus symbols (also known as the female sex symbol), set against the bars of the rainbow gay pride flag. The pride flag of so-called “lesbians and feminists” lesbians, created in 1999, is composed of a purple background in the center of the inverted black triangle (symbol with which the Nazis marked lesbians) and the labrys. The lipstick lesbian pride flag was created in 2010, it is intended to be representative of lesbians whose gender expression is said to be feminine (appearance, behavior, clothing, makeup, etc.).

In 2018, a new lesbian pride flag was created to make it more inclusive for  butchs  and transgender lesbians. This flag has since five colors symbolizing, from top to bottom, transgressive femininity, community, gender non-conformity, freedom and love.

Pansexual flag

pansexual flag

The pansexual flag was created in 2010 on the Instagram network. Comprised of three colors, pink symbolizes attraction to women and femininity, yellow to attraction to agender, non-binary and genderqueer people, while blue denotes attraction to men or masculinity.

Ace/asexual flag

asexual flag

The asexual flag appeared in 2010 following a campaign by the Asexual Visibility and Education Network (  AVEN).

Intersex flag

intersex flag

The intersex flag was created by the International Intersex Organization – Australia in June 2013 to create a flag without the gender colors: pink and blue. The colors of the yellow background and the purple circle are described by the artists who created it as “hermaphroditic”, that is to say not necessarily borrowing from binary codes as would an androgynous gender identity, but being independent and valid in their individuality, like intersex people who generally present an absence of several “typical” physical characteristics of the male or female genders, or on the contrary an unprecedented combination of physical characteristics.

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Purple is a mixture of blue and pink, while yellow, the third primary color, does not contain the latter.

Transgender flag

transgender flag

This flag was first displayed during the Phoenix, Arizona Pride Parade in 2000. It was tied and displayed to the general public in the city of San Francisco on November 19, 2012, to celebrate Trans Memorial Day. The light blue stripes are associated with the traditional color of boys, the pink stripes have the traditional color of girls. White represents intersex people or people who are gender neutral or undefined. The flag is composed in such a way that no matter which way it is shown, it is always readable, thus symbolizing the validity, correctness and legitimacy of trans people.

Genderqueer Flag 

genderqueer lgbtq flag

Genderfluid flag

genderfluid flag

In gender-fluid French, indicates a gender that changes over time between multiple identities. When the intensity with which the person identifies with a gender varies, the identity can be described as also being genderflux, with fluctuating gender. The flag is composed, from top to bottom, of a pink stripe symbolizing the female gender, a white stripe symbolizing the neutral gender, a purple stripe symbolizing the non-binary gender, a black stripe symbolizing the gender identity and a blue band for the male gender.

polygender flag

Polygender people can also identify as bigender, trigender, etc., depending on how many genders they identify with.

Half-gender flags

Demigender people partially identify with one of the masculine, feminine, or other genders, but not completely.


demiboy flag

In English demiboy, partially identifies with a man. The half-boy flag consists of dark gray stripes outwards, lighter stripes inwards, then light blue stripes and a central white stripe, which symbolizes gender neutrality in this identity but also the partially male.


In English demigirl, partially identifies with a woman. The demigirl flag consists of dark gray stripes outwards, lighter stripes inwards, then light pink stripes and a central white stripe, which symbolizes the gender neutrality in this identity but also the partly belonging to the feminine gender.

Agender flag

gender flag

Called by some gender neutral, or agender flag, it signifies non-belonging to a particular gender, or the refusal to identify in any way. It is defined by outer black bands, then inward gray bands, which symbolize the absence of gender, then two white bands surrounding a light green central band, which denote gender neutrality and a sense of belonging respectively. to an “other” genre.

Flags of subcultures

Bear flag

bear lgbt flag

The bear flag appeared in 1992 in order to give a specific emblem to the community. It is composed of seven color bands: brown, light brown, blond, beige, white, gray, black. For some, each band represents a shade of human skin color as well as a natural shade of hair, the idea being to symbolically represent the entire human race. For others, the colors represent those of plantigrade bears. A stylized black bear paw (with or without claw depending on the version) in the upper left corner completes the set. Some say that this bear paw was introduced in 2005, during the election of Pope Benedict XVI, by a leading Catholic LGBT activist. Indeed, the bear is one of the symbols present on the coat of arms of Benedict XVI.

Leather flag

lgbt leather flag

Imagined by Tony DeBlase in 1989, the leather flag symbolizes the leather and BDSM community, homosexual or not. It consists of nine horizontal bands of color, alternately blue and black, the central band being white. A red heart in the upper left corner adorns the emblem.

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The author has always refused to give meaning to the choice of colors and their arrangement. He prefers that everyone builds their own representation of their meaning.

Other symbols

double crescent

lgbt2 symbol

The bisexual “double crescent” represents two opposite and tangent moons at a point. Mainly used in Germany, it was designed in 1998 by Vivian Wagner with the assistance of a team, in order to offer a symbol other than the pink triangle, little appreciated because of its link with the deportation of homosexuals under the regime. Nazi


lgbt symbol

The symbol was chosen by the Gay Alliance activists of New York in 1970. The GAA was a group that broke away from the larger Gay Liberation Front in late 1969, just six months after its founding in response to the riots of Stonewall.

Due to its official adoption by the GAA, which sponsored public events for the gay community, the lambda quickly became a quick way for members of the gay community to identify one another. The reasoning was that the lambda could easily be mistaken for a symbol of college fraternity and ignored by the majority of the population. The GAA headquarters was set on fire by an arsonist, destroying not only the building but all of the organization’s records, and the movement never recovered from the loss. The symbol, however, survived.

LGBT history symbols

Simply, the Greek letter “L” stands for “liberation”. The Greek Spartans believed that the lambda represented unity. The Romans took it in this sense: “the light of knowledge shines in the darkness of ignorance. »

This symbol is now very common for LGBT movements. Although at one time it acquired a strictly masculine connotation, it is used by both gays and lesbians today. Back in December of 1974, the lambda was officially declared the international symbol for gay and lesbian rights by the Gay Rights International Congress in Edinburgh, Scotland.


labrys symbol

A symbol that has been adopted in Australia by the bisexual movement is the yin and yang symbol combined with the bisexual symbol. The South Australian Bisexual Network was formed in November 1992 and developed the symbol the following year for use on its campaign material.

Purple hand

The purple hand didn’t last long. The story goes that in the 1970s a group of people stormed the office of the  San Francisco Examiner  to protest a homophobic editorial and put purple handprints all over the building. Inspired by the New York Mafia gang “The Black Hand”, some activists have attempted to use the “purple” hand as a gay and lesbian symbol.




Pride flags

Pride flags
drapeaux lgbt


bijoux lgbt
bijoux lgbt


tasse lgbt
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