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What Is the Philadelphia Pride Flag & What Does It Mean?

A flag waves in the air with a design of horizontal stripes in the colors of the Philadelphia pride flag, from top to bottom: Black, brown, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.

While you are probably already aware that rainbows and rainbow flags are meaningful symbols to the LGBTQ+ community, you’ve also probably seen a few different kinds of rainbow flags and wondered what exactly their differences are. 

For members of the LGBTQ+ community, it certainly doesn’t need to be Pride Month to embrace these banners — which represent and celebrate the diverse range of identities and experiences among the LGBTQ+ community

Fear not! We’re here to explain. Following Gilbert Baker’s iconic rainbow flag design from 1978, new rainbow flags didn’t really reach public consciousness until a few years ago.

One such “new” rainbow flag is Philadelphia’s More Color More Pride Flag, which came into existence in 2017. Here’s what you need to know about it.

→ Explore the full list of all LGBTQ+ Pride flags

By the way, we’ve included some links to be able to buy this flag — and some of the links may include affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. 

About the Philly Pride Flag

History

In 2017, the city of Philadelphia took part in a citywide “More Color More Pride” campaign and created its own new Pride flag

Designed by Philadelphia’s Office of LGBT Affairs and design agency Tierney, the More Color More Pride Flag is a take on the traditional 6-Color Rainbow Pride Flag, with two additional stripes to represent LGBTQ+ people of color.

The flag was designed with the intention to call for change and demand inclusion for both LGBTQ+ and BIPOC communities in Philadelphia.

In 2016, after a number of stories were published exposing racism in Philadelphia’s “Gayborhood,” people of color began demanding more intersectionality in the city’s queer community. The flag was one answer to their calls for change. 

However, it reached beyond the city. The flag put the global spotlight on Philadelphia, it was used on Pride merchandise for brands like Nike, Converse, and LEGO, and it was even in a season finale of the FX show “Pose.”

“It was absolutely intended to be Philadelphia-specific,” Amber Hikes, the former executive director of the Philadelphia Office of LGBT Affairs, told the Philadelphia Inquirer

“I think it speaks to the importance of the symbol, the significance of it, and the relevance of it: the way that it has truly resonated with so many different communities, identity groups and struggles around the world.”

Hitting the scene just a year before Daniel Quasar’s Progress Pride Flag, the More Color More Pride Flag has since been widely adapted alongside the Progress Pride Flag as a symbol of increased inclusion and diversity.

Philadelphia still flies its special Pride flag — as do many cities around the world — but LGBTQ+ activists encourage people to figure out which Pride flag best represents them and to fly the one that feels right.

“Choose a flag that you feel represents you,” Ebony-Fierce, a drag performer in Philadelphia, told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I feel like the focus should be your own journey, your own identity, and your own expression, and your own choice of a flag should always truly represent you.”

Colors

Horizontal stripes in the colors of the Philadelphia pride flag, from top to bottom: Black, brown, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.

Philadelphia’s More Color More Pride Flag includes many of the original colors and meanings of Baker’s 1978 design — except with two additional colors for Black and Brown community members: 

  • Black and Brown: Representing LGBTQ+ people of color, acknowledging their experiences, contributions, and struggles within the community
  • Red: Life
  • Orange: Healing
  • Yellow: Sunlight
  • Green: Nature
  • Blue: Serenity and harmony
  • Purple: Spirit

Get a Flag: Flags For Good | Amazon

We’ve provided links to Flags For Good, which donates a portion of each Pride flag sale to LGBTQ+ nonprofits and has a fully carbon neutral production and distribution process. Use our links to save 10% off your entire order.

(We’ve also included links to Amazon for accessibility purposes.)

Plus, learn more about other Pride flags:

Article Details

January 4, 2024 1:00 PM
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