Conservatives Are Enraged by a Pride Flag Concept That No One Wants or Uses

A version of the Progress Pride flag with an umbrella to include sex workers has been circulating online.

Conservatives have erupted over a version of the Progress Pride banner that incorporates a red umbrella representing sex workers. They appear to assume that the design was authorized and voted on by the LGBTQ+ community’s “governing authority.”

The original rainbow flag has been changed and lifted so many times recently that the mistake is understandable; even some LGBTQ+ community members have fallen for it.

However, the inclusion of an umbrella is not a new revelation. The design is two years old and was previously used by Chaya Raichik of the virulently anti-LGBTQ+ Twitter account “Libs of TikTok” to portray gay people as sexual predators. It’s phony rightwing fury about a flag design that no one uses or supports.

That didn’t stop some hilarious replies from MAGA supporters who were certain the community had held a meeting.

“Who is the governing authority that owns & makes changes to this flag?” asked one user.

The Progress Pride banner is an upgrade of Gilbert Baker’s original and famous rainbow Pride flag. While well-intentioned, it has been controversial, both because of the inclusion of other colors intended to identify specific people within the community and because the designer, Daniel Quasar, has held copyright over the design and charges for its usage.

It has five new colors in the shape of an arrow or a chevron pointing right. Black, brown, light blue, pink, and white are the colors. Quasar’s design is a reimagining of a pride flag introduced by the city of Philadelphia in June 2017 that includes black and brown stripes in addition to the conventional six rainbow colors. The black and brown hues signify LGBTQ+ persons of color who are marginalized, those living with AIDS/HIV, and those who died as a result of AIDS/HIV consequences.

To reflect the transgender population, Quasar also used light blue, pink, and white. The colors may be found on Monica Helms’ 1999 transgender pride flag. Intersex Equality Rights UK developed a version of Quasar’s Progress Pride banner that integrates the intersex flag by placing the intersex flag’s golden yellow backdrop and purple circle in a triangle inside the five-striped chevron.

Other versions of the revised flag have come and gone, with some embracing them and others outright rejecting them, but one has remained. Gilbert Baker, an artist, created the first pride flag in 1978. It was designed in response to a request by then-San Francisco City Supervisor Harvey Milk to produce something that might serve as a symbol of pride for the LGBTQ+ community. Baker’s flag is made up of eight colors that represent:

  • Hot pink represents sex.
  • Red represents life.
  • Orange: Healing
  • Yellow represents sunlight.
  • Green represents nature.
  • Turquoise represents magic and art.
  • Indigo represents harmony.
  • Violet represents the spirit.

To be clear, none of the flags are the “official” Pride flag. There isn’t one; people just fly the flag or flags that speak to them the most.

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