09/10/2020 10:48 AM AEDT | Updated 09/10/2020 10:59 AM AEDT

What Are The Meanings Behind The Different LGBTQAI+ Flags?

Explore the vibrant flags of the community in our immersive 3D experience.

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AFP via Getty Images
For many, a flag represents a form of validation.

Looking back at Mardi Gras 2020 in February, it feels like it was a decade ago.  

The more than 200 groups and floats and 200,000 spectators that made a splash in glitter and pride flags down Sydney’s Oxford Street never suspected the world would be turned upside down by the global pandemic in just a few short weeks.  

Since Mardi Gras (what could have been the world’s last major event before COVID) Pride events have pivoted to virtual gatherings and events. One way to celebrate Pride all year round is by flying the LGBTQAI+ community flags. Some flags may be recognisable, such as the rainbow gay pride flag. Others maybe not so much. So what do these beautifully vibrant flags represent? 

How well do you know your pride flags? 

   There Are Dozens Of Different LGBTQ+ Flags, But What Do They

The coloured stripes on many of these flags signify an aspect of a community. 

The progressive flag (LGBTQ flag) incorporates elements from the Philadelphia Flag and the Trans Pride Flag into the original rainbow flag, explained Sydney creator Alright Hey! 

“The colours on the flag represent people of colour and our trans brothers and sisters and those living with HIV and AIDS and those people that have been lost,” he told HuffPost Australia. 

“It incorporates everyone in the process with the arrow pointing to the right to move forward, it also shows we have a long way to go.  I think it represents a lot of people right now and that’s what I identify with right now.” 

The “pansexual pride flag is comprised of magenta, yellow, and cyan which are the CMYK primary colours widely used in colour printing worldwide. It is meant to paint every colour possible, which represents just how colourful our sexuality is,” Zolanski Genta, a member of the pansexual community, explained. “Every portion of mixture from each of them will create a whole new shade, which translates that our sexuality and experience is valid and is tailor-made for us with its own dedicated colour.”

For others, a flag represents a form of validation. “When I think of the nonbinary flag, I think of hope,” Kris Atienza said. “It wasn’t until I found this community that I realised that I am that thing for somebody, for so many people … I know a lot of people don’t recognise this flag. But for those of us who do, we know. We know we exist, we know we matter. We know we deserve to be here.”

Alright Hey! added the community need flags to show it is proud of its accomplishments. 

“It’s a symbol of solidarity for us too,” he said. 

“If I’m driving and I see I see a Pride flag sticker on someone’s car - it’s a nice moment to say ‘there’s someone who’s just like me.’ 

“It’s become part of our identity. There are a lot of things that try to make us not feel proud, so, we like to fly our flags.”  

Explore a handful of pride flags and their descriptions in the above interactive space. Does one resonate with you? Have a friend take a photo of you with the flag and share with us with the hashtag #PrideReimagined.

Brendon Thorne via Getty Images
Sam Smith at one of the world's last big events pre-pandemic - the 2020 Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade on February 29, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. 

This article contains files from HuffPost US and RYOT Studio.