The Philadelphia Pride Flag

Being a part of the LGBTQ+ community can mean many things. Your identity and sexuality might differ from other community members, but one thing unites all: pride. For many years members of the LGBTQ+ community have faced oppression and acts of hatred. Within this community, there are also further marginalized people and folks with intersectional identities. The Philadelphia pride flag was designed to demonstrate that the LGBTQ+ community is not only diverse, but also proposes a fight for the idea of inclusion within the community. 

If you think you might identify with the LGBTQ+ community or want to learn more, keep reading.

The Philadelphia flag today

The Philadelphia pride flag was first created by the marketing agency Tierney in June 2017. The Philadelphia flag features the original Gilbert Baker LGBTQ+ rainbow flag and adds a black and brown stripe to the top. The flag was created as a part of the Philadelphia “More Color More Pride” campaign that came into existence after acts of racism were exposed in Philly’s Gayborhood. As an act of protest the flag was created. It brings awareness to queer people of color and the intersectionality that is often looked over in these communities. 

So what does this flag represent? As a whole, the unification of LGBTQ+ community and its dedication to inclusion. Below is a breakdown of what the colors of this flag represent. 

  • Black and Brown: Marginalized POC who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Red: Life.
  • Orange: Healing. 
  • Yellow: Sunlight. 
  • Green: Nature. 
  • Blue: Harmony. 
  • Violet: Spirit. 

Alternative versions of the Philadelphia pride flag

The progress flag 

The current progress flag was designed by Graphic designer Daniel Quasar in 2018. The flag builds upon the iconic rainbow pride flag designed by Gilbert Baker in 1978 to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and the Philadelphia pride flag with the added brown and black stripes. This flag adds on a chevron with five new colors to symbolize progression. The intention of the flag was to show support for the LGBTQ+ community members that historically have been excluded and who have faced maltreatment and at times even persecution.  

Here is the breakdown of the colors and symbols:


  • Black and Brown: Marginalized POC who are a part of the community. The black stripe also represents those who live with AIDS and are stigmatized and community members that passed away due to AIDS.  
  • Light Blue, Pink, and White: Transgender and non-binary individuals. 


  • Red: Life.
  • Orange: Healing. 
  • Yellow: Sunlight. 
  • Green: Nature. 
  • Blue: Harmony. 
  • Violet: Spirit. 

Redesigned progress flag 

Just recently in 2021 designer Valentino Vecchietti incorporated an intersex pride flag into the chevron. This new flag is now known as the intersex progress flag and has since gained popularity. 

Controversy surrounding the Philadelphia pride flag

Although many love to wave the Philadelphia pride flag this feeling is not mutual throughout the entire LGBTQ+ community. A comment section on Twitter regarding the intersex progress flag explains this controversy. Some individuals expressed that the original rainbow pride flag was inclusive enough and never excluded any marginalized members to begin with. These individuals don’t believe the addition of stripes or symbols was necessary as they think the original flag already sent out these messages.  

Want to learn more about the LGBTQ+ community?

The LGBTQ+ community is vast. The multitude of colors and symbols displayed on the Philadelphia flag is symbolic of how colorful and vibrant the community itself is. Whether you might identify as a lesbian, transgender, or bisexual there is a circle of support waiting for you. If you feel like you might resonate with the LGBTQ+ community feel free to visit our website to learn more. 

The Philadelphia flag highlights voices that are often not heard enough. POC individuals who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community have been oppressed not only because of their sexuality, but also because of their race. This is why support and visibility for these individuals should be a critical matter that members of the LGBTQ+ community should fight for. 

Closing thoughts

The bottom line is representation matters. Flags are a necessary tool when it comes to representing a community, identity, or sexuality. Putting up a Philadelphia pride flag or wearing it on a t-shirt shows appreciation and pride for the community. This is not only important for community members who want to feel unified, but also for visibility purposes. The colors and symbols on a flag show the world what it means to be a part of that community and give everyone a chance to show their pride. 
In addition, be sure to learn about the other identities that make up the LGBTQ+ community on our website or subscribe to the INTO newsletter to learn more.

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