While many of us are now familiar with the famous rainbow flag, there are also other LGBQT+ flags that each represent the different sex, sexuality, attraction, and gender diversities within our fabulous community.
Even if most queer people identify with the rainbow flag itself, many also desire to fly their own particular flag alongside it. Because, y’all, representation is crucial!
The labrys lesbian flag was designed in 1999 by graphic designer Sean Campbell, a cisgender gay man, and distributed in June 2000 in the Palm Springs edition of the Gay and Lesbian Times Pride issue.
The design includes a labrys, a double-headed ax, placed over an inverted black triangle, set against a violet background. Among its many meanings, the labrys was the weapon of choice for the Amazons of Greek mythology, a group of female warriors and hunters whose society was closed to men. It has been a symbol of empowerment used by lesbian feminists since the 1970s.
The inverted black triangle was the symbol worn by women considered asocial by the Third Reich (including homosexual females). They were condemned to concentration camps, similar to the pink triangle assigned to gay men. As gay men have reclaimed their symbol, many lesbians have also reclaimed this.
The symbol on the labrys lesbian flag has set on the color violet, which has been associated with lesbians via the poetry of Sappho.
This flag is not widely used now, possibly because a lesbian did not create it – but also because of concerns of its imagery rooted in the Holocaust. It is frequently used by trans-exclusionary lesbians or trans-exclusionary feminists, partly due to the Amazon’s mythology where the women would either kill their sons or return them to their fathers, with whom they would only socialize briefly in order to reproduce.
As such, many lesbians today seek out a flag that is inclusive of trans women and the wider LGBT community.