The Meaning and History Behind The Bisexual Flag

Ok, I have a confession! I, a bisexual woman, did not know what the colours of the bisexual flag meant. So, in light of this, I have decided to dive into the history of the bisexual pride flag and find out what other bisexual people think of it. 

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Personally, the reason that I love having our own iconic flag is because of the lack of validation and representation I’ve felt over the years. Growing up in the 2000s, bisexuality was an ongoing punchline in TV shows. Like in ‘Sex and the City’ and ‘Friends.’ Shows like this normalised people thinking that bisexuals were ‘closeted gay’, and just couldn’t admit it. That we are just ‘kidding ourselves.’ They also portrayed bisexual people as ‘slutty’ and ‘greedy.’ Bisexuality was never taken seriously. I remember one instance, where I was told that I was only claiming to be bisexual to attract men… *eyerolls*

I like to think that things are changing, and this new generation is a lot more open-minded when it comes to sexuality. However, there is still a sense of not being taken seriously. I watched the TV show Geordie Shore recently and one of the female cast members came out as bisexual. The reactions from some of the castmates included ‘no you’re not’ and some even dismissed her claim. Microaggressions like this, make people feel invalided.

This is known as biphobia. Over the years people, both straight and from the LGBTQ+ community have been suspicious of bisexual people. They’ve seen us as untrustworthy because ‘we can’t make up our minds.’ There is a dismissal, for example in the media, celebs who have relationships with both genders are described as a ‘gay fling’ or simply a ‘girl crush.’ For years, we’ve been distrusted, after all, if you can’t decide what your sexuality is, how you make decisions about anything else, right? You can also be seen as untrusted in a relationship because it’s assumed that you are going to cheat on them with the opposite sex. This biphobia has been an issue for years.

 This is why it’s more important than ever to be seen and heard. I vow to speak up and make more noise. People need to hear our stories and understand them more. It’s time to raise our bi flags high. 

What is the history of the bisexual flag? 

The bisexual pride flag debuted in 1998, designed by Michael Page. He saw a need for it, after learning that many bisexual people didn’t identify with the iconic rainbow flag. This is because they felt it only resonated with gay and lesbian communities. He wanted to help combat biphobia, and give bi individuals more visibility. He saw how impactful the rainbow flag had been in just 20 years, so wanted to create a bi flag that was just as powerful for people to use as their representation. 

The bisexual flag was revealed to the world on the 5th December 1998 at a birthday party for Page’s online website. However, the flag wasn’t officially showcased until 22nd March 1999. There was a rally in Tallahassee, Florida. A photographer captured the moment and it was even published on the front page of the Tallahassee Democrat. 

This is when the bisexual flag gained momentum, it was featured in the Winter 1998 BiNet USA newsletter. They described it as ‘a most important new Bi symbol.’ After this, the rest of the world caught on too. In the year 2000, it was showcased at Mardi Gras, then later that year it was featured at World Pride in Rome. The flags featured Michael Page’s website to help grow the community. 

What do the colours of the bisexual flag mean? 

The bisexual flag was actually created from another symbol. Page took the bisexual flag colours from the ‘Biangles’ system that was already being used by some bisexual community groups in America. Page said the following ‘In designing the bi pride flag, I selected the colours and overlap pattern of the ‘bi angles’ symbol.’. 

As you can see two larger stripes are sandwiching a small stripe. And each colour has a specific meaning. 

Dark pink: This represents sexual attraction to the same sex

Dark blue: This represents sexual attraction to the opposite sex 

Lavender: This represents the overlap, the attraction to both sexes

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Page said ‘The key to understanding the symbolism of the Bisexual pride flag is to know that the purple pixels of color blend unnoticeably into both the pink and blue, just as in the ‘real world,’ where bi people blend unnoticeably into both the gay/lesbian and straight communities.’

Another symbol for bisexuality is the Crescent Moon. This was created as another way to express yourself as a bisexual ally. Some people wanted to avoid the triangle symbols. This is because, in Nazi, Germany, they would use pink triangles to dehumanise homosexuals. 

What do the community think?

So what do people think about the bisexual flag? I took to Reddit to see what the bisexual flag colours mean to the bi community. 

Looking through Reddit, the majority of people are happy to have representation and love the concept. 

Reddit user u/jaynebshea wrote:

“The bisexual pride flag has a very cool meaning: pink – sexuality, violet – spirit, indigo – serenity.”

Reddit user Geek_Gaming2002 wrote: 

“No criticisms here, I really like the flag. I wouldn’t want to see them change it, the design makes sense to me and the colours do too. Plus it’s less flamboyant than the LGBT flag. So it’s much easier for me to wear its colours despite not being out to many people yet. So I can still wear my pride and be noticed by other bisexuals.”

However, with everything, there will always be criticisms. Many people do not identify with the flag as they feel that it is too gendered. Whilst Page himself has said that the colours represent pink being the same sex and blue being the opposite sex, and purple being the overlap. Some people are concerned that in this modern world of multiple genders, there may be an issue. For example, some non-binary people have expressed that they don’t relate to the flag. In fact, many people are trying to come up with their own variants of the bi flag that better represent themselves. 

Reddit user u/squarerooto writes: 

“I don’t make flags, but I want to start. I tried to make a bisexual demigirl flag for both myself and because I haven’t seen a demigirl/boy flag yet.”

Reddit user u/Xzilonov writes”

“I made a better bi flag because I didn’t like the current one.”

I discovered that the majority of bisexual individuals love the flag and love the meaning behind it. But there are a large proportion of people within the community who are still looking for something that they identify with more. This is why you’ll find 100’s of Reddit boards with new bi flag concepts for those who do not conform to certain genders. 

Where can I buy a bisexual flag?

So now you know the history, I hope you can see how important it is to showcase your bi pride. And you can do this in a variety of ways. It could a bisexual flag that you take to parades or even hang up in your home. There are so many ways you can support the bi community from enamel pins to pride facemasks… how very 2021!

We’ve teamed up with Gay Pride Shop to get you 10% off your first purchase. Just use the code MIINGLE10 at the checkout. Here are some of our favourite bisexual flag merchandise: 

A classic flag

Shop here!

Wear your pride on your feet

Shop here!

Show your pride at the beach 

Shop here!

An enamel pin

Shop here!

A bi pride facemask

Shop here!

And there are so many other bisexual pride products you can get your hands on from face paints to fluffy fans. They have everything you need to showcase your pride. Just make sure you use code MIINGLE10 to get your exclusive 10% off. 

Personally, I love the bisexual flag and what it represents. And the majority of bi people seem to love it too. And, It’s looking more hopeful that parades and gatherings will be back on track by the summer so we can wave our flags high. Let us know your opinion on the bisexual flag in the comments below. 

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Original source: https://miingle.com/bisexual-flag/