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The new polyamorous flag is here and we love what it represents 

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Jun 19, 2023

The new polyamorous flag is here and we love what it represents 
  • In case you didn’t hear, there’s a new polyamorous flag.

    Polyamory usually describes having multiple loving relationships with more than one person at once with the consent of all involved. This is not a sexual orientation, but it is an identity and a community around the world.

    Polyamory advocacy has often overlapped and coincided with the movement for LGBTQ+ rights, and many famous queer activists were also vocal supporters of polyamory, such as Brenda Howard.

    Source: Texas Standard

    In November 2022, over 30,000 polyamorous people voted for a new flag design. This was all thanks to the organizing work of polyamproud, which started up with the mission to redesign the polyamory flag. These organizers are smart — I mean, you have to have a big brain to question the construct of monogamy and realize it is all an illusion created to maintain structures of power. 

    They ran a brilliant public campaign to get the word out and design a flag as a community, rather than uniting behind a different existing flag. 

    Voters finally selected a design by Red Howell, a queer multimedia designer based in London.  And it’s beautiful! A gold heart, a white chevron, and a tricolor of blue, magenta, and purple. So much time, thought, and passion went into the design and the process, and it shows. 

    It’s also for sale at Flags for Good, which is a great website for all your Pride merch needs. Here’s one wholesome review: “I’m so thrilled to have this flag! It’s beautifully made and I love what it represents. Thank you for helping our family fully express ourselves!”


    In case you didn’t hear, there’s a new polyamorous flag!

    Source: WikiMedia Commons

    The original polyamory pride flag was created in 1995 by Jim Evans, hoping a symbol or image for the polyamorous community would bring the community together like other flags used in the LGBTQ+ community. 

    And Jim did a good job getting the ball rolling. We are proud of Jim! But his creation… it’s giving Microsoft Paint, it’s giving the flag for the state of Maryland, it’s giving me a headache. 

    But what we love about the old flag is its symbolism and the passion that Jim brought to it. Just take a look at what he said each color represented:

    • Blue:  the openness and honesty among all partners with which we conduct our multiple relationships.
    • Red:  love and passion.
    • Black: solidarity with those who, though they are open and honest with all participants of their relationships, must hide those relationships from the outside world due to societal pressures.
    • Gold: the value that we place on the emotional attachment to others, be the relationship friendly or romantic in nature, as opposed to merely primarily physical relationships.

    We need more Jims in the world. He is so pure and so understanding about why people don’t love his flag, and he really cares about the poly community. “Use mine, don’t use it, I’m just glad some people found a banner to rally around in the late 90s.” 

    Jim, we salute you and your flag. Thank you for your service. 


    What is the new polyamory pride flag and what does it represent?

    Source: WikiMedia Comms

    Thanks to the power of queer organizing and the power of the people, we have a new polyamory pride flag, and it is beautiful.  Here’s what each color represents

    White chevron

    The white chevron represents possibility, both for non-monogamous relationships and a better future for polyamory. Poly people face stigma and discrimination in marriage, adoption, custody, access to insurance, and other systemic ways that also intersect with other identities such as race, gender, and sexual orientation. 

    The chevron points to the opposite end of the flag to also represent this progress, but it is also asymmetrical to represent the non-traditional style of polyamorous relationships in  all their beauty. 


    Gold heart

    This is my favorite part of this design. Who doesn’t want a flag with a heart on it? The heart is a reminder that the core of non-monogamy is love in its diverse and complex forms. And the gold represents energy and persistence, pushing toward more acceptance and structural support for poly people and families. 


    Magenta

    In the tricolor, Magenta represents desire, love, and attraction, which are all separate things that may or may not overlap for the asexual and aromantic. This is where polyamory pushes up against the accepted norms of monogamy. It’s generally accepted that you can date and have sex with more than one person at once for a vague amount of time, but as soon as it crosses over to being in a relationship or loving more than one person, that’s breaking society’s rules! 

    The flag is here to represent love in its many forms. 


    Blue

    The first stripe in the tricolor is blue, symbolizing openness and honesty. Communication is at the core of ethical non-monogamy and all healthy relationships. Again, this color has a dual meaning. With the stigma of polyamory, many people do not have the privilege to share their identity, and the polyamorous community is working toward a more welcoming future to be open. 


    Purple

    The purple stripe stands for a united non-monogamous community. This is also a nod to communities that came first, indigenous communities whose cultural practices of non-monogamy were colonized and erased.


    Today, the non-monogamous community is a diverse and vibrant community, and the flag is made to highlight the ways that these intersectional identities will always have a place in polyamory. 

    The new polyamory pride flag is a beautiful example of the power of LGBTQ+ organizing. Straight people couldn’t do this! The cis men can’t even match their pants to their shirt. We accept them anyway. 

    These organizers implemented a multi-stage voting process to get feedback on each color item and ran a campaign that reached 30,000 non-monogamous people. That’s a huge frigging deal. They’re using their momentum by promoting the activism of other queer people, especially Black trans women, on their Instagram.  

    With the level of intention that went into each element of this flag, the community made something to last.

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    Catherine Henderson is a journalist based in Chicago. She has worked at a wide variety of newsrooms, including The Denver Post, Chalkbeat, Business Insider and In These Times, covering education, career development and culture. Catherine holds a master’s and bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling, exploring Chicago, reading LGBTQ lit, and analyzing internet trends.

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