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I’ve always wondered about this but why does the lesbian community always have to reinvent a flag?

The purple flag with the labrys was struck down in recent years because it was created by a man (despite the labrys being a symbol in the lesbian community for decades).

The pink and red striped flag was initially specific to femmes but was later changed to accommodate all lesbians though many weren’t comfortable with the usage or the stereotypical “pink for girls”. Also, the creator was eventually alleged to be anti-Asian, biphobic, and discriminatory against butches.

Currently, the sunset flag is popular (particularly amongst younger lesbians) but in this case, the white stripe represents “nonbinary” lesbians and is inclusive to TIMs that fetishize lesbians. Also, not important but related to the flag, the creator was harassed online by teenage girls and TIMs for being “exclusionary” to self-proclaimed “bi/pan-lesbians”.

We’re now at a point in the community where “sapphics” and younger lesbians (mostly those under 25) are becoming spokespeople for the community and have the free reign to dismiss flags at their own will. It’s come to a point where people are making their own lesbian flags because they don’t feel any of these represent them personally. There are people making “lesbian” flags based on race, nationality, attraction to men, kinks, etc.

I was under the impression that flags were supposed to represent communities. When did we get to a point that this community has become so individualistic and think that people should just make their own flags or use whatever they “identify” with all the while, don’t identify as women or aren’t actually lesbians, just bi girls that want the label or men with a fetish.

What is your take on the lesbian flag? Which one do you use or which flag do you think we should find some agreement on as a community? Lastly, do you think we’ll ever come to a general consensus like it seems gay and bi folks have?

I’ve always wondered about this but why does the lesbian community always have to reinvent a flag? The purple flag with the labrys was struck down in recent years because it was created by a man (despite the labrys being a symbol in the lesbian community for decades). The pink and red striped flag was initially specific to femmes but was later changed to accommodate all lesbians though many weren’t comfortable with the usage or the stereotypical “pink for girls”. Also, the creator was eventually alleged to be anti-Asian, biphobic, and discriminatory against butches. Currently, the sunset flag is popular (particularly amongst younger lesbians) but in this case, the white stripe represents “nonbinary” lesbians and is inclusive to TIMs that fetishize lesbians. Also, not important but related to the flag, the creator was harassed online by teenage girls and TIMs for being “exclusionary” to self-proclaimed “bi/pan-lesbians”. We’re now at a point in the community where “sapphics” and younger lesbians (mostly those under 25) are becoming spokespeople for the community and have the free reign to dismiss flags at their own will. It’s come to a point where people are making their own lesbian flags because they don’t feel any of these represent them personally. There are people making “lesbian” flags based on race, nationality, attraction to men, kinks, etc. I was under the impression that flags were supposed to represent communities. When did we get to a point that this community has become so individualistic and think that people should just make their own flags or use whatever they “identify” with all the while, don’t identify as women or aren’t actually lesbians, just bi girls that want the label or men with a fetish. What is your take on the lesbian flag? Which one do you use or which flag do you think we should find some agreement on as a community? Lastly, do you think we’ll ever come to a general consensus like it seems gay and bi folks have?

26 comments

We should come to an agreement on the labrys flag and here’s why:

Yes it was sadly made by a man. But it’s deeply entrenched in lesbian history as the flag meaning impenetrable strength of women, and ONLY women.

Unless some other kind of lesbian flag is made not by 20 yr old “bi/pan/queer lesbians” that is not striped, that has something just as historically enriching as the labrys, the labrys flag will remain

Exactly and even to that point, there are really no flaws in the flag other than it being made by a man, but even then, it’s not the worst thing in the world. It included a symbol that’s represented our community for ages and purple doesn’t force women into the pink for girls box or throw in red or orange for no real reason.

Plus I think purple ties in nicely to the Lavender Menace and violets, colors and flowers that have been lesbian symbols for millennia

Agreed. I do not care about any of those other flags created every other minute by the new not-really-lesbians. They are meaningless to me.

Yes, the labrys was originally created by a man but lesbians own it now.

Everyone knows that it is a strictly lesbian flag. Maybe that is the real reason that everyone else wants to create a new one.

I prefer the OG purple labrys flag. Who cares if a man designed it? It's badass and it's meaningful, it represents our history and self sufficiency as women. It seems obvious to me that Sean Campbell understood us better than your average 2010s "Q" person does, and actually cared about lesbians.

I like the Labrys flag, and hate the other ones. Frankly I think the gay male ally having been the one to put one design in the newspaper doesn't negate that lesbians had been using the Labrys symbol for decades already at that point, ever since Dr. Marija Gimbutas' archaeological work was published and the ideas spread around second-wave circles.. I have seen lots of lesbian publications from that era with Labrys symbols on them.

I am among those who absolutely hate pink (and the expectation that I perform femininity, enjoy degrading femininity rituals, stick to my assigned girl activities etc) and it's insulting that a pink lipstick lesbian flag invented on the internet is being shoved down our throats as supposedly representing our community as a whole, and the orange and gender BS doesn't make it any better. I hate it and refuse to fly any flag or button or sticker or whatever with those stripes, and every time someone is selling pride themed merch and doesn't have a Labrys I tell them well I'll buy one when you include my flag!

The extra insane thing is lots of q**** identified women my age I meet IRL have never even heard of the labrys flag because the begendered have done such a thorough job erasing our herstory and pushing gendered pink shit on young lesbians.

This x1000. After learning about the history of the lesbian flag, I was 100% on board with the labrys flag. I was honestly dumbfounded at how people hated it so much just because a man made it but they’ll be the same ones that think men can be a part of the lesbian community. In any case, the other two flags definitely either push women into color coded stereotypes or completely miss the point of what lesbian means all together. The labrys flag was literally intended to be inclusive to all lesbians, the labrys is our symbol and the color purple isn’t tied to masculinity or femininity. People on the internet just had to be weird about it and were so desperate to say “hey look at me, I made a flag, give me credit!”

Right, the pink stripes stand for fuck all and the Labrys actually means something. I think the use of the pink one is heavily tied to gender essentialist beliefs and we will probably see it wane when the homophobic entryism does... whenever that will be :/

The labrys flag has been used the longest and doesn't have all of the femme/trans baggage like the newer flags. It was made by a gay male ally to show solidarity between between lesbians and gay men. He incorporated the colors and symbols that had already been used by the lesbian community for years, so it's not like he was reinventing the wheel. He showed a lot of consideration in making sure the design represented us. And most importantly... the labrys flag looks badass. The other flags are a joke.

This. I honestly feel like critics of the flag don’t even know that Sean Campbell was an ally and are honestly under the impression that some random guy just cooked this up out of nowhere

[–] JLT 6 points

Oh wow, I didn't know it was a gay man. That changes a lot. I wasn't ever going to accept a flag made by a bi/het man, tbh. Too high a risk of it being a fetishist. But in this case, better gay ally than lesbian handmaidens.

I've had the labrys tattooed on me since the day I could legally be tattooed, back in the 90s. That's the OG Lesbian flag, while designed by one, it was never flown for men, which is why they have to make their own when LARPing as us.

It’s interesting that you say this because if you look at the usage of the sunset flag, under 25 Twitter “lesbians” are hellbent on making straight men “himbo” allies to lesbians and finding every way possible to get men involved and wave the flag. At one point, people were actually calling the musician Hozier something to the effect of a “lesbian icon” and we’re throwing the sunset flag at him on stage to wave around. The standards for these lesbians are low.

this is what is most annoying about lesbians my age: their obsession with men. no, thor is not a himbo lesbian ally, jesus fucking christ.

[–] endeverywhere 7 points Edited

The labrys flag is my favorite due to what it represents. I also like that it isn't just a bunch of stripes and is kinda badass. I've never really liked the appearance of the pink flag, despite being femme but I'll still use it for some stuff. Some TRAs say the labrys flag is a terf flag and that the pink flag doesn't include people of varying genders, thus they made the sunset flag. Despite trying to steal the term "lesbian", I do like that they made their own flag instead of trying to take ours. One of the few things we actually have gotten to keep... I do like the appearance of the sunset flag, but I won't ever sport it myself. Labrys is the ideal choice.

I use the labrys one if possible. The creator of the flag was a man, so what? It’s a flag that actually represents same-sex attracted women

I like the original labrys flag. It looks badass and has a long history. I'm honestly not too bothered by it being created by a man (gay graphic designer working for a LGB publication) because all he did was take existing lesbian symbols (lavender, triangle, labrys) and slap them together. Lesbian artists can easily take these same symbols and recreate our own version of this flag if so desired. For example, turning the triangle into a shield.

Other things I like are that it stands out from the millions of colored striped flags, there's a lot artists can do with it, it isn't pink, and the LGBTQWTF crowd tends to leave it alone.

Which one do you use or which flag do you think we should find some agreement on as a community

My favorite flag is the labrys one, but I doubt it will become popular since it has been branded as a terf symbol. I refuse to use the other 2 flags, they are ugly and trashy for the reasons you mentioned (pink for girls, inclusive of males). I'd rather just use the regular rainbow or a ⚢ symbol.

do you think we’ll ever come to a general consensus like it seems gay and bi folks have?

No, since we are women and not attracted to men, we are the most hated and scrutinized group of the whole community. Lesbians get cancelled for having even slightly different opinions, meanwhile rapists get forgiven if they are trans.

Sux that it was made by a man, but the labrys flag is the one that raises the most terf alarms amongst the gender-havers so it has my vote.

I've always liked the sunset flag because that's the one I'm familiar with. I don't know the history behind the labrys flag but I'll have to look into it!

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