The Philly Pride Flag Added Brown and Black Stripes

Philadelphia Pride Flag with Additional Black and Brown Stripes

For many, the six-color pride flag is a recognizable symbol for LGBTQ+ pride and identity. For some, though, that feeling of inclusion and representation has fallen short. If the #BLM movement has taught us anything, it’s that our black and brown friends and family are facing challenges that their white siblings are not.

In 2017 Philadelphia, the discrimination against people of color in the gayborhood became so atrocious that the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR) had to mandate sensitivity training after 11 gay bars had formal complaints filed against them for discrimination against people of color. One bar owner was even recorded using the N-word on tape.

Thus prompted the Philadelphia Office of LGBT Affairs’ campaign, More Color More Pride, which created a new pride flag to permanently be used as Philadelphia’s pride flag. The new flag adds an additional two stripes to the top of the traditional six, black and brown, which represent people of color.

“In 1978, artist Gilbert Baker designed the original rainbow flag. So much has happened since then. A lot of good, but there’s more we can do. Especially when it comes to recognizing people of color in the LGBTQ+ community. To fuel this important conversation, we’ve expanded the colors of the flag to include black and brown.”

– More color more pride campaign

In a statement from the event coordinators, they described the new flag being hung at Town Hall at their First Annual Pride Kick-Off as “a special, can’t-be-missed unveiling and raising of a brand-new Pride flag which promises to be a step toward inclusivity, to spur dialogue within the community, and to impact the worldwide conversation.”

The flag reveal hasn’t been without its fair share of criticism, though. While many see the intent behind the flag change as one to unite the LGBTQ+ community in support of our underrepresented people of color, others see it as an unnecessary change. They argue that the original pride flag represents all peoples and that, by calling out black and brown people specifically, some are even arguing that it’s a racist omission of white people.

While it’s up to each of us to try to educate ourselves and to try to support one another as best we can, I believe that any change to bring attention to my friends who are struggling unfairly is something I can get on board with. What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

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