Push to add black and brown stripes to rainbow flag sparks debate

Push to add black and brown stripes to rainbow flag sparks debate

A NEW campaign in the U.S. is pushing to add a black and a brown stripe to the iconic rainbow flag as a way to represent people of colour in the queer community, who often face double discrimination.

In Philadelphia, this month’s pride flag will feature the new colours after a number of LGBTI groups in the city created the More Color, More Pride campaign.

The new design was unveiled during a flag-raising ceremony where the Office of LGBT Affairs chose people of colour as presenters and performers.

The campaign’s website says: “to fuel this important conversation, we’ve expanded the colours of the flag to include black and brown. It may seem like a small step. But together we can make big strides toward a truly inclusive community.”

In an interview with Philadelphia Gay News the city’s director of LGBT affairs, Amber Hikes, said: “seeing an image like this flag instills so much pride in me as a queer black woman.”

Many took to social media to commend the move in Philadelphia, and extend hopes that the revised flag will take off in other places around the world.


However, others have taken to social media to deride the move and ask why ‘white’ isn’t being incorporated into the new flag.




The rainbow flag was initially designed by the late Gilbert Baker in 1978.


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10 responses to “Push to add black and brown stripes to rainbow flag sparks debate”

  1. It’s a RAINBOW of Homosexuality FFS, nothing to do with RACE!
    I’d love to meet all the other coloured people from the flag, green, purple, red, yellow oh hold on, there’s no white!

  2. The idea of representing the rainbow in the flag was that it was whole and complete and therefore represented everyone even heterosexuals who are united with us. That is what is has meant to us and not healing, sunlight, etc. With brown and black it is no longer a rainbow and is not longer completely inclusive but it is categorical. What is the point of adding storm clouds to the flag’s rainbow? And how does an explanation go: we added colours to the rainbow? Where are people with HIV and their discrimination in the flag?

  3. It seems to me that rather than being inclusive, just adding two racial colours is excluding many people. The whole point of the rainbow flag is that is inclusive of all in the LGBTQI etc community regardless of race. Adding such a narrow racial element excludes all not covered by those two colours. It’s needlessly divisive and makes me wonder if those pushing for the change are trying to divide the community.

  4. Seriously people… you have too much time on your hands – enough already. The rainbow signifies the diversity of everyone !!! It has nothing to do with the colour of the skin we were born with.

  5. If you feel the need to add colours to represent the skin colour of individuals, you’ve really lost an understanding of the history and meaning behind the flag. Not only that, you’re actually forcing an agenda onto the flag that doesn’t belong. If they want to do it once off for an event, I suppose it’s their right, the same way that we change the blue of the Australian flag to pink for Mardi Gras, but we’d never claim that it’s still the Australian flag. Also, this implies that somehow people who aren’t black or brown are actually represented in some way by the current flag. I fear that such thinking is going to become more common in the future and that challenging it will become taboo, especially if you’re not a “person of colour”, whatever that means to modern-day Australia.

  6. The Rainbow Flag is just that. It depicts the colours of a Rainbow. It is our Universal, neither race nor gender specific, Flag.
    Leave it alone.

  7. First used in 1978 designed by Gilbert Baker in USA. Originally 8 colours with each colour representing a component of the community. Hot pink for sex, Red for life, Orange for healing, yellow for sun, green for nature, turquoise for art, Indigo for harmony, and Violet for spirit. Pink and Indigo had to be dropped due to the unavailability of the dyes. If we are adding brown and black to represent people of colour, where is the extra colour for anglo-saxon folks? White perhaps, or a very pale pink? Leave the flag as it is – six colours representing all!

  8. I think the Philly LGBT gov has lost track of what the Rainbow flag is and represents. Its not about race. The colours represent life, healing, sunlight, nature, magic & serenity. And are meant to be a celebration of life. There is already a flag for the races, called the “Flag of the Races”. The the Philly LGBT gov truly wanted to end discrimination then they should have flown both flags side by side in a true display of anti-discrimination. Showing that all are equal no matter of what races, gender or identity.