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Pink Triangle Flags (Gay Pride)

Sexual Orientation Flags

Last modified: 2016-08-28 by randy young
Keywords: triangle (pink) | triangle: up | nazi | canton | silence=death | act up | queer nation | hermaphrodite sign |
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Origin of the symbol

The rainbow is a symbol of gay pride, as opposed to gay liberation, which used the pink triangle on various colored fields.
Jim Ferrigan, 14 February 2003

Although it was first used in Nazi Germany to identify gay males in concentration camps, the pink triangle only received widespread use as a gay pop icon in the early 1980s. [ans93]
Christopher Pinette, 12 June 1996

The pink triangle dates from Nazi-era stigmatization of homosexual prisoners by forcing them to wear the pink triangle much as Jews had to wear the yellow star. The pink triangle was never used, at least for gays, before the Nazis, as far as I know. The use now is an attempt to turn a stigma into a mark of pride.
Al Kirsch, 30 June 2002

Pink Triangle with a white background

[Triangle flag]
image by Jorge Candeias, 30 June 2002

The triangle, flown as a "gay" flag, is usually shown on white. Queer Nation's transgender focus group, Transgender Nation, created T-shirts and banners based on the pink on white version.
Anne Ogborn, 12 December 2005

Pink Triangle with a black background

[Triangle flag]
image by Jorge Candeias, 30 March 2005

The local variants I have seen of this flag (Baltimore and District of Columbia, United States) are black with an inverted pink triangle.
Steve Kramer, 1 July 2002

A similar design is the organizational symbol of Queer Nation.
Anne Ogborn, 12 December 2005

The Act Up pink triangle flag
(Pink Triangle with text "SILENCE = DEATH")

[Triangle flag]
image by Jorge Candeias and António Martins-Tuválkin, 30 March 2005

A further variant sets the triangle slightly closer to the top edge to make room for the inscription "SILENCE = DEATH" in white underneath, a political statement obviously alluding to the mentioned pride symbolism.
Steve Kramer, 1 July 2002

The pink triangle on black is actually an organizational symbol for Act Up, a direct action organization fighting against the bureaucratic stupidity and homophobia that have killed so many during the AIDS crisis. The version with "SILENCE = DEATH" is particularly their symbol.
Anne Ogborn, 12 December 2005

The "SILENCE = DEATH" slogan is not so much an allusion to the Nazi persecution, but to society's alleged silence about AIDS; the slogan is (obviously) of recent vintage.
Al Kirsch, 1 July 2002

Pink Triangle on olive background

[Triangle flag]
image by Jorge Candeias, 30 March 2005

Olive green (or olive drab) field with a large triangle, point down, centered on the flag; the triangle striped red-orange-yellow-green-blue-purple, i.e. the colors of the basic Gay Pride Flag. Dimensions appeared to be 2 feet at the hoist by 3 feet on the fly, with the triangle about 18 inches high, i.e. half the hoist dimensions. Seen in Provincetown, the US East Coast's gay Mecca.
Tom Gregg, 20 August 2001

Pink Triangle on the hoist of a Rainbow flag

[Rainbow flag]
image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 31 May 1999

A pink triangle is sometimes located at the hoist of the Pride Flag.
Don Hagemann, 4 May 1996

[Rainbow flag]
image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 31 May 1999

I've seen this in several variations, the two extremes of it being with a longer triangle extending to the middle of the flag and the other having the shorten triangle.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 31 May 1999

Pink Triangle on the canton of a Rainbow flag

Transparent canton variant

[Rainbow flag]
image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 16 January 2000

The Pink triangle in the upper hoist, usually pointed upwards, is an often used variation.
Steve Kramer, 6 May 1996

Blue canton variant

[Rainbow flag]
image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 16 January 2000

Often the pink triangle appears in a canton of blue or black. Blue is an obvious play off the US flag.
Steve Kramer, 6 May 1996

Black canton variant

[Rainbow flag]
image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 16 January 2000

Black is a color associated with lesbianism, thus a black triangle on pink is sometimes used as a lesbian symbol.
Steve Kramer, 6 May 1996

Four Pink Triangles on the canton of a Rainbow flag

[Rainbow flag]
image by Tomislav Todorovic, 14 June 2015

Flags with four pink triangles on a blue canton were seen at the Stonewall Pride Parade in Columbus, Ohio on 16 June 2012. The photos are available here and here. The triangles are arranged alternating, two pointing upwards and two pointing downwards, and the blue stripe is visibly darker than the canton.
Tomislav Todorovic, 14 June 2015

Pink Triangle in the center of a Rainbow flag

[Rainbow flag]
image by Tomislav Todorovic, 4 May 2015

The triangle may also be placed in center of the flag. Such flags were seen in Derry (Londonderry), Northern Ireland on 17 August 2013, during the demonstration in solidarity with the LGBT population of Russia and on 28 March 2014, during the demonstration for equal marriage in Northern Ireland.

More photos can be seen in a YouTube video, posted in memory of an LGBT activist from Derry who took part in the first of these events. The flags can be seen 0:44 – 0:48 minutes and 0:58 – 1:02 minutes. Another photo of the flag, giving an incomplete view, can be found at a blog webpage dedicated to the same person.
Tomislav Todorovic, 4 May 2015