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Black-Striped Variations of the Gay Pride Rainbow Flag

Sexual Orientation Flags

Last modified: 2021-07-31 by randy young
Keywords: rainbow flag | stripe: black | mourning | protest | minorities |
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Victory over AIDS flag

[Rainbow triangle]
image by M. Schmöger, 26 August 2001

This is the rainbow flag with an added black stripe to be aware of AIDS called "Victory over AIDS" flag. See, for example, here and here.
M. Schmöger, 26 August 2001

Black: AIDS awareness; this stripe will be removed, as soon as a cure is found against AIDS.
M. Schmöger, 26 August 2001, (translating from

The Victory Over AIDS Flag modifies the rainbow flag by adding a black stripe at the bottom. Suggested by a San Francisco group, the black stripe commemorates those we have lost to AIDS. Sergeant Leonard Matlovich, a much-decorated Vietnam Veteran dying of AIDS, proposed that when a cure is eventually found the black stripes should be removed from all the flags and ceremoniously burned in Washington, D.C.
M. Schmöger, 26 August 2001 (quoting from

The flag was used (photo) at Guatemala Pride 2011 (Orgullo Guatemala 2011). Note the unusually light shade of violet color, much lighter than the one used on the "ordinary" gay rainbow flags which can be seen on the same photo.
The same flag was used (photo) at the Guatemala Pride 2010 (Orgullo Guatemala 2010), although on the flag photographed at the event, violet stripe turned out to look almost white, so it probably could not be recognized without the later source.
Tomislav Todorović, 7 September 2014

Leathermen's Rainbow flag

[Leather Rainbow flag]
image by M. Schmöger, 24 August 2001

A variant of the rainbow flag for "leathermen." The two lower stripes (blue and black) refer to the respective colours of the leather pride flag.

Reportedly, gay leather aficionados might also modify a rainbow flag to have a black stripe instead of a violet one. (However, this version might be confused with the "Victory Over AIDS" version of the rainbow flag, as they are similar.)
M. Schmöger, 24 August 2001

Black stripes for mourning

[Mourning Rainbow flag] [Mourning Rainbow flag]
images by Tomislav Todorović, 20 June 2020

Black color usually symbolizes mourning; Rainbow Flags with additional black stripe were used in Israel after the 2009 shooting in the Tel Aviv building of Agudah. One of those designs was a six-striped Rainbow Flag, charged with a black vertical stripe, visibly narrower than the rainbow stripes, placed near the hoist.[1]

The other design, although presented by Wikipedia,[2] might have been used only as a flagoid, for its use was recorded only as the picture upon the demonstration posters.[3] It was charged with a black "northeast diagonal" stripe, beginning at the hoist part of the top edge and ending at the fly edge below its midpoint. The width of this stripe was equal to that of the rainbow stripes, or very close.
Tomislav Todorović, 20 June 2020
[1] — MinnPost website:
[2] — Tel Aviv gay centre shooting at Wikipedia (accessed on 20 June 2020):
[3] — Americans for Peace Now website:

Black stripes for protest

[Protest Rainbow flag]
image by Tomislav Todorović, 21 June 2020

Beside mourning, black can also symbolize protest; to signify that, black horizontal stripe was added to the center of a long Rainbow Flag (between yellow and green) which was carried by the participants of a rally against the Proposition 8 (the amendment to the Constitution of California, adopted in 2008 and eventually overturned in 2013, which restricted the right to marry to heterosexual couples), which took place in San Francisco on 4 August 2010.
Tomislav Todorović, 21 June 2020
Source: SFGATE website:
(NOTE: due to some unclear bug, the above address will not always lead directly to the "Image 31 of 38", but it can always be reached by clicking the arrow buttons as many times as necessary; when that is completed, the said address is displayed.)

The same design, only with lighter shades of the rainbow colors, appeared at the Capital Pride Parade in Washington, DC, on 10 June 2018, although not as an actual flag, but printed on black T-shirt worn by one of the observers. The shirt looked as if professionally manufactured, suggesting that there may have been more people wearing the likes of it, although there are currently no known photos to confirm that.
Tomislav Todorović, 4 July 2021
Washington Blade newspaper website - Photo report from Capital Pride Parade, Washington, DC, on 10 June 2018:

Black stripes for minorities

[Minority Rainbow flag]
image by Tomislav Todorović, 22 June 2020

The rainbow Flag with a black stripe added between blue and purple was hoisted in the London borough of Brent on 19 February 2019 to mark the beginning of LGBT+ History Month. The flag is thought to represent the BAME ("black, Asian and minority ethnic") people, who make the majority of borough's residents; even though it was not officially specified, still it was said that "it has opened up new conversations about the intersections between the LGBT community and BAME groups."
Tomislav Todorović, 22 June 2020
[1] — Brent and Kilburn Times website:
[2] — Gay Star News website:
[3] — Wembley Park website: