Philip “Doc” Tibbetts is a young vexillographer who lives in Halosowen in England’s so-called Black Country. He specializes in designing city flags but was thrilled at the idea of designing a flag that represented the entire LGBT community.
“I started by trying to think of the best colors to use,” Tibbetts said. “Usually in flag design it is best to stick to only a few colors to ensure visibility as well as economy of manufacture. The current LGBT flag is actually a great example of how sometimes breaking the rules can work effectively.”
“The one color I thought about using but ultimately declined was pink. Despite some of the LGBT symbolism already involving the color it simply isn’t a very flag friendly shade,” Tibbetts said. “Firstly, as a paler color it fades quickly, and secondly it is not commonly available in flag material …”
“My first color was white – which is a blend of all the colors of the rainbow and thus represents all forms of love. I also chose purple/lavender which is a common color used to represent LGBT organizations. I felt that purple was a good choice to represent sexuality (as a blend of traditional male blue and female red) as well as being a color that symbolizes dignity and courage (which are important parts of the LGBT movement). Finally in one design I also use green, which was both an older symbolic color for homosexuality as well as a modern symbol for intersex (playing on the three primary colors for gender groups (blue for male, red for female and green for intersex). These color symbolisms will be common across my designs …”
This uses the Greek letter lambda — a symbol of activism. The lambda is designed as a saltire or St. Andrews Cross, with the upper fly arm removed, resulting in an easy to construct and recognize version of the Greek letter.
In this more elaborate version of the first design, the field of the flag is divided into four triangles. The downward pointing triangle represents men, the upward triangle represents women and the sideways triangles symbolize trans-sexual and intersex groups, respectively. The lambda over the top represents common unity across the groups.
Here Tibbetts uses a circle of white hearts on purple to symbolize love, with the idea being that each heart symbolizes a different form of love, but that their sameness illustrates that love is common to all, no matter what one’s orientation. The top most heart represents heterosexuality. The other seven hearts represent (in no specific order) gay, lesbian, bisexual (pansexual), asexual, transexual, intersexual, and polyamorous love. This is Tibbetts’ favorite design “partly because of the message of common love and equality across all forms of sexuality and also as it provides us with a simple, recognizable and attractive emblem.”
This flag uses a knot to represent community and strength. The type of knot itself is a “lovers knot,” which illustrates the strength and unity ofthe LGBT community. The community itself is represented by the purple and green strands of the knot representing the LGBT and Intersex groups.
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All of these concepts will also be posted on our Facebook page, where we invite you to comment and vote for your choice. And let us know, if you’re willing, whether you’re looking at them with a straight or a gay eye.