Tony Burton Flags

Tony Burton, a vexillographer based in Sydney, Australia, is editor of quarterly flag journal Crux Australis. Burton said his goal in offering new concepts for an LGBT flag “is not to belittle the rainbow flag but to improve upon it.”

“Such a flag should have panache yet convey a sense of purpose and business — the full recognition and observance of full human rights. A good flag should be gay in the ordinary meaning of the word, to bring a sense of pageantry. A Gay flag should do no less. A balance is sought between gaudy and glitz, punch and power.”

Burton’s 10 examples, and the thinking behind them, are as follows:

Tony Burton Flag A1


Here the rainbow has been reduced to three colors. This flag also uses the pink triangle, long a symbol of LGBT rights. The gold is meant to symbolize human rights goals of the LGBT movement, and blue symbolizes the non-violent efforts to achieve them.


Tony Burton Flag A2


This example uses bolder colors, which Burton argues are more effective visually than pastels. Thus pink and light blue are replaced by red and a more intense blue.


Tony Burton Flag B1

Tony Burton Flag B2

Tony Burton Flag B3


These three flags share a basic design that is based on the famous Vitruvian Man (, a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci. The Vitruvian X is meant to symbolize the human figure and the fluidity of human sexuality. Red represents the trials of the past and future challenges. Gold represents goals worth fighting for. And light blue symbolizes non-violent activism. Burton offers different color options in the second and third versions of this flag to symbolize LGBT subgroups. Flag 3a, for example, uses the colors of the “bear” movement.


Tony Burton Flag C


There Burton uses various rainbow and triangle themes “to suggest the diversity and nuances among LGBT people.” This use transforms the triangle into a V for victory sign. Red and yellow symbolize courage and determination. Green is the “green flash of insight.” Blue symbolizes peace.


Tony Burton Flag D


Burton combines rainbow and triangle themes in this example to suggest both a lightning strike and diversity and nuance among LGBT people. There are eight discernable triangles in this flag.


Tony Burton Flag E


Here Burton offers what he calls a “conservative approach” that uses a triangle symbol in gold that also represents a “v” for victory and two equal symbols for “equality.”


Tony Burton Flag F


Burton’s final design uses the rainbow flag colors, but mixes them “to suggest the interrelationships between similar and opposites among LGBT people.”


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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.