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This is part two of my personal advice for people who want to create an LGBT+ term. This will be much more in depth than part one. Also, note that I will giving examples of flags that I personally dislike or flags that don't follow the advice I'm giving. I'm not hating on the people who made those flag, I'm just giving criticism so people can make appealing flags.

Part 1: Creating a term

General Guideline

  • Flags should be clear. You should be able to make the image very small and/or stand very far away and still be able to tell exactly what's going on.
  • The flag should be able to be printed on merchandise of various sizes. This means it shouldn't have complex details, should not have gradients, and shouldn't have several colors that are very similar to each other.
  • One should be able to edit or recreate the flag using most digital software. This means it shouldn't have gradients or overly complex shapes.
  • The flag should be able to be drawn by hand. This means it shouldn't have overly complex details and shapes, should not have gradients, and shouldn't have several colors that are very close to each other.
  • Flags should be memorable. Someone should be able to accurately recreate the flag from memory. If someone can't easily be expected to do that then your flag is too complicated.
  • Your flag should be describable. This is another test for if your flag is overly complicated or not. Someone should be able to make an exact copy of the flag using only a written description. Consider how countries have exact geometric instructions on how to recreate their flag (see South Africa for a good example). You should be able to do that with your flag.

Stripes

When considering the stripes the main thing to consider is how many stripes there are. When it comes to stripe number I would say that the absolute maximum number of stripes is eight. After that it just becomes way too chaotic, so only used more than eight stripes unless you have a very good reason. Generally you should be able to make the image very small and/or stand very far away and still be able to count exactly how many stripes there are.

Also, don't feel like you have to do plain, horizontal stripes. There are some very good flags that do not use stripes, like the intersex flag and queer flag. If you aren't using plain stripes, remember what I said about having your flag described precisely from words only.

Colors

Choose multiple color. Flags that are just different shades of the same color because such flag are generally boring and forgettable. However, you should only choose a small handful of colors, each color should be meaningful and purposeful. Do not use multiple colors when one color can do the same job. For example, do not do what what to iolitian flag does. There is absolutely no reason to have 10 different shades of purple.

Be careful with full stripe gradients, they can either be very eye-strain-y and very forgettable. For example, the feminine and masculine flag aren't very interesting because they're only one color and very way to many stripes. The aroflux and aceflux flags can be eye-strain-y at times. If you're doing stripe gradients only make them a small number of stripes and do not make it all shades of the same color.

Do not choose colors that are all the same tone and do not choose colors that are eye-straining. Do not choose all neon colors unless you have a very good reason to do so. Do not choose all pastel colors unless you have a very good reason to do so. Do not choose all extremely dark colors unless you have a very good reason to do so.

Do not put two dark colors next to each other and do not put two light colors next to each other. Just in general, do not put two colors of a similar lightness/darkness next to each other because it can be hard to tell where one color ends that the other begins. You should be able to make the image small and/or stand very far away and still tell exactly where each colors ends. The example I always think of is the amplusic flag. Notice how the blue pink seem to blur into each other, and if you blur your eyes you can't tell where one end and the other begins. That's because they are too similar to lightness.

Color Meanings

In will now go over common color meanings used in flag. Before I start:

  • You do not have to choose your color meanings from this list. You can make up your own color meanings.
  • Some of these meanings are contradictory. That is okay. Just because a flag uses a given colors that does not mean it represents all of these things all at once.

Red:

Plain red is a surprisingly uncommon color in pride flags, but when it is used, the meanings tend to be consistent.

  • Passion
  • Love
  • Sex/Sexuality
  • Repulsion

Orange:

Orange is another uncommon color in pride flags. It has no consistent meanings, so it is used for a wide variety of things.

  • Maverique, aporagender, aliagender
  • Multigender
  • Uniqueness
  • Man aligned/masculine aligned genders (not binary men)
  • Woman aligned/feminine aligned genders (not binary women)
  • Women (usually alongside pink)
  • Masculine women
  • Sensual attraction

Yellow:

Common uses:

  • Nonbinary genders (in general)
  • Abinary genders
  • Platonic attraction

Less common uses:

  • Maverique
  • Queerplatonic attraction (alongside pink)
  • Intersex (alongside purple)

Green:

Common uses:

  • Agender
  • Neutral genders
  • Aromanticism
  • Men/masculine genders (alongside blue)

Less common uses:

  • Nonbinary genders (in general)
  • Atrinary genders (usually closer to teal)

Blue:

Common uses:

  • Men
  • Man-aligned genders
  • Masculinity

Less common uses:

  • Alterous attraction
  • Opposite sex attraction
  • The self
  • Fluidity
  • Water
  • The mind

Purple:

Common uses:

  • Androgyny/androgynous genders
  • Asexuality
  • Queerness
  • Xenogender/Xenic

Less common uses:

  • Nonbinary genders (in general)
  • Multisexual attraction
  • Attraction to men and women
  • Sapphic attraction
  • Intersex (alongside yellow)
  • Woman aligned/feminine aligned genders (not binary women)
  • Feminine men

Pink:

Common uses:

  • Women
  • Woman-aligned genders
  • Femininity
  • Love, romance, emotion

Uncommon uses:

  • Same sex attraction
  • Queerplatonic attraction (alongside yellow)
  • Aesthetic attraction

Brown:

Brown is very uncommon color in pride flag, and I've only found a few flags where the color meaning is listed:

  • Aporagender, aliagender
  • Xenogender/Xenic

White:

Common uses:

  • All of something or a lot of something
  • Unity

Uncommon uses:

  • Nonbinary genders (in general)
  • Intersex
  • Allosexuals (from asexual flag)
  • Fluidity
  • Presence of something
  • Contradiction, two opposite extremes (alongside black)
  • Purity

Grey:

Grey is one of the rare colors that has a very much agreed upon meaning:

  • Ambiguity
  • Uncertainty
  • Being in between
  • Greyasexuality
  • Partial gender

Black:

Common uses:

  • Asexuality
  • Lack of attraction
  • Agender
  • Lack of gender
  • Lack of something
  • Something unknown, hidden, or secret

Uncommon uses:

  • Contradiction, two opposite extremes (alongside white)
  • Unaligned nonbinary

Symbols

I'm defining a "symbol" as something that is added on top of a flag, that is generally more intricate that the rest of the flag, and is not strictly part of the design.

Symbols should be simple. Once again, you should be able to expect someone to draw a symbol by hand, even someone without artist ability. Never use a photograph on your flag as those are impossible to replicate. (Note the difference between the old and new achillean and sapphic flags.

Symbols should be meaningful, but should not be overly obvious. This is a pet peeve of mine, I think if you're making a flag for a sexuality, you shouldn't put the sexuality's symbol on the flag. Examples of symbols with good meaning include: sapphic, because violets represents sapphic love; solarian, because the sun is commonly associated with masculinity. An example of symbols I don't like is orchidian, it's the agender, male, and female symbols, because it's agender attraction to men and women. If you feel it's necessary to put the gender symbols on your flag it's probably because you think the flag isn't memorable enough on it's own. You should be able to recognize the flag even without the symbol.

Stuff to Avoid

Here a several things and symbolisms to outright avoid when making flags.

Do not use religious or culturally imagery (with an exception of identities related to that religion or culture). This seems obvious but it needs to be said. Do not use a six pointed star (ie. the Star of David). Do not use a star and crescent. Do not use a cross. A Nordic cross style flag might be okay, since I don't think most people immediately associate it with Christianity, but it might be best to avoid it.

Do not make flag reminiscent of flags for real life countries or groups (once again, with an exception of identities related to that country or group). In practice this means do not make a tricolor flag with the colors being red, white, and blue. Do not make a flag with the only colors being red, black, white, and green. Do not make a flag with the only colors being green, red, and yellow; or green, red, and black. Once again, a Nordic cross might be okay, as long as the colors are different enough that it's definitely not real country's flag. If you're unsure put your flag through a reverse google image search to see if any existing flags are similar to it.

Avoid upside down triangles, particular black and pink. It's a Nazi thing. I will leave this here if you want to learn more.

Avoid using a single color, or a small selection of colors to represent "skin", especially if it's peach or tan because it's very white centric. I would avoid having a stripe representing "skin" just in general because it's a very weird if you think too hard about it.

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