Flag History

For its 2017 pride month celebrations, Philadelphia's Office of LGBT Affairs sought to create a flag design that recognised people of color explicitly. This came after racial discrimination in the city's "gayborhood", including a nightclub owner using racial slurs and banning specific items of clothing to target people of color. The new flag, and accompanying marketing campaign, set out to make these issues public.

The city also backed up their words by passing a bill that would heavily penalise businesses that discriminate against employees and customers. In severe cases, this includes issuing cease-operations orders to the business.


While there aren't and major flags that continue to include the black and brown stripes along the top of the flag, the inclusion of these colors has continued in later flag designs. Most notably, the Progress flag has them prominently placed on the chevron.

A previous variation of the rainbow flag had included a black stripe along the bottom of the flag for those lost in the AIDS epidemic. The black stripe in the Philadelphia flag is not stated to be a call back to that flag, as the focus of the flag is on the people of color.

Sources and acknowledgements