Transgender is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity or expression do not match with the one they were assigned at birth. Gender identity is one's own ideas of who they are, whereas expression is how they choose to appear externally.
In 1999 Monica Helms was talking with Michael Page (designer of the Bisexual Flag the previous year), when she got the suggestion to design a flag for the transgender community. She completed the design in August 1999, and flew it in the Phoenix Pride Parade the next year.
The blue and pink stripes represent the colors generally given to baby boys and girls, respectively, with the white stripe representing those who are transitioning or do not identify with the gender binary. The flag's colors are mirrored vertically so that it is correct no matter which way it is flown.
The transgender flag's colors have been included in other flags to highlight the issues that transgender people still face in the world today. A notable example is its inclusion in the Progress Pride Flag in 2018.
The transgender flag emoji 🏳️⚧️ was added to the Unicode standard in 2020. It is the last pride flag to be accepted by the Emoji Subcommittee before closing off any future submissions for any flag emoji (country flags are automatically added).
The only other pride flag in the Unicode standard is the rainbow flag 🏳🌈.
Sources and acknowledgements
- TG Pride Flag History archive
- Trans Universe » Blog Archive » These Colors Don’t Run archive. warning: harsh background
- Emoji Versions, v15.0