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The Polyamorous Flag Meaning and Reasons It Was Created


The polyamorous flag was designed by Jim Evans in 1995 to represent the polyamorous community. While there are many debates over the original poly flag, people within the community have adopted it as their sexuality symbol for decades.

Scroll down to learn everything that we’ve been able to know about this flag so far!

The Polyamorous Flag Looks Like This

Lest you haven’t seen the polyamorous flag, here’s what it looks like:

polyamorous flag
The original polyamorous flag

The poly flag features three horizontal colored stripes of equal width, from top to bottom: Blue, Red, and Black. There’s also a gold Greek letter “pi” as the first letter in “polyamory” in the flag’s center, over the red portion.

Meaning of Poly Flag

The polyamory flag represents polyamorous relationships, in which people date multiple partners or have romantic (or/and sexual) relationships with more than one individual. Polyamory only works if it’s based on the appropriate consent of all people involved. 

Breaking down the overall meaning by each color on the flag, we’ve got:

  • Blue for openness and honesty, which is key to conforming to multiple relationships
  • Red for love and passion
  • Black for the solidarity with those who must hide their polyamory from their surroundings due to antagonistic societal prejudice.
  • Gold (of the “pi” letter) for sentimental values that polyamorous people put on their relationships. This could mean that the flag’s creator appreciates the emotional aspect more than merely physical attachment in polyamory.

Regarding the gold “pi” letter, Evans explained in his blog that it could’ve been an infinity heart instead. However, he avoided using the heart symbol because the feather pride flag had already featured it. 

“I was trying to avoid confusion, given that community was there first,” said Evans.

What’s more – the “infinity heart” is not very common as a symbol of polyamory. Evans was not also very capable of incorporating such visual art into the design. So he chose the “pi” letter, which was available on computer typographic platforms back then. 

He added one more adjudication that it’s totally reasonable for a Greek letter to appear on a pride flag.

“There was already a rich history of existing pride symbols using Greek letters, the use of lambda as an LGBT symbol being a concrete example,” added Evans.

| More: Everything to Know about Pansexual Flag

Why Jim Evans Created This Flag

So we’ve known what the polyamorous flag symbolizes. But were there any motives to boost Evans’ desire to create such a flag? Read on.

It’s always important to have a pride flag created by a person within the community. Jim Evans has been polyamorous for most of his adulthood. He participated in simultaneous romantic relationships with more than one partner at once. And for sure, his practice is openly known by all individuals involved. 

The creation of his flag is inspired by other LGBT flags back then. He was aware of the imagery and symbology among LGBT groups that represent their identities. And yes, he was inspired!

Evans soon realized that there hadn’t been a flag for polyamory. Therefore, he decided to create one without essential visual art abilities. All he had at the time was Microsoft Paint running on Windows 3.1. 

Evans released it in the public domain by the late summer of 1995. 

Is The Polyamory Pride Flag Necessary?

It’s been almost three decades since the polyamorous pride flag was released for the first time. Under the global growth of the internet, more polyamorous people have recognized Evans’ design. 

Many gave compliments to it while others “shook their heads” over it or even dragged it down.

Why are there negative judgments over the poly flag? 

Most of the judgments against the polyamorous flag are on its visual design. They assumed the flag was a confusing failure to the community’s declaration and inspiration. Also, the colors were said to be aggressive and create a sense of misgiving. 

According to them, the flag might be more suited back then, but not today. As a result, they held a competition where a new polyamorous flag should be accepted by most people in the community.

new poly flag by emma
A new poly flag made by Emma in 2019

What did Jim Evans say?

“One of the issues frequently brought up is that the color scheme is garish or unpleasing. That’s subjective, and I can’t argue with their perception. I still think there’s value in the color symbology, if not the actual RGB values I used when creating it,” said Evans. 

Final Thoughts

Many polyamorous people have adopted the poly flag as a symbol of their orientation. But there is a lot of disagreement about whether it should be used. 

Is polyamory sexuality or just a lifestyle?? Should its intent be recognized as similar to that of other pride flags? Does it send out the wrong message, inadvertently painting polyamory as an alternative to monogamy, when in reality it is not? 

Even considering these potential problems, we think that the polyamorous flag has made a crucial impact on the poly community.

What’s your opinion on this flag? We’d love to know more!

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