Question of the Week: June 27th, 2017

What do you think of the meanings of the ace flag colors?

The 4 colors of the asexual flag originally represented asexuals (black), gray-As/demis (gray), allosexuals (white), and community (purple).  Of course, today they don’t necessarily represent the same ideas that they once did.  What do you think each color represents, and do you like that they have these meanings?

Also, bonus question, what do you think the colors of the aro flag represent?  Do you like that the colors have these meanings?

This question is inspired by Philadelphia’s recent decision to add black and brown stripes to their rainbow flag, to represent people of color.


About Siggy

Siggy is an ace activist based in the U.S. He is gay gray-A, and has a Ph.D. in physics. He has another blog where he also talks about math, philosophy, godlessness, and social criticism. His other hobbies include board games and origami.
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17 Responses to Question of the Week: June 27th, 2017

  1. Talia says:

    I didn’t know that’s what the colours represented. I’m not sure what I feel about allosexual people being included in ace colours. It reminds me of the whole lgtbqiaa+ acronym where sometimes people assume a is for ally, but the black to grey spectrum makes more sense with white in there.

    Especially reflecting on your comment Siggy about what the question was inspired by, having allosexuals all represented by white doesn’t sit quite right with me.

  2. luvtheheaven says:

    I don’t like that the least “pride” esque colors, black and gray, are the only ones that really represent us. I like purple as a bright color to be associated with aces… and I like the colors in combination. But the meanings, eh…

  3. Cracticus says:

    The first time I saw an explanation of the ace flag colours, it said the white represented allo allies. I do prefer this description rather than have the white represent all allos. Sometimes I do think the what the individual colours in pride flag are supposed to represent are a bit arbitrary and to a degree irrelevant. What the flag as a whole represents is more important.

    • Ya, the allo alies makes more sense.
      The only time when the meaning behind the colors seems to be relevant is when people think the ace flag doesn’t include gray-aces, and someone shows up like “well, actually, the colors of the flag are based on the AVEN triangle and…”

      I like that the ace flag serves as an new, alternative symbol to the AVEN triangle, considering that not every ace feels represented by AVEN, either because they have never been part of it, as users of the forum, or because they had negative experiences in it. Also, because is way easier to draw.

      The color scheme can be misinterpreted as being related to anarcho-feminism, tho. And last week a friend told me my house decoration reminded him of Halloween…

    • Siggy says:

      I don’t think people have ever really agreed whether the white represents the allo end of the spectrum, or if it represents allo partners and allies, nor have they agreed on which of those meanings is the better one.

      Personally I don’t like either meaning. I don’t like that black/grey/white represent groups of people at all.

      • Victrix says:

        I’ve always seen the white, grey and black representing the sexual spectrum rather than groups of people.

        I also like that the colour for community is the most prominent colour that has been adopted for single colour use. As the community that has been built is by far the most valuable thing to come from all of the discussion.

        • Cracticus says:

          I like the idea of white, grey and black representing a spectrum over the idea of the individual colours representing individual groups.

  4. Nowhere Girl says:

    Anyway, I believe that asexuals – being queer by definition – are included in the rainbow spectrum. I don’t particularly like the ace flag colors visually and I don’t fancy the tendency of finding a flag for every subgroup.

  5. Rivers says:

    I personally really like our ace pride colors, but I don’t know that I really like the stripes having specific meanings seeing as the ace spectrum is more than four stripes. I do kind of like the idea of the stripes representing specific values or just ace things (like community).

    As for the aromantic flag, the meaning of it’s colors are a little all over the place depending where you look. Originally, it was green representing aromantics (being the opposite color to red, which traditionally represents romance), yellow stand for queerplatonic relationships (like the yellow rose which represents friendship), orange is for lithromantics (being red once removed toward yellow), and black represents romantics who choose to reject traditional romance.

    However, that’s just the traditional flag.

    Now, grey and white have somewhat replaced orange and yellow (I’m aro as well as ace, but I’m still hazy on things in the aro community), and a light green stripe has been added. There has also been some discourse over what the stripes should mean.

    One flag I kind of liked dark green and light green were collectively used to represent the aro spectrum followed by the yellow/white stripe which stands for queerplatonic relationship/friendship, and then gray and black which stand for the spectrum of sexualities within the aro community.

    • Siggy says:

      I was never clear on the meaning of the aro flag colors, except that I heard different stripes stood for aromantics, demiromantics, grey-romantics, lithromantics, etc. I never liked using the colors to represent groups, especially since the identities that people talk about in the aro community are often in flux. This appeared to be importing the worst idea from the ace flag–the idea that different stripes also represent different groups of people–and I would have preferred that it had followed more the rainbow flag, where stripes represent concepts or values.

      The meanings have become looser over time, as the colors have changed and nobody can agree on what they should mean. I prefer it this way.

      Regardless of intended meaning, the black/grey/white in the aro flag indicate a connection with the ace flag. I kinda like this but wonder if aros will eventually decide they want to downplay that connection.

      • Rivers says:

        Yeah, I definitely prefer the more ambiguous or concept style stripes than ones that represent specific groups of people, which is why I liked the aro flag that used light/dark green to represent that there is a spectrum rather than picking out certain identities.

  6. Another one says:

    I was under the impression that the shades of grey could be taken as a representation of the Kinsey Scale with the purple band denoting Group X, or us aces, if you interpret it that way.
    That being said, like any flag it’s meaning invariably changes with time and perspective.

    As for the aro flag I wasn’t aware that one existed until just now. I prefer the colours of the ace flag though.

    • Siggy says:

      I can vouch that the original meanings are as I described. I was active at the time the colors were chosen.

    • ettina says:

      I think the AVEN triangle came from the Kinsey scale, with Kinsey’s spectrum being the top, the bottom point being aces, and everyone in between are grey-aces.

  7. I like the meaning of purple as community. Purple also happens to be my favorite color, LOL, but I like it better as a color to represent my asexuality than I do black (which would be my color otherwise in the scheme).

    I think that linking the colors to specific groups is not the best idea, but I like the overall idea of having a spectrum that represents the range of different people who identify as ace. I wonder if we really need the colors to have specific meanings, or if it’s OK that the flag as a whole just represents community and different kinds of aces coming together.

  8. Acetylcholine says:

    I really like that the purple strip for community is on the bottom to hold everything up. I think that’s my favorite part of the whole thing. When I discovered asexuality, it wasn’t just discovering my identity, but a community of people who felt similarly to how I did. I think that te ace community is something really unique and I’m very glad it exists. I always pictured the black/grey/white as representing the asexuality spectrum (I think a gradient -like the one on the aven triangle would look weird on a flag). I am also a fan of how easy it is to wear the colors of the flag in everyday life when I need a pick-me-up. And purple is my favorite color, so any reason to wear it more often is a good one. 🙂

  9. ettina says:

    I don’t like the idea of white representing allos, allies or not. I don’t think being an ally earns you the right to be represented on our flag.
    Honestly, I’m not sold on colors representing people anyway. The colors for the rainbow flag didn’t represent people, they represented ideas from color therapy. Plus diversity – rainbows in general are a symbol of diversity.

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