The Intersex Flag
As you may have noticed, in my blogs I often celebrate this intersex flag. In 2015 I brought this flag to America, from Australia, and have proudly celebrated with it at many PRIDE events, making intersex awareness, and when I give educational talks at conferences and conventions. There are a few flags out there that represent intersex. However, out of all the flags that represent intersex this one is my favorite and below I share why.
This intersex flag was invented by Morgan Carpenter in 2013, when he was secretary of Intersex Human Rights Australia. He is now a co-executive director of the NGO, and the flag has traveled worldwide. Here is what Morgan writes about the flag they created in: An Intersex Flag. Morgan personally told me that the circle represents “Wholeness and Simplicity”. I liked that. Thank you from my heart, Morgan! I am proud to have promoted this amazing flag and brought it to United States!
Here Morgan Carpenter states:
The circle is unbroken and unornamented, symbolising wholeness and completeness, and our potentialities. We are still fighting for bodily autonomy and genital integrity, and this symbolises the right to be who and how we want to be.
We’ve received some positive feedback from diverse intersex communities. This is available freely for use by any intersex person or organisation who wishes to use it, in a human rights affirming community context.
Please feel free to download and share.
The “intersex flag” image is now formally licensed under the Creative Commons Zero 1.0 Universal license. 18 December 2013.
I would like to add: Since intersex infants are often harmed by unnecessary ‘normalizing’ or cosmetic surgeries at their birth; “wholeness” is given an entirely new meaning to me.
For me “wholeness” means, to keep the child whole and without surgery. To let them decide if they want cosmetic surgeries or medical interventions in their future. The simplicity of this flag is also very attractive. In that, the colors for hermaphrodite have often been recognized as yellow or purple.
Yellow and Purple steer away from the pink and blue of the typical gender conforming colors for boy and girl. Which makes it all the more powerful. Especially since intersex people can be of any gender. Intersex people, like anyone, can be gender conforming, gender non-conforming, and some can even feel they are gender neuter or have no gender. Once again making it a good thing to stir away from the colors of blue and pink.
Now let me share about the circle gender symbol:
Wikipedia: Gender Symbols: writes that the circle represents “sexless” and “genderless”; which to me makes this flag the perfect one for intersex people. Especially since sometimes when an intersex baby is born their gender is not easily determined. That doctors are often left with the job of guessing. It is not so much that an intersex baby is born “genderless”, but that society needs to wait for that child’s own Self-determination of gender.
So, once again this simple circle, that demonstrates “wholeness” and “simplicity” shows us to keep it simple. That it is best to wait for the child to decide, to keep their body “whole”, and the way they were born.
Quote from: An Intersex Flag:
“There is no commonly understood symbol or flag, even within intersex communities. Many attempts have seemed derivative, of a rainbow flag, of gendered pink and blue colours, of transgender symbols, or an infinity symbol used by some bisexual groups. This is one attempt to create something that is not derivative, but yet is firmly grounded in meaning.
The colour yellow has long been regarded as the hermaphrodite colour, neither blue nor pink – take a look at the trailer for Intersexion. Purple, too, has been used for the same purpose – including on this site.”
This Intersexion Trailer: BORN BETWEEN – The Nature of Intersex (20 Minute Promo)
I share a link to the downloads for this flag here: An Intersex Flag
A version of this flag for June Pride Month 2018, shared on social media.