Butch Lesbian Flag | Pride

Butch Lesbian Flag
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The rainbow flag is widely recognized by people around the world as a symbol of the LGBTQ+ community. Then, what is a Butch Lesbian Flag?

A person identifying as Butch is a lesbian whose gender expression and attributes present as masculine. It is just an interpretation of Butch as a subset of the wider community of lesbians because it is completely up to the individuals as to how they choose to identify. 

The LGBTQ+ community has such great diversity that each sub-community within the umbrella feels the need for a unique identity of their own. The most prominent symbol of this unique identity is a flag. The Butch Lesbian Flag is one of the recent additions to the fold. There are two variants of the Flag, the Blue-Purple Variant and the Orange Variant.

Evolution of the Butch Lesbian Flag

The butches within the lesbian community felt that they were adequately represented neither by the Lesbian Pride Flag which had red, purple and pink stripes nor the Lipstick Lesbian Flag, both of which were too feminine. 

Many of the flags that have become popular and have come to represent a community were a result of their being used during a movement. However, the Butch Flag did not evolve out of an uprising. Rather, the absence of a strong symbol that the butch community could identify with led to creation of the Butch Flag on social media. 

Blue-Purple Variant of the Butch Lesbian Flag

Blue-Purple Butch Lesbian Flag

Image: University of North Colorado

The Blue-Purple Butch Flag was designed and put up on the microblogging and social-networking website Tumblr in a tumblelog in the year 2016. The name or rather the username of the account by which it was created was Dorian—rutherford. It is understood that the blog post introducing the flag and the account on Tumblr have since been deleted. However, the flag reappeared on the online art community website DeviantArt.


The Butch Lesbian Flag is modeled on the rainbow flag of the LGBTQ+ community designed by Gilbert Baker and adopted in 1978. The structural difference between the two is that the rainbow flag has six stripes whereas the Butch Flag has seven stripes.

The seven colors used in the Butch Flag are – first from bottom is dark blue, second is mid blue, third is grayish-blue, followed by off-white which is in the middle and then lavender, mid purple and dark purple on the top. You will notice that the flag is predominantly made of different hues of blue. 

What does the Blue-Purple Butch Flag Represent?

In the past the blue color was considered to be feminine being associated with Virgin Mary and serenity. However, this began to change during the 19th century and now the blue color has come to be associated with masculinity and strength. 

The purple color is considered to be representative of female-identified lesbian persons. 

The off-white color represents the broader sexuality spectrum and inclusiveness. 

And the shades in between enhance the aesthetics of the flag evoking a feeling of merging into an inclusive world that is all embracing. 

Orange Variant of the Butch Lesbian Flag

Orange Butch Lesbian Flag

Image: Butchspace on Tumblr

Curiously, a variation of the Blue-Purple butch flag appeared in June 2017 on Tumblr microblog “butch positivity” or “butchspace”. The name of the creator is understood to be Mod Q. This variation also has a seven-striped design as the Blue-Purple butch flag, however the similarity ends there. This new variant of the Butch Flag is dominated by orange shades. 

Design of the Orange Variant 

The orange Butch Flag has seven colors, including red on the top, red-orange next, followed by light orange, white, beige, orange and brown at the bottom.

What does the Orange Butch Flag Represent?

The creator assigned meanings to each of these colors on the flag and posted it on the tumblr blog. The same has been reproduced for you below.

  • Red represents passion & sexuality and is inspired by Gilbert Baker’s interpretation of the color in his rainbow Pride Flag. 
  • Red-Orange color represents the courage butches show by not conforming to the assigned gender role.
  • Light Orange is about the joy of being butch despite the challenges.
  • White color symbolizes the beginning of a new life as a butch.
  • Beige color seeks to represent the chivalry of butches.
  • Orange color symbolizes the warmth of butches. 
  • Brown color represents honesty.

Labrys Flag

Labrys Flag

Image: University of North Colorado

The Labrys flag is said to have been created in the year 1999 by Sean Campbell and seems the most curious in design. The flag has a purple base containing a black inverted triangle which, in turn, carries a white labrys.

The purple color represents persons who identify as women who are attracted to other women. The black triangle apparently represents lesbians. A labrys is a double-headed battle ax, that was used by ancient Minoan civilization of the Bronze Age and is supposed to represent empowerment of women. 

Many people from the Butch community are against using the Labrys flag as the black triangle in the flag was a symbol used in the Nazi concentration camps to tag people for identification of the reason for their being in the camp.

Due to this historical connection with the Nazi persecution, this flag is not considered appropriate for representing the Butch Lesbian community.

Read also: Heard about the Sapphic Flag?

Which Flag is more representative of the Butch Lesbian community?

Both flags have originated from Tumblr which has a strong butch community presence. The members of the community have been using both variants of the Butch Flag and it is difficult to tell which one is more popular.

Both blue-purple and orange variants of the butch flag are available for purchase on some online stores. Therefore, there is no clear indication as to the variant preferred by the butch community. 

The deactivation of the user account on Tumblr that created the Blue-Purple flag has made things a little difficult to assess. The fact that it reappeared on DeviantArt shows that the community was indeed interested in the flag. 

Interestingly, the Orange variant of the flag also exists on DeviantArt. However, going by the number of times the page of the Blue-Purple variant of the Butch Flag was viewed on this website, it seems that more users were interested in this variant than the Orange variant.

As on 17th June, 2023, the Blue-Purple variant had 17.7K views, whereas the Orange variant had 3.5K views.

It will be interesting to see in future how these flags evolve further and whether we will get one flag which is acceptable to all the butches out there.

Also, learn in detail about the Straight Ally Flag which is much debated one within and outside the LGBTQ+ community.

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