4 Aromantic Flag Meanings and Facts
Here at Pride Palace, we want you to take pride in your unique identity, however you define it. You are special, and one of the best ways to celebrate yourself and your experiences is to fly a flag or wear clothes that reflect who you are as a person.
Still figuring things out? No worries! All of us land somewhere on a spectrum and are constantly learning new things about ourselves and the partner or partners we want to be with.
But maybe romance just doesn't appeal to you -- that is totally cool, too.
If you’ve been thinking about the aromantic flag and wondering how it came to be, we’re ready to share all the details with you here. Let’s explore together!
Although often confused or conflated with asexuality, aromanticism, sometimes abbreviated to "aro" (pronounced like "arrow"), is completely different.
To be aromantic is to have a small amount or no romantic attraction to other people. You may also not be interested in romantic relationships or the behaviors associated with them.
To be clear, romantic attraction means that you want a committed romantic relationship with another person, although how you define a romantic relationship will differ based on your personal experiences.
Aromanticism is on a spectrum from those who don't have any romantic attraction or don’t want to engage in romantic activities, to those who experience small amounts of romantic attraction. Many people at the various levels on the spectrum have their own way of identifying themselves.
While it is true that people can and do identify as both asexual and aromantic, you don't have to be one to be the other, and being one doesn't mean you are automatically the other.
For people who do identify as both, this means that they do not want to be romantically or sexually involved with others.
If this is the case, you may not need to have a romantic partner to enjoy life to the fullest. It's important to socialize with people, but platonic and familial relationships are extremely fulfilling and may be all your need in your life.
Similarly, some people who identify as aromantic still have romantic relationships. Aromantic people are just as loving and affectionate as everyone else. They may want to be a parent, provide emotional support, or be in a committed relationship for all sorts of reasons. Even if they don't necessarily experience romantic attraction to anyone, they may want the trappings of a romantic relationship and have platonic affection or sexual attraction for their partner.
It can be confusing for others to understand, but aromantic people are perfectly capable of experiencing sexual attraction, and many choose to engage in sexual relationships.
The opposite of aromantic is an alloromantic, meaning someone who can and wants to experience romantic attraction. From there, you can get more specific with terms like homoromantic or heteroromantic, but the prefix "allo" means you do, and the prefix "a" means you don't.
The (Old) Meaning
Let’s rewind a bit.
Initially, the aromantic flag looked a little different from the one we are used to seeing today.
Originally, it only had four stripes: green, yellow, orange, and black. Nowadays, the yellow and the orange have been changed to grey and light green, and a white stripe has been added in the center for a total of five stripes.
- Dark Green - Let’s start from the top with the dark green stripe. It stands for the opposite of green on the color wheel. Since red is usually thought of as the color of romance, green would indicate a lack of romantic attraction as its color wheel opposite.
- Yellow - The next stripe, originally yellow, represented friendship, since yellow flowers signify friendship in the language of flowers.
- Orange - Orange followed the yellow stripe and was supposed to signify that some people are demiromantics (or grey-romantics) since orange is in between yellow and red. A demiromantic is only romantically attracted to another person if they have already built an extraordinarily strong platonic relationship with them, and they do not experience romantic attraction often. A grey-romantic person has an extremely low romantic tolerance and experiences it very rarely or at incredibly low intensity.
- Black - It was always important for the flag to encompass people on the entire spectrum because identity and sexuality can represent the most people when it is a spectrum instead of a binary. Finally, the black stripe represented alloromantics or people who do experience romantic attraction but dislike traditional romantic concepts.
The New Meaning
In 2014, Tumblr-user Cameron decided that it was time for a change when it came to the aromantic flag. The new flag had five stripes and looked similar to the current one, except that the middle stripe was yellow. Later that year, Cameron updated the flag once more to change the middle stripe to white, thereby creating the flag that we know and love today.
The light green stripe shows that aromantics are on a spectrum. The white stripe does double duty by firstly representing platonic and aesthetic attraction and also queerplatonic relationships. The grey stripe falls between white and black to signify grey-aromantic or demiromantic people. Finally, the black stripe completes the flag by showing the entire spectrum of sexuality.
Who Can Fly the Flag?
Life is all about learning and growing! Sometimes, it can be difficult to figure out where you fall on the spectrum of romantic and sexual attraction because of how much we learn and grow every day.
However, if you are considering identifying as aromantic, you shouldn't let the fear of being unsure stop you. Fly your flag! Have the confidence to be who you think you are.
If your identity changes, no one will be mad or disappointed. Instead, your community will support you in your journey to discover more about yourself and finding what feels right for you.
If you aren't sure how to tell whether or not you might identify on the aromantic spectrum, consider the following questions:
- Do you have a hard time thinking about or understanding being in love?
- Have you found that romantic relationships have been more of a pain or uncomfortable for you than good?
- When your friends or family discuss being in love, do you have a difficult time empathizing?
- Do you feel grossed out or put off by the idea of being in a romantic relationship with someone?
- Do you wonder if the only reason you have romantic relationships is because society/friends/family expect you to be in one?
Answering yes to one or more of those questions may mean that you fall on the aromantic spectrum.
However, you should always embrace the identity that makes you the most comfortable and that feels right.
If being aromantic works for you, that is wonderful! If it doesn't, that is wonderful, too.
If nothing else, introspection about yourself is a fantastic way to learn to identify with other people in the LGBTQ+ community.
At Pride Place, we want everyone to feel loved and included. So, feel free to reach out to us or check out some of our coming out stories to better understand the enormous (and beautiful) spectrum of human gender and sexuality that’s out there. Maybe you will relate to some of their stories and find the meaning and purpose you’re searching for.
We want to celebrate everyone's identity here at Pride Palace.
We want everyone to feel loved, accepted, and valued because you are unique and special.
If you want to be loud and proud of who you are, check out our Aromantic Pride Flag and hoist its colors to show the world that you are not afraid to be yourself and support your LGBTQ+ brothers, sisters, and non-binary siblings around the world. If you want to be quietly proud and hang it in your bedroom instead, that’s a beautiful thing, too.
Just live life and be unapologetically you!