Thursday 21 June 2012

Putting Out Sean Campbell's Flags

Way back in January you may have read how my guest blogger Sean Campbell created the Feather/Drag Pride flag. Today I’m looking at some more of his designs.

As Sean explained in his post all of his flag designs originated during his time in the publishing industry. In the early days on the Palm Springs Gay and Lesbian Times at which Sean worked there was a limited number of images they had access to. In June 200 the magazine ran a special Pride edition and rather than hunt around getting copyright clearance for photos and images Sean came up with the imaginative idea of designing flags for various sections of the lgbt community.

As well as the Feather/Drag Pride flag featured in January, Sean also designed the following 3 flags.

This is composed entirely of established symbols. The colour lavender has been used by and for the lgbt community for many decades. The history of it’s use will be gone into in more detail in a future Flower Power post, the colour symbolism passing to the flower. The black triangle was used by the Nazis in their colour-coded persecution. The most famous of these was the pink triangle used for homosexuals. The black triangle covered several so-called “anti-social” groups which included lesbians. The Nazis believed that women who didn’t actively produce little Nazis were not fit for society and “anti-social”. The black triangle has been used by lesbian and women’s rights groups many times. Sean’s flag design also turns the symbol into a positive affirmation of female power by placing the double-edged axe, the labrys, firmly on top of the triangle. The labrys was an ancient symbol of matriarchal power in the eastern Mediterranean, and I said more about that in my post on World Digger’s Day.

Although there had been a more widely used Cowboy Pride flag based on the Rainbow flag prior to Sean’s, this one moved away from the rainbow stripes to concentrate on the Leather Pride flag which may not be immediately obvious. This flag was originally designed for the leather cowboy “fetish” community. This is reflected in the black stripes which are in the same positions as they appear on the Leather Pride flag. It avoids traditional lgbt symbolism, except a white triangle. A horse’s head provides an element of life into the design.

I don’t know if there’s a Cowgirl Pride flag out there, but I’ll be very interested to know in anybody has seen one.

Variations of this design had probably been used unofficially in several places in the USA, being a format often used before Sean Campbell changed the blue behind the stars to pink. This was another of the designs used in the 2000 Pride edition of the Gay and Lesbian Times (Palm Springs edition).


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    1. Thanks Raul. I'm always hoping that people find something interesting in my blog.

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  4. This article and website are amazing. I'm trying to reach Sean Campbell for an interview for a book about Pride flags. On the very off chance you see this and can help, could you contact me at info at majesticmess dot com? I really want to tell more of his story.

  5. Thanks for your comment. I only have an old email address for Sean Campbell. I'll contact him and pass on you email address to him.