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"Two Spirits" Gay Pride Flags

Sexual Orientation Flags

Last modified: 2023-09-30 by randy young
Keywords: rainbow flag | two spirits | gay pride | feathers: 2 |
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See also:

Description of the concept

I had a coworker ask me if I ever heard of the "Two Spirit" flag design for the LGBT community, because they wanted me to see a drawing they did for a friend. I told them that term itself I am familiar with, but not the flag.

The term, as defined by Wikipedia, is "a modern, pan-Indian umbrella term used by some Indigenous North Americans to describe Native people in their communities who fulfill a traditional third-gender (or other gender-variant) ceremonial and social role in their cultures."
Zachary Harden, 13 September 2023
Source:
Two-spirit - Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-spirit


Rainbow flag variant

[Two-feather Rainbow flag]
image by Zachary Harden, 13 September 2023

The flag itself was first designed in 2016 from a user on Tumblr by the username "2Sanon". It is not known to me if the real name of the user is public information. The design itself is the traditional LGBT flag with two feathers charged in the center. "The two feathers represent woman and man, and the circle represents unity in one," according to the author. The central device can be used on other Pride flags and the linked post/source gives examples of where they can be used. This design is used in Canada, at least, with the use by the University of Waterloo in Manitoba. [1]
Zachary Harden, 13 September 2023
Source:
[1] - https://uwaterloo.ca/news/waterloo-raises-two-spirit-flag-campus-first-time


More examples of the flag use:
Victoria Pride 2019 in Victoria, BC: https://www.flickr.com/photos/brucedean/48517937626
Wabanaki people, 2020:https://www.facebook.com/groups/wabanaki2spirits/posts/3872783879403481/
Victoria Pride 2021 in Victoria, BC: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bcgovphotos/51277886764
Thompson Pride 2022 in Thompson, MB: https://www.thompsoncitizen.net/local-news/raising-of-two-spirit-flag-in-thompson-symbolizes-a-future-of-acceptance-and-love-5474855

The flag has been introduced to the USA as well. In June 2023, it was used at the Two-Spirit Powwow in Spokane, Washington: https://www.inlander.com/culture/spokanes-first-two-spirit-powwow-celebrates-inclusivity-at-the-intersection-of-race-and-gender-26090096.
Tomislav Todorović, 13 September 2023

Another, more complex variant of the two feathers symbol exists as well. So far, it was used only on the Rainbow Flag, the examples of its use including:
Utah Pride 2019, Salt Lake City: https://www.davd.photo/utah-pride-2019-photos/ (image: https://i0.wp.com/www.davd.photo/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/utah-pride-2019-photos-1.jpg)
Pride Month 2021, Fort Erie, Ontario: https://www.niagarathisweek.com/news/two-spirit-pride-flag-raised-at-fort-erie-native-friendship-centre/article_08eb8771-aeea-5f10-a12d-bf622d73e0f3.html
LGBTQ2S+ gathering in Edmonton, Alberta, on 13 May 2022: https://globalnews.ca/news/8903907/two-spirit-indigenous-colonization-lgbtq-inside-pride/
Pride London, Ontario 2022: https://www.dcaclondon.ca/pride-london-ont-2022/
(image 1: https://www.dcaclondon.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/DCAC_Pride_2022-3402-scaled.jpg)
(image 2: https://www.dcaclondon.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/DCAC_Pride_2022-3408-scaled.jpg)
Tomislav Todorović, 14 September 2023

Progress Pride variant

[Two-feather Progress Pride flag]
image by Zachary Harden, 13 September 2023

The flag itself was first designed in 2016 from a user on Tumblr by the username "2Sanon". It is not known to me if the real name of the user is public information. The design itself is the traditional LGBT flag with two feathers charged in the center. "The two feathers represent woman and man, and the circle represents unity in one," according to the author. The central device can be used on other Pride flags and the linked post/source gives examples of where they can be used. This design is used in Canada, at least, with the use by the University of Waterloo in Manitoba. [1] This design was incorporated in the "Progress Pride flag" and was made into an official flag at an event in 2022 in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, located in Treaty 8 Territory, Canada. [2]
Zachary Harden, 13 September 2023
Sources:
[1] - https://uwaterloo.ca/news/waterloo-raises-two-spirit-flag-campus-first-time
[2] - https://prideymm.ca/2s-flag


A flag photo from the event: https://www.fortmcmurraytoday.com/news/pride-ymm-celebrates-start-of-pride-week-with-raising-of-locally-designed-two-spirit-progress-pride-flag.
Tomislav Todorović, 13 September 2023

New Progress Pride variant

[Two-feather New Progress Pride flag]
image by Zachary Harden, 13 September 2023

The design was also added to the New Progress Pride flag and used in June 2022 by Cambrian College in Sudbury, ON: https://cambriancollege.ca/news/2022/06/cambrian-college-opens-new-pride-centre-unveils-new-pride-flag/ (image: https://marvel-b1-cdn.bc0a.com/f00000000165730/cambriancollege.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Pride-Progress-Flag-700x936.jpg)
* note the yellow field at the flag hoist.
Tomislav Todorović, 13 September 2023

Another variant of the New Progress Pride flag, with smaller feathers (fitting completely into two rainbow stripes, yellow and green) superimposed over white infinity symbol to include the representation of M├ętis people, photographed in Alberta (no information on the precise location): https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/pride-flags-schools-1.6861990.
Tomislav Todorović, 14 September 2023

Transgender variant

[Two-feather Transgender flag]
image by Zachary Harden, 13 September 2023

Another flag to which it was added is the transgender flag by Monica Helms, which has been used by the Maskwacis people of Alberta: https://www.aptnnews.ca/national-news/reaction-from-survivors-apology-pope-francis-maskwacis-alberta/attachment/jack-saddleback-holding-two-spirit-flag/.
Tomislav Todorović, 13 September 2023

I would say that the flag with the transgender colors in the background would be most appropriate, as that is what most users of the flag are trying to convey. Also, I'm pretty sure that the concept of a third gender in Native American cultures is a very modern invention and not an ancient concept. The first real mentions I can find of it are from the 1990s and early 2000s, although some claim it is older.
Samuel Edwards, 13 September 2023