The Pride Flag: A Symbol of Our Ongoing Journey Toward Equality

As Mainers, we know our neighbors. They are the community around us, the people who support us in times of need, and we connect with folks to do the same. Even though we’re all different, everyone wants to be included--in the convenience store, at the dog park, and at the doctor’s office. How can we help our community members feel included? Consider what equality means to you during Pride Month and all year long.

Northern Light Health’s commitment to the LGBTQIA2S+ community is unwavering. We strive to create an environment where everyone feels valued, respected, and empowered. We work to make sure this commitment is reflected in every aspect of our healthcare system, ensuring that all individuals receive the same compassionate and inclusive care that we all deserve. “Our journey toward a more inclusive future for all people is ongoing,” says Paul Bolin, chief people and administrative officer, Northern Light Health. “We are proud to stand with our LGBTQIA2S+ colleagues and community members every step of the way.”

You’ve probably noticed a variety of colorful flags and displays popping up around June each year—have you ever wondered what each of those colors represent? Let’s explore the significance of the Pride flag and its role in creating safe, welcoming, and supportive spaces for everyone.

Understanding the Pride Progress flag

The Pride Progress flag was designed by Daniel Quasar in 2018 as an evolution of the traditional rainbow flag, incorporating additional colors to represent marginalized groups within the LGBTQIA2S+ community. It is a powerful symbol that emphasizes inclusivity and progress, and each color carries its own profound meaning.


Red is a color associated with blood, symbolizing life and vitality. This color emphasizes the life force of the LGBTQIA2S+ community, celebrating the richness and diversity within it.


Orange is a warm and soothing color—it provides comfort and relief. The orange stripe symbolizes the healing journey many LGBTQIA2S+ individuals go through, whether it’s healing from trauma, discrimination, or trouble finding self-acceptance.


The yellow stripe promotes visibility and enlightenment and calls attention to light, hope, and optimism, signifying the joy and positivity individuals can bring into the world.


Green is associated with growth and renewal. It reflects the natural diversity of human beings and the continual journey toward acceptance and equality.


Blue is a calming color associated with tranquility and peace. This reflects the desire for peace, unity, and acceptance within our society.

Violet: SPIRIT

The color violet is associated with spirituality and our higher selves. It highlights resilience, courage, and strength, as well as the spirit that drives the community to work for equality and justice.

Black and Brown

These two colors acknowledge the intersectional struggles faced by LGBTQIA2S+ individuals of color. The origin of the Pride movement was one of many areas where these individuals felt underrepresented. Including these colors to represent them on the flag is one way to change that.

Light Blue, Pink, and White

These colors come from the Trans Pride flag, designed by transwoman Monica Helms and first introduced in 2000. Traditionally, the colors pink and blue have been used to represent whether a baby is a boy or girl. In the flag, they represent those genders instead of biological sex. The color white represents people who are transitioning, intersex, or identify as gender nonbinary.

Why the Pride flag is important

The Pride flag is more than just a colorful banner; it's a beacon of hope, inclusion, and the relentless pursuit of human rights. It serves as a powerful emblem of visibility and acceptance, signaling a safe space and support for those who often face discrimination and marginalization. The flag reminds us of the ongoing struggle for equality and the importance of embracing love, dignity, and respect for all individuals regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation.

Wherever you see the Pride flag or its colors, it shows that you are in a space where you are safe, welcome, and included. The Pride flag is a vital symbol of the LGBTQIA2S+ community, shining a light on the importance of visibility, acceptance, and the ongoing pursuit of equality.

By embracing diversity and advocating for equity, we can create a healthcare environment that truly works for everyone. Together, we can make a difference, one step at a time.