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Discussion 2.0: Asexual Flag

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bristrek

random idea...... If we make the asexy flag somethin that takes in all asexuals.... Then each asexual community can put symbols as they please. For example. The cz symbol of a paw is awesome but we dont use it, so mauybe they want that on their flag? Im saying we come up with the basic colour design in conjunction with all other avenites and asexuals, but leave symbols up to specific groups as to what best represents them?

Or just leave it blank if they so wish....

That is a bloody brilliant idea! You don't need a canton for it (as indicated by the leather pride and bear pride flags) just an area where an icon would be 'readable' as it were which we can probably do pretty easily.

Great idea, and does solve some problems.

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Pandoren

Btw I dropped a thread onto Asexual Lesbians because that's the only other site I know of lol. It only has a few people who have posted recently and I'd put money on them being AVENites anyway, but nevertheless... At least if they are AVENites they might not have noticed this thread in any case.

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ThePieMaker

Standup, you seem to be a recent arrival on to the asexuality scene, yet are really jumping in with two feet into making a flag. I am curious how long you've known you were ace, and what experiences you have had in engaging with the community beforehand or just how educated you are in asexuality since you seem so enthusiastic about bringing visibility to it.

Please don't take this as me challenging you. I just really am curious to know more since you are very vocally campaigning this. I know you said you weren't really familar with project team stuff, but maybe you might be interested in running for a PT position? (elections are typically held in August... and usually candidates do a bio and a sort of goals they wish to accomplish thing).

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standup

Standup, you seem to be a recent arrival on to the asexuality scene, yet are really jumping in with two feet into making a flag. I am curious how long you've known you were ace, and what experiences you have had in engaging with the community beforehand or just how educated you are in asexuality since you seem so enthusiastic about bringing visibility to it.

Please don't take this as me challenging you. I just really am curious to know more since you are very vocally campaigning this. I know you said you weren't really familar with project team stuff, but maybe you might be interested in running for a PT position? (elections are typically held in August... and usually candidates do a bio and a sort of goals they wish to accomplish thing).

I've been lurking for a while (maybe a year?), not really active on the community but learning about everything and getting a feel of how AVEN works and what the community is like. The people here seem very friendly and everyone is very close knit. I made an account before, but when the site crashed/reverted it got deleted, and I decided not to make a new one. In general I'm just helpful, and I like being progressive and getting things done. Projects and goals are fun, and one day I just kind of realized asexuality didn't have a flag, and thought it would only be a good thing to make one. I don't know about running for a spot on the PT, but thank you for offering and I'll keep it in mind.

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Spoofmaster

Starting with this thread, I will no longer be accepting any flags that don't meet the above guidelines.

You won't, won't you? That kind of statement gets my hackles up. You've decided we need or should have a flag for some reason that is not entirely clear to me. Then you start making polls and deadlines as if there is some huge rush to come up with the flag you seem to think we must have as soon as possible. You did come to your senses a bit and back off from your previous thread, but you still seem to be putting yourself up as the authoriy on this, with lots of rules.

I'm going to stay out of this now. I'd rather have no flag anyway.

I'd have a lot more sympathy for this response if a.) some reason were brought up as to how the current guidelines were unreasonable, b.) Standup hadn't offered before now to step down and allow someone else to run this (seriously? How is volunteering to step aside "putting yourself up as the authority on this"?), or c.) we didn't now have several weeks in which to hold our discussion and carefully design our flag. I do think the last thread was rushing into things, but I think we're on the right track now to having input from a wide range of asexuals and making a flag that will both look good and mean something to at least most of us. Unless I'm mistaken, there was (and still is) an opportunity for voting, and thus far the majority of those who have voted have voted to have a flag. The thing about democracy is that while we can hear everyone's opinions, we can't heed every single person's wishes.

There's a reason for putting deadlines on this thing. While the community shouldn't lose interest within the next week, it would be more than understandable for members to get distracted and forget about it if we let this drag on for months and months--and there's no reason not to just go ahead and get the thing done, since it appears to be something the majority of the voters want.

In more practical news, I like the idea of designing the flag so that it can be displayed either plain or with an additional symbol added to it. That would allow us all to use the same flag while using our own community's symbol(s) if we so wish. :)

ETA: In case the question was missed when it was asked by another user, I would like to ask Standup again: do designs from the last post need to be re-submitted here, or will they automatically be considered if they fit the new guidelines? And I'm assuming those that don't fit the guidelines will be disqualified now--is that correct, or do you plan to wait to make sure they don't get voted up in the current poll?

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standup

ETA: In case the question was missed when it was asked by another user, I would like to ask Standup again: do designs from the last post need to be re-submitted here, or will they automatically be considered if they fit the new guidelines? And I'm assuming those that don't fit the guidelines will be disqualified now--is that correct, or do you plan to wait to make sure they don't get voted up in the current poll?

Thanks Spoof. :)

No, designs that were added in the last thread and that are currently in the poll don't need to be re-added. They can be revised if you want, but the winners of the first round are going to continue through the elimination process - they'll just be on hold until we get more submissions to add. If a winner doesn't meet the guideline's standards, I suppose I'll probably take a runner up. Sound good? :D

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marusian

No one has said this yet, and it's been on my mind since the last time we were making asexy flags, so I'll just put this in now. Hope this is a good time for it.

There has been talk about what the colors that we want on the flag - black, grey, white, and purple - could symbolize. They just click for me, and here is why.

Purple

First off, I remember being told in elementary school that purple was a "gay" color. Later on, some guy thought the purple Teletubby was gay, and one of the "reasons" was that it was purple. Purple seems to be pretty accepted by some (I'm sure it can't be universal, though) as a non-heterosexual color. You also see it in the bisexuality flag as well as the well-known rainbow flag (it's part of the rainbow, after all). That goes with my second point. In the bisexual pride flag, purple symbolizes the sexual attraction to different people of different genders. For us, it could symbolize our sexual non-attraction to different people of different genders.

Black, Grey, and White

Black and white can both be considered non-colors, and I think gaving the three together instead of just one is like having a variety (there are a wide variety of us, after all) of non-color in a strange sort of way (fun!). Instead of the colorful rainbow flag or the bisexuality pride flag, it would have (except for that purple) a sort-of lack of color - our lack of sexual attraction.

So it just comes down to this for me - the black, grey, and white are for the lack of sexual attraction while the purple sort of defines it as directed towards all genders (though I'm sort of odd on trying to make the purple pan instead of bi...) and as non-heterosexual.

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Dargon

Hey, new discussion page, me likies.

First and foremost, on AVEN itself: I know there is a lot of concern regarding the AVEN vs asexuality community as a whole issue. While it is true that AVEN does not represent the entire asexuality community, it is the forefront mover in visibility efforts. Very few articles are written without coming through here for input, and most asexuals come through here at some point. AVEN is the first result for a search on asexuality in Google. Despite the fact that I have not participated on this board for the past threeish years, I still view AVEN as the central and main hub for the asexuality movement.

That being said, colors:

Purple: Much of the association with purple stems from the original board, which was purple in color. Over time the color became associated with the site by its members. Furthermore, pamphlets, banners, etc. started heavily using the color. Now it has been said that it is not a vote, but continued usage that makes something official. Purple has been so heavily used in the entire visibility and education movement that at least to me, said color extends beyond AVEN. That being said, I, too, was raised with the notion that purple was for girls and gays. I am not sure how widely held this idea is, but it may require some consideration. At this point, however, the color purple is so widely used in the asexual community that I see that as a minor issue.

Black/White/Grey: This seems to come from the switch to the gradient in the AVEN triangle, and the rise of the term "grey-A." With how prevalent in the asexual community the term "grey-A" has become, it too seems to extend beyond AVEN. With grey being in there, the black and white on opposite ends representing asexuality and sexuality seems to be the most logical extension. Personally, my only beef is that it still divides into clear-cut segments. The closest remedy that could be used on a flag would be varying shades of grey, since a gradient is not possible.

Symbols:

The AVEN triangle: I noticed in the other thread, some people did not know the origin of the AVEN triangle. As such, I shall explain in this paragraph. Please feel free to skip ahead if this is old news. The top bar of the triangle is representative of the Kinsey Scale, a model proposed showing sexuality is not a black and white ordeal but a spectrum from heterosexual to homosexual. Since asexuals do not register on this scale, a point off the scale showing a lack of sexual attraction was added. This is the bottom corner of the triangle. The original symbol had that corner colored black with the rest being white, but after some discussion, it was changed to a gradient to show the spectrum nature in that scale as well.

That being said, while some associate the triangle with AVEN, the symbol is well thought enough and has enough meaning behind it that I feel it is a good symbol for asexuality as a whole. That being said, it does suffer the problem of looking like, to the dirty mind, an unshaved female crotch.

The Spade: At some point, the term "Ace" caught on as a nickname for asexuals, partially to combat the similar sound of "a" and "gay." The name caught on rather quickly. With it came the use of the spade (including the inverted spade with the AVEN gradient in it).

My only real objection to the spade is its association with both cards and with war, as it is commonly used on planes, tanks, etc. To most, it has strong connotations already.

The Black Ring: I assume this ring is in relation to the black ring worn of the right middle finger as an identifier for asexuals. I find myself amused at how much this has caught on if that is the case.

If that is indeed the case, some history on the black ring is important in my opinion. Years ago a portion of the community wanted some sort of outward indicator of their asexuality. The reasoning varied, some wanted it to identify other asexuals for dating purposes, what with sexual/asexual relationships being rather difficult, others simply wanted a symbol for a sense of pride and unity. After a lengthy discussion, the black ring on the right middle finger was decided upon for a number of reasons. As a piece of jewelry, it could be worn daily, as opposed to an article of clothing which must be washed. Black rings aren't commonly worn, and thus are rare enough that someone wearing one likely has a reason, but are also relatively inexpensive (hematite rings typically run around $10). The right middle finger is very uncommon for rings to be worn. That, coupled with the rarity of black rings, makes it rather likely that a black ring on the right middle finger in the wild is no accident. The ring was also decided on due to its subtlety, as many people wanted to wear such a symbol, but were concerned about outing themselves.

Now that the history is out of the way, my personal opinion on the use as a symbol: In short, not a fan. While I still sport my own black ring (or did until it ended up on the bottom of the San Marcos River (I've yet to replace it)), it has little meaning behind it. It was chosen to be a unique signifier because of its uniqueness and subtly, not because of any innate symbolism. As such, I do not like its use as a symbol of asexuality.

Arrangement of colors:

First off, I rather like Spoofmaster's arrangement on the first page. The black/grey/white is in gradient order, and the asexual purple spans across all three. Could be said to show inclusiveness and stuff.

As has been mentioned, horizontal stripes are often associated with the gay pride rainbow flag. Seeing as I view asexuality as part of the overall "queer" movement and identity, I think it would not be too bad an idea to use that. An idea I had over the past day would be to use six bars, like the gay flag has, but put them in a white to black gradient, with the middle four being different shades of grey. Just a thought.

Aside from that, I am rather unfamiliar with anything else regarding any symbolism behind shape and placement of colored patches.

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SpirallingSnowy

Im actually very fond of Spoofmasters flag :) Its simple, yet effective, it shows the purple ( asexuality) and its connection to all spectrums of sexuality.

This is what im thinking when i see an asexual flag :)

I think we should have the voting offsite, and i think that from a statistics perspective, the proposed voting method isnt fair. Im happy to help design a better method or whatever, and happy to help with all of this. and i think that whoever is talking ot other asexual communities that there should be somewhere, or an email address who they can send the images of their flag designs too. And i dont think there should be a colour restriction because someone from somewhere else may just come up with an awesome design.

its easy enough to do this for non english - we dont actually need to have any english on the page with the flags, we can number them, and the rest of it, we can translate thru babel fish/another online translation site, if we dont have a translator.

It might be easier if we are going multi lingual to set it up as a form on survey monkey or something. THe ways of the voting occuring are endless, but having to translate is a pain so we gotta find a better way than having a million ppl translating everything.....

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Frith

I do think that simple is better for a flag - having more than one sort of grey seems a bit cluttered to me. Personally, I think that purple should be the most noticable colour on the flag, and have a larger area compared to the others, as I think it sends the message that the asexuality community is what we're promoting, and in that is included the white, grey and black.

I really liked Spoofmaster's design on the previous page, and also 2N from the poll for these reasons.

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Sciatrix

Also, I was thinking symbolically about flag 1A... Someone else said before that purple and black next to each other clash and I'm inclined to agree, which means, given the gradient, that black and purple would be at opposite edges of the flag. Which leaves two options- purple at the top or purple at the bottom. The original design had it at the bottom. If we go by the AVEN triangle, that would put the sequence purple, white, grey, black- this could be said to be that community comes first, or that community is above sexuality. Alternatively, it could be black, grey, white, purple, and could be said to be Asexual + Grey + Sexual = Community. Either way...

(Yes, I know I'm jumping the gun talking a lot about 1A... I'm not saying this is The Flag but it seemed to be favoured in the old poll and sticks in my mind a lot to be subject to such thoughts!)

* When I say "community" I'm kinda using it synonymously with "unity" "solidarity" "we who have something in common" "peaceful coexistence", you get the idea.

Huh, I just noticed there's some weird connotations to putting the purple next to the white aside from the aesthetic connotations. Hm. Maybe that vertical purple/horizontal white, grey, and black sequence works a bit better.

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PiF

I'm guessing many europeans will look at spoofs flag and think..it looks like an eastern european flag...what country is it from?..sorry spoof

too many colours and in particular the greys and blacks make the flag look like a dull and dirty version of the rainbow flag

i feel..we need to concentrate on the triangle symbol as from the other sites for asexuality the triangle seems to be a consistent image

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bristrek

I'm guessing many europeans will look at spoofs flag and think..it looks like an eastern european flag...what country is it from?..sorry spoof

too many colours and in particular the greys and blacks make the flag look like a dull and dirty version of the rainbow flag

i feel..we need to concentrate on the triangle symbol as from the other sites for asexuality the triangle seems to be a consistent image

That's what it is! I knew there was something but that's what it is! The fact that the vertical block wasn't a triangle threw me off but you're right, that's what it is.

I agree with most of what you said, but feel we should stick with horizontal bars but in such a way that it's easy enough to put an extra symbol in the canton area if the user wants.

Another problem with using a ton of grey shades rather than just one, is that you end up trying to be too literal rather than symbolic. It looks murky, rather cluttered and think that at most we should have two greys though one works better. I mean, if someone can make it work and do a 'purple/cummunity at the centre with the shades of sexuality radiating off it' sort of thing I'd be interested in seeing if it works but mostly I'm rather skeptical about too much grey.

I don't think I was ever raised to think, or exposed to the idea as a kid much, that purple was a gay colour. It was a royal colour because of its natural pigment being hard to get. Purple and even lavender were gay colours on guys I noticed a lot of people thinking when I was younger, didn't notice the purple one though.

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PiF

agree on too many greys..reminds me of my grandads y fronts

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Pandoren

Two thoughts-

Firstly @Spiralling Snowy- although a good idea, the thing about this is that AVEN is the forerunner in visibility, so our flag, whatever we put on it, is likely going to become synonymous with asexuality. So we'd have to be prepared for the eventuality that other smaller groups may end up folding and being encompassed in our flag. I guess this would be less important for other AVEN groups because different countries could end up with their own well known flag.

Secondly the connotations with purple- as I see it 1) as someone said, it could be a link to our non-heteronormativity, 2) if we were really concerned about it being a bisexual colour, we could attribute it to the romantic orientations of some, the possibility that we can still love other people, we aren't shut away from love, and 3) I think that, as long as other colours are used, we can say that no one owns the colour purple. It has meaning for the bis, it has meaning for us. Since there are so many flags already, I'd bet that some colours have been used twice already, it's rather inevitable, especially since they made a rainbow flag, thereby claiming a whole range of colours!

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bristrek

Exactly! Colours don't just have one meaning. I mean, look at the nation flags they basically use the same set of colours over and over in different combo to mean different things, and often a single colour will represent something different from one flag to another. There's nothing saying that simply because we have purple on our flag it means we're all secretly bisexual. Besides, we can always make sure the shade of purple we use is different to the one they use.

How often do people seriously suggest that just because Britain, America, Portugal, Ghana and China, say, all have red on their flags of similar hues that they're all the same sort of country? And if they did how seriously would you take them?

That purple does have links to the queer community already is a handy tie in, sure, but saying that having it means everyone is bisexual doesn't work. Acer can probably back me up when I say that we all walked behind the purple banner (except when Michael was doing a Where's Waldo impression in their pink/purple/blue shirt *g* or I got a bit ahead cause I was going a bit too fast handing out leaflets) in London Pride not all of us by any means, I think only me, were actually biromantic. And of those that walked behind the same coloured banner in SF Pride do we think they were all biromantic?

So we take the colour as our own, which it is, for our own meaning for it and make sure it isn't the same hue as the one on the bi flag but not worry overmuch after that.

And as has been pointed out, or hinted at at least, elsewhere on here the fact that the rainbow flag is a rainbow kinda makes it hard to find a colour that isn't already on one of the LGBT flags. Add in the bi flag and trans flag, and the bear and leather one if you're so inclined, and it gets even harder.

We just have to go with what we want, with our meanings.

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you*hear*but*do*you*listen

ETA: Tip for getting the shaded triangle done fast in photoshop. Use the polygon tool to create a triangle and fill it with white (through right clicking and then fill path). Create a new layer and then change the fill tool to the gradient tool from black -> transparent, set the layer into a clipping mask via Ctrl+Alt+G (Win) / Command+Option+G (Mac). Then fill that layer with the gradient. Voila, asexual triangle! Only takes a few minutes and means you don't have to go deleting the gradient from outside the triangle or some such and also makes fiddling with the gradient easier.

-nod- That's similar what I did, except I used one of the lasso tools to select the triangle and fill it in wth gradient, but I had a lot of trouble lassoing the corners and that's what took so long. No shaded triangles on my flags this time, but still, thanks.

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+Lee

I made some more and re-worked one or two of my ideas:

Screenshot2010-07-07at94320AM.pngScreenshot2010-07-07at94328AM.png

Screenshot2010-07-07at94330AM.pngScreenshot2010-07-07at94337AM.png

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Pandoren

I think of those four, the bottom right one makes the most sense. It keeps the gradient and frames it with purple.

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+Lee

I think of those four, the bottom right one makes the most sense. It keeps the gradient and frames it with purple.

Yeah, I already exhausted a lot of keeping the gradients in my other designs, so that was the last one I could think of for horizontal.

Thanks. :)

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Dannyboi

I prefer simpler flags (like without symbols) both for aesthetic reasons (I don't like things looking too cluttered) and because I think it would be easier to sew. I'm a big DIY person and having a symbol on a flag just makes it a pain to make your own (unless you're more talented than me. I'm not actually that good at sewing).

Being gray-a, I would also only use a flag with gray on it, otherwise I would end up making my own, heh.

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bristrek

I agree that if we don't have grey in the colour mix with the black then it shouldn't be put into the group for consideration - the grey is more important to me than the white really though I think we need all three.

I also think that if you're going to have a border of some sort, the same colour on two or more sides, it needs to have a different thickness to the other bits of colour. Mostly for aesthetic reasons - have them all the same but the two on the end the same, unless you're doing tons of different bars like the leather pride flag, looks a bit off to me. There's probably some sort of proportion (golden ratio?) that'd get it to fit better.

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+Lee

For some reason I googled flag makers, just to see how much a flag would cost for me if I wanted one done.

Annnd, there are a lot of stuff to consider. XD Like material, holes/sleeves, etc.

Links I've come across if others want to look:

http://customflagshop.com/

http://www.the-flag-makers.com/custom-design-flags/custom-made-flags.htm

http://www.custom-flag-makers.com/

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bristrek

The links brought a point to mind. We will have ti standardise colours. Now, I don't have a booklet of Pantone colours cause the things cost. If we have any graphic designers in here though they may be able to help with screen colour to 'real' colour conversion.

But I think once we get the design done and the colour sorted out we need to record those colour values in the RGB hex code for online stuff and cheap printers. But we also need to find the Pantone colours closest to them and then keep a good record otherwise any time someone orders something with the flag on from a printer or flag maker the colours will change all over the place.

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Spoofmaster

Glad to hear folks like my design. To my knowledge it is not especially similar to any country's flag, as the only similar layouts I've seen have triangles on the left, not vertical stripes.

Going with the same reasoning that led me to that design, I've set up another. I don't like the look of this one quite as well, but it keeps the white-gray-black gradient, and this time the purple of the community frames/contains the different shades of sexual identification.

flag2.png

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PyroNeko

I like what SpirallingSnowy said about having a flag to represent asexuality as a whole, not just AVEN. This could work really well as a collaborative effort between all the asexy communities. :)

I'm not wild about any of the symbols on the flag, especially the ring or spade. The simpler, the better...I like the photo that was posted on the first comment page on here - the purple vertical stripe with black, white, and gray horizontal stripes. But I'm not completely sold on any design yet.

Eh, having a flag would be cool...but I'm still on the fence for this one.

And no, I'm not posting this to start some stupid 'flame war' or 'bitch fest.' <_<

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Frith

Going with the same reasoning that led me to that design, I've set up another. I don't like the look of this one quite as well, but it keeps the white-gray-black gradient, and this time the purple of the community frames/contains the different shades of sexual identification.

flag2.png

I really like this one too, and I do think that purple should clearly be the most important/obvious colour on the flag, since the point we're making is that we're all part of the same community. Having it bordering all the others seems like a good way to go. (The only think that bugs me a little about it is that the border is a different width at the top and bottom than at the sides, but that's just me probably!)

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Spoofmaster

It is not just you! *laughs* It actually bugs me, too, that the border looks uneven, but it's harder to work out how to get it even all the way around in the program I was using.

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SpirallingSnowy

have we had any flags from other avens/asexuality groups? Has anyone asked them? If you want a central email for them to email their designs i can arrange that.

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Brackets

If we do the horizontal stripes flag, I'd personally prefer something like Ellie J's first flag slightly up the page, just maybe with grey stripes in it. I'm just a big stickler for symmetry and 1A is asymmetrical. I know some people are against the kind of thing I'm suggesting (and saw on the first thread) because of the number of stripes, but the American flag has thirteen of them and the Leather Pride flag has nine, so it's completely possible. I still like the idea of the diagonals, but I'm not opposed to a (symmetrical) horizontal flag.

Also, am I the only person here who thinks purple and black don't clash?

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