The OC Voice is a portion of the OC Report newsletter where local residents may have a platform to talk about local issues they care about. Lydia Lavelle is mayor of Carrboro. Click here for more information on Carrboro Pride Month
This June, Carrboro has Pride flags hanging everywhere in town, including Carrboro Town Hall. What exactly is symbolized by each color of the Pride flag, the visual representation of the LGBTQ+ community?
The top color of the flag is usually RED, meant to symbolize LIFE, an incredibly simple, yet complex, word. For many in the LGBTQ+ community, being out and affirmed is an incredible experience – in many ways, a new life. Sadly, however, many are not able to live the life they want. Some must live in the closet, or feel misunderstood, unheard or suicidal. We need to mindfully support and do what we can to support and reassure these persons.
The next color on the rainbow flag is ORANGE, said to symbolize healing. The LGBTQ+ community constantly seeks healing, as the road to equality has been a series of highs and lows over the decades. For example, currently, despite the success of marriage equality, the community is still fighting for employment nondiscrimination; the right to receive the same public services that others receive; and the ability to serve in the military, among other issues. We celebrate this Pride Month to take time to heal so that this advocacy can continue.
The third color is YELLOW, and the fourth color is GREEN. These symbolize sunlight and nature, reminders of spring, a new beginning. Many people in our state and country are experiencing a rebirth, energized by decisions made by the North Carolina legislature and the White House anti-LGBTQ+ agenda. The community must seize this momentum, and be included in this rebirth in a meaningful way.
BLUE, the fifth color, is believed to symbolize harmony, “an interweaving of different accounts into a single narrative,” according to Webster. This fits perfectly into the LGBTQ+ movement of recent years that encompasses the entire rainbow of sexual orientation, identity and expression.
The sixth color, PURPLE, is said to symbolize SPIRIT. Particularly in our purple state of North Carolina, it is important to realize LGBTQ+ issues are not Democratic issues or Republican issues. Young people, no matter their party, overwhelmingly support gay equality. And to complete the Pride flag colors, in recent years, BLACK and BROWN stripes have been added to some versions to represent SOLIDARITY with black and brown brothers and sisters in the movement.
The Carrboro Board of Aldermen has proudly supported hanging Pride flags through our town for many years. We believe these visual displays of LIFE, HEALING, SUNLIGHT, NATURE, HARMONY, SPIRIT and SOLIDARITY send a welcoming message to our community.
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