The different stripes are sometimes reckoned to have symbolic meaning:
- red (representing "life")
- orange (representing "healing")
- yellow (representing "sunlight")
- green (representing "nature")
- blue (representing "art")
- purple (or violet; representing "spirit").
The original version also had also a "hot pink" stripe representing "sexuality", and an indigo stripe representing "harmony".
The rainbow flag has given rise to a number of variants for different sections of the LGBT community.
In January 2019 Manchester Pride announced that they would be promoting a variant of the flag with black and brown stripes to symbolise the struggles of queer people of colour. This had a mixed reception.
See also: trans flag.