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I don't love the aro flag


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specifically because apparently the grey and black stripes represent the sexuality spectrum, which in my opinion shouldn't have much to do with the aro flag. does anyone know any alternative versions that don't have that?

Edited by NotDanielSmith
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On 7/10/2022 at 11:13 PM, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

...You realize every aro is somewhere on the sexuality spectrum, right?

I don't know. Do just aro would agree as they  don't label their sexual orientation ? (I really wonder)

Anyway grey is for demi and grey romantic, so nothing to do with sexuality.

The black is to say that aro can have any sexuality which is important in my eyes because people often think aro are asexuals. Though I can see why someone could want to translate the same idea by not having sexuality on the flag.

 

To answer the question, I think the first flag didn't have any mention of sexuality in it. But I don't think people use it.

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Just as there are aro people to whom sexuality is completely different than romantic orientation, there are those of us for whom it's entangled. My asexuality has a lot to do with my aromanticism. The stripe being there to represent some aros doesn't mean it's there to represent every aro. By including it, the flag represents the experiences of every aro, both those who feel their sexuality is related and those who do not.

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On 7/10/2022 at 11:13 PM, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

...You realize every aro is somewhere on the sexuality spectrum, right?

As a person who is disconnected from the sexuality spectrum, I disagree.

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39 minutes ago, Rony said:

As a person who is disconnected from the sexuality spectrum, I disagree.

Fair enough! I apologize for overlooking that.

Still, as @Neon pointed out, for many aros the sexuality spectrum is important to them and is related to their aro-ness. It certainly is to me! Not every individual has to be represented by every stripe on the flag, but the flag tries to be as inclusive as possible. Which means, yes, including people who conceptualize their aromanticism differently from you, OP. Deciding to reject all the community history and design choices behind the flag just because you don't want to be lumped in with those people is kind of a dick move.

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16 minutes ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

Not every individual has to be represented by every stripe on the flag

Exactly. I phrased it poorly, but this is what I meant. I, for example, am not grayromantic. I'm not represented by that section. But I'm not about to lop off the gray stripe, just because I personally don't identify with it.

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On 7/10/2022 at 11:04 PM, NotDanielSmith said:

specifically because apparently the grey and black stripes represent the sexuality spectrum, which in my opinion shouldn't have much to do with the aro flag. does anyone know any alternative versions that don't have that?

I understand your reasoning, but what to do? The flag has its "venerable" history (for Aro circumstances) and is now well-established.

Yes, in the Aro art that I created (don't you know, I'm a very well-known artist - my paintings are exhibited in the Louvre in the Aro section ... in my fantasy), I always felt that representing all those five Aro flag colors (of which three are boring and very not catchy for the eye) is quite difficult, so I focus on the green shades.

Some suggestions:

  1. If you identify more with an aro-sub-label or aro-related label (grayromantic, aroflux, ...) you could use its specific flag instead. Most don't entail any references to the sexual spectrum.

    https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/aromantics/images/d/d2/Grayaroflag_(1).png
    Grayromantic Flag (the gray here obviously refers to grayromanticism, not graysexuality)

    https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/sexuality/images/9/92/Arofluxflag.webp
    Aroflux Flag

    The problem of course is: few people know them. I mean, even though I know pretty obscure sub-sub-sub-labels, I don't know their flags.
     
  2. I guess if you remove the gray and black stripes and instead mirror the green shades, it would still be recognizable as quite aro-related by anyone who knows the original flag. And remove any association with the sexual spectrum:

    image.png.7b51482252cad603d73283be8dd7739e.png
    Alternative Aromantic Flag (created by @DeltaV, license: CC0)
     
  3. My main issue isn't even the inclusion of the sexual spectrum in the original aro flag. Though I agree with you that this is quite bad and inconsistent, e. g. if you include sexuality you might as well include gender, right? But that the aro flag has FIVE stripes while the asexuality flag has FOUR.

    Aros suffer from the persistent myth that aromanticism is artificial, constructed, overly complicated, newfangled and far-fetched. Basically, that aromanticism is regarded as fad. While asexuality OTOH is respected as obvious, plain, elementary, easy and simple. OK, maybe I'm overreacting, but I witnessed this attitude a bit too much. For that reason we shouldn't WANT more stripes.

    Aromanticism is not more complex than asexuality, no no no no!

    So here's another straightforward aro flag:

    image.png.11dc87277d2e4caf2d5683a571ef54a7.png
    Alternative Aromantic Flag 2 (created by @DeltaV, license: CC0)

    As uncreative as it is, to be honest, I like this one. Really - for its extreme simplicity.
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40 minutes ago, DeltaV said:

if you include sexuality you might as well include gender

I might be wrong but I think the sexuality was included for a specific reason : enlight the fact that aro can be of any sexuality and so that we are not a small part of asexuality. We didn't have this problem with gender (people don't think that being aromantic means we are of a certain gender) and so it was not put in the flag.

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13 minutes ago, nonmerci said:

I might be wrong but I think the sexuality was included for a specific reason : enlight the fact that aro can be of any sexuality and so that we are not a small part of asexuality. We didn't have this problem with gender (people don't think that being aromantic means we are of a certain gender) and so it was not put in the flag.

Yes, of course, I sympathize with this reasoning, to some degree ... but does the flag really help in this regard?

All the colors have to be explained nonetheless in detail. E. g. it's not at all obvious what white / gray / black should mean.

So perhaps it would be better to just clarify that aromanticism is unrelated / orthogonal to asexuality - but not put the SAM into the flag.

"There is no second chance for a first impression" - and so the aro flag IMHO should be simple, because aromanticism is conceptually simple and straightforward. I don't mean any individual's orientation, which might be rather complex. But that aromanticism is simple in the sense that, if you're not badly confused by amatonormativity, it's not that difficult to understand in its general meaning.

I mean, aromanticism is not fundamentally different from asexuality regarding any difficulties in understanding.

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17 hours ago, DeltaV said:

Yes, of course, I sympathize with this reasoning, to some degree ... but does the flag really help in this regard?

I don't see the flag as here to help explaining things, more like some thing that make the people involve feeling things and represented. A bit like the white ring : I don't wear but if I did, I would not expect anybody to know what it means, except maybe another aromantic if I see one.

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I don't think we need a new flag. As far as meanings go, most people don't pay too much attention to what different colors on flags mean. I didn't even remember what they represented until this thread tbh. But also, as was previously stated, the aro flag is already well-established. Plus it has a nice color palette (whether one likes the colors or not, they have a good amount of contrast without being too bright imo.)

As someone who is neu aro I don't mind the black stripe; the stripes aren't supposed to represent every aro (just like how not every aro is greyro like the grey stripe, or experiences platonic attraction like the white stripe) they're just supposed to be inclusive of a variety of experiences.

I also don't think it needs to be redesigned again, because the current flag is the third(?) version technically. Over a decade ago the flag looked like this:

oldest-aromantic-flag.png

And then there were talks of redesigning the flag because almost nobody liked it. In 2014 this one was posted to Tumblr:

336406549.jpg

Then yellow got replaced with white due to some people being sensitive to that color, and I'd say that the current aro flag has been widely used since 2014-15. Not that well-established flags can't ever be redesigned or replaced, but I remember it took a while for us to get to the current flag, & am not sure if we need another serious round of discussions about it.

But if you want to use an alternative flag or one that removes the black stripe, you're certainly free to do so.

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1 hour ago, nonmerci said:

I don't see the flag as here to help explaining things, more like some thing that make the people involve feeling things and represented. A bit like the white ring : I don't wear but if I did, I would not expect anybody to know what it means, except maybe another aromantic if I see one.

I don't think this holds water; according to the original explanation for the aromantic flag, white represents platonic love and friendship. Black and grey are for sexuality. But black (as we know from the asexual flag) represents asexuality, and gray obviously graysexuality.

So allosexuality is actually not even represented in the flag. And allo-aros are a big, though often forgotten, chunk of aros.

Don't get me wrong - of course, I don't want to change the flag. Or make a big deal about these issues. Aro unity is way more important. 💚

I'm very happy that we have this well-established flag. A flag that has become truly ICONIC. :aropride: That's worth a lot. So overall I LOVE the flag.

But still we don't need to resort to rationalizations here: the aro flag is what it is for historic reasons. And it's certainly not perfect.

1 hour ago, Apex said:

Plus it has a nice color palette (whether one likes the colors or not, they have a good amount of contrast without being too bright imo.)

If you ever created a real flag, different shades of the same color are always bad. At least the aro flag only contains two shades of green; there are much worse flags. The Aroflux flag above is a nightmare to produce as a real flag.

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On 7/14/2022 at 8:46 AM, DeltaV said:

Black and grey are for sexuality. But black (as we know from the asexual flag) represents asexuality, and gray obviously graysexuality

This is very faulty logic. The same colors mean different things on different flags.

The white on the ace flag means community. On the aro flag, it means non-romantic relationships. On the Colorado flag it means snow and silver.

 I’m addition, the idea that including one group excludes everyone who is not in it is bogus. Many aro people are also aplatonic, loveless, or similar. They aren’t excluded by the white stripe, they just don’t relate to that specific part.

Furthermore, many aro people do consider their sexuality to be related to their aromantic identity. The aroace flag was designed with that in mind. The aroallo label specifically relates aromanticism and allosexuality.

Non-SAM aros aren’t excluded by the inclusion of a stripe meant to represent the sexuality spectrum any more than aros who don’t feel platonic love are excluded by a stripe meant to represent that. Ditto with aromantic people not being excluded from the rainbow flag due to a single stripe meaning love.

Finally, the number of stripes contributing to the idea that aromanticism is complicated is without any kind of merit. The lesbian flag has 7 stripes. The rainbow one has 6. The progress one has 12. The American flag has 13. The sapphic flag has 3. None of that signifies or implies any amount of complexity.

While I do understand to an extent where you are coming from with some of the issues you’ve raised, they don’t hold up under further scrutiny.

 

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8 hours ago, Neon said:

This is very faulty logic. The same colors mean different things on different flags.

The white on the ace flag means community. On the aro flag, it means non-romantic relationships. On the Colorado flag it means snow and silver.

The "as we know from the asexual flag" alone would be nonsensical, I agree.

But this remark was meant to be understood in connection with the original explanation for the aro flag, which stated that grey/black represent the sexual spectrum.

So obviously black means asexuality here, and gray graysexuality - while allosexuality is missing a color. We should assume that much shared symbolism between the asexual and aromantic flag.

8 hours ago, Neon said:

 I’m addition, the idea that including one group excludes everyone who is not in it is bogus. Many aro people are also aplatonic, loveless, or similar. They aren’t excluded by the white stripe, they just don’t relate to that specific part.

You can't know this. Perhaps a few feel excluded? Also the intent of the flag designer could have been aplatonic exclusion. I don't think so, but it's theoretically possible.

8 hours ago, Neon said:

Ditto with aromantic people not being excluded from the rainbow flag due to a single stripe meaning love.

I'm a bit surprised that you think this highly subjective issue can be tackled with simple logic, or that there are clear-cut "right" and "wrong" positions here.

The rainbow flag is the ultimate and original pride flag, going back to the 1970s, and it covers the broadest range possible, since it's for the whole LGBTQ+ community. When it was designed, people didn't knew what would all fall under this umbrella in the future. To be "excluded" here in some way is not even surprising, and it would be far-fetched to suspect an intent.

The aro-flag is comparatively new and very specifically meant for one special group, aros. So you cannot really compare those two.

Btw, all your arguments could be similarly applied to defend extremely bad aro flags. Like the US-flag in shades of green: "Just because you're not from the US, you're not excluded". That does not work. So there's something wrong with your general approach, it's too broad.

9 hours ago, Neon said:

Finally, the number of stripes contributing to the idea that aromanticism is complicated is without any kind of merit. The lesbian flag has 7 stripes. The rainbow one has 6. The progress one has 12. The American flag has 13. The sapphic flag has 3. None of that signifies or implies any amount of complexity.

I'm not so sure about this. The rainbow flag represents diversity. What it stands for cannot be explained easily in a single word (or two, or three), since it groups together a wide and complex spectrum of very different sexual orientations, gender and so on.

The US flag obviously represents its federal organization and also its long and varied history from the first thirteen original colonies (stripes) to all the 50 states (stars). Politically the US is complex because of its federalism. I mean it even has a state with a fundamentally different approach to law (Louisiana).

And the lesbian flag... it evolved from the lipstick lesbian flag, which perhaps was meant to look extravagant, colorful and "complex". But the newest iteration has been simplified and the number of stripes was reduced.

9 hours ago, Neon said:

While I do understand to an extent where you are coming from with some of the issues you’ve raised, they don’t hold up under further scrutiny.

Oh dear, I already regret posting this.

Especially since there are way more important issues right now than complaining about the aro flag :aropride:🐸 - which feels like an "The People's Front of Judea" vs. "Judean People's Front" endeavor in contrast.

I most certainly didn't try to be "right" here or put forward a watertight argument. But just express my highly subjective opinion and hopefully say something interesting and enlightening. If you don't like it, just discard it.

Of course you can explain where I go wrong, but then better use the same feuilleton style. This really is not amenable to fisking.

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(Before I start, I want to blanket this as me not being mad, frustrated, etc.. It's not meant to be an attack, just an examination. My tone can come off weird through text so I want to make sure you know that I don't have some kind of personal vendetta. I just like the current flag and think it works)

47 minutes ago, DeltaV said:

But this remark was meant to be understood in connection with the original explanation for the aro flag, which stated that grey/black represent the sexual spectrum.

So obviously black means asexuality here, and gray graysexuality - while allosexuality is missing a color. We should assume that much shared symbolism between the asexual and aromantic flag.

You linked the original explanation for the flag (which I had previously tried to find and couldn't, so good on you) to defend the idea that the ace and aro flags are linked. When explaining the black and grey stripes, the OP stated: "black-grey - the sexuality spectrum - acknowledging aro-aces, aromantic allosexuals, and everything in between because we are a diverse lot"

They specifically said that aroallos are represented by the black and grey stripes.

50 minutes ago, DeltaV said:

You can't know this. Perhaps a few feel excluded? Also the intent of the flag designer could have been aplatonic exclusion. I don't think so, but it's theoretically possible.

This is fair. But as far as we know, the platonic stripe is not meant to do anything but include how important platonic attraction is to many aros.

52 minutes ago, DeltaV said:

The rainbow flag is the ultimate and original pride flag, going back to the 1970s, and it covers the broadest range possible, since it's for the whole LGBTQ+ community. When it was designed, people didn't knew what would all fall under this umbrella in the future. To be "excluded" here in some way is not even surprising, and it would be far-fetched to suspect an intent.

This is actually the point I'm attempting to make. The rainbow flag represents all queer people, so even if an individual doesn't specifically relate to one stripe, they are still represented by the flag.

56 minutes ago, DeltaV said:

The aro-flag is comparatively new and very specifically meant for one special group, aros. So you cannot really compare those two.

I'd actually argue that there is a comparison, as the aromantic spectrum is very diverse. The flag to represent all of us without having stripes that some of us can't relate to would just be the green stripes.

Instead, the flag represents many things that are important to the aromantic community. Aromanticism/arospec, obviously. Then platonic relationships, as these are also important to much of the community. Then the sexuality spectrum, as this is important to much of the community.

1 hour ago, DeltaV said:

I'm not so sure about this. The rainbow flag represents diversity. What it stands for cannot be explained easily in a single word (or two, or three), since it groups together a wide and complex spectrum of very different sexual orientations, gender and so on.

The US flag obviously represents its federal organization and also its long and varied history from the first thirteen original colonies (stripes) to all the 50 states (stars). Politically the US is complex because of its federalism. I mean it even has a state with a fundamentally different approach to law (Louisiana).

And the lesbian flag... it evolved from the lipstick lesbian flag, which perhaps was meant to look extravagant, colorful and "complex". But the newest iteration has been simplified and the number of stripes was reduced.

My point here was more about how the number of stripes doesn't typically call to mind the complexity or lack thereof of what it's meant to represent.

Now, all that being said, I do have one problem with the current aro flag, and that's how it's often seen as a green asexual flag. I doubt that was the intent of the design (since you can't see any relation with the yellow stripe instead of the white), but it is kind of frustrating. Especially when people try to take that and run with it; adding and removing stripes of each flag to make them fit next to each other, proclaiming their hatred for how the sunset flag doesn't have the ace or aro colors in it (that's the point), claiming the aro flag is bad because it doesn't match the ace flag, etc.. But I don't think that warrants a redesign, just some people who need to engage with the community in more than just memes and flags.

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On 7/17/2022 at 8:34 PM, Neon said:

(Before I start, I want to blanket this as me not being mad, frustrated, etc.. It's not meant to be an attack, just an examination. My tone can come off weird through text so I want to make sure you know that I don't have some kind of personal vendetta. I just like the current flag and think it works)

I like it too and think it works. But do I look at it like at the rainbow flag or the transgender flag and think: this is perfection, the best flag possible? No way.

On 7/17/2022 at 8:34 PM, Neon said:

I'd actually argue that there is a comparison, as the aromantic spectrum is very diverse. The flag to represent all of us without having stripes that some of us can't relate to would just be the green stripes.

The aro spectrum is diverse, but queer simply is a collective term, while aro is not / much less so.

On 7/17/2022 at 8:34 PM, Neon said:

Now, all that being said, I do have one problem with the current aro flag, and that's how it's often seen as a green asexual flag. I doubt that was the intent of the design (since you can't see any relation with the yellow stripe instead of the white), but it is kind of frustrating. Especially when people try to take that and run with it; adding and removing stripes of each flag to make them fit next to each other, proclaiming their hatred for how the sunset flag doesn't have the ace or aro colors in it (that's the point), claiming the aro flag is bad because it doesn't match the ace flag, etc.. But I don't think that warrants a redesign, just some people who need to engage with the community in more than just memes and flags.

I don't want to redesign it. It feels already bad to even argue about the poor old aro flag, since there are way more pressing issues right now (and I don't even live in the US).

The history of the aro flag is still quite funny. As you see above in the post by @Apex, the first it looked similar to the Ethiopian flag (or Rastafari flag), and then it shared most colors with the Jamaican flag. Which was both considered problematic.

Anyways, the yellow wasn't just replaced with white. Before that happened, the flag also got a very radical re-interpretation. It was originally all about the aromantic spectrum:

https://64.media.tumblr.com/3ac819cb68b91e90179110dace1c8a6c/tumblr_n0lz3nZwzA1rosnwgo2_400.png

So how can you look at the history of the flag and seriously think it's the result of careful, deliberate design?

Of course now the flag is well-established and a beloved symbol for many aros. It's not going anywhere.

But I'm just being honest: if hypothetically back then I had the choice, I absolutely would've chosen just the upper two or three stripes as the aro flag.

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