“As a gay person, it would represent me very well.”
— Isaac Mizrahi, on Studio 360
The nine stars on the flag represent the states that actively perform same-sex marriages. They're arranged in order of each state's admission into the union.
Massachusetts - #6 - May 17, 2004
Connecticut - #5 - Nov 12, 2008
Iowa - #29 - Apr 24, 2009
Vermont - #14 - Sep 1, 2009
New Hampshire - #9 - Jan 1, 2010
Washington, D.C. - Mar 9, 2010
New York - #11 - Jul 24, 2011
Washington - #42 - Dec 9, 2012
Maine - #23 - Dec 29, 2012
Maryland - #7 - Jan 1, 2013
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in 1902, when the women's suffrage movement was just getting warmed up, the American flag had 45 stars:
Source: Flags of the World
In protest, the suffragists created their own US flag with only four stars, representing the four states1 that allowed women to vote:
Source: The Oldest and Largest Herstory Site on the Internet
This flag flew at the podium of the First International Womens Suffrage Conference in 1902, and it was my inspiration for a re-appropriation of the American flag. Unfortunately, the states that were so progressive regarding women's suffrage in 1902 have state-wide same-sex marriage bans today.
1Why these four Western states? As territories with very small populations, they needed the extra votes of women in order to become recognized as states.
We want the Flag of Equal Marriage to be complete, with all 50 stars lit up. We see three routes to marriage equality, as we define it:
Our protest flag helps you track our progress toward completion of one of these three goals.
The Flag of Equal Marriage by Carl Tashian is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
The stars are positioned from the top left based on the date each state was admitted into the union.
The 13 stripes represent the 13 colonies. Since those colonies don't exist anymore, they aren't really relevant to our campaign for marriage equality; but they do help relate our flag to the American flag.
We'll represent that change as a new, appropriately dated flag. We date each flag as we go along, with the date that same-sex marriage becomes recognized in a new state or district. We'll also list DC on our website, but unfortunately we can't add a star to the flag because DC is not a state.
The Flag of Equal Marriage is not an American flag. It is the Flag of Equal Marriage. We're not defacing anything.
Our flag is part of a movement seated in the greater gay rights movement. The rainbow flag is an important symbol of global LGBT pride, whereas the Flag of Equal Marriage addresses a specific issue—same-sex marriage in the United States. We'd be proud to see the Flag of Equal Marriage fly next to the rainbow flag!