Linda Chalmers and her trans daughter Indica sit in front of a Progress Pride banner at William Street, Darlinghurst. Photo: City of Sydney.
By DANIEL LO SURDO
The Progress Pride flag is flying across the inner city to mark the start of the Mardi Gras season, with the new flag to also fly permanently at Taylor Square.
City of Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore said that the flag demonstrates that “our precincts are inclusive and safe and that the City supports all within the LGBTIQ community”.
The Progress Pride flag, which was designed by non-binary artist Daniel Quasar in 2018, adds a five-colour chevron to the left of the LGBT rainbow flag, with the new colours of pink, light blue and white representing the Transgender Pride flag, and the black and brown stripes representing marginalised LGBTIQ communities of colour. The black stripe also represents those living with AIDS, and those who have passed away from the disease.
Chris Terry, a volunteer at the Gender Centre, which serves the transgender and gender diverse community, said that the new flag was a reminder that the LGBTQIA+ community shares “an ambition of being true to ourselves”, rather than sexuality, cisness, transness or colour.
The new flag will fly at Town Hall throughout the Mardi Gras season, which began last week and will conclude with the Parade, which will take place at the Sydney Cricket Ground on March 5, following concerns over COVID-19 safety. Organisers say that they plan to return to Oxford Street for Mardi Gras’ 45th anniversary next year, which will also be when the Sydney WorldPride festival will take place.
The Progress Pride flag will also be adorned across banner poles throughout the city.
In September, the City of Sydney unanimously decided to fly the Progress Pride flag rather than the Rainbow Flag across the inner city to “visually celebrate” and support its LGBTQIA+ communities, following an item from Cr Moore.
It came after Sydney Mardi Gras organisers adopted the Progress Pride flag during the 2021 Festival, with “overwhelmingly positive” feedback affirming the flag’s place in the following year’s festivities.
The City has flown rainbow banners along Oxford Street every Mardi Gras since 2006 and has held a rainbow flag raising ceremony at Town Hall since 2010. Under the successful recommendation, the existing rainbow flags and banners would be recycled so that they have ongoing use, and the costs to replace and recycle these flags would be absorbed into the 2021/22 City Life operational budget.
The City of Sydney held its annual flag raising ceremony at Town Hall on Friday, to mark the beginning of this year’s Mardi Gras festival, with Cr Moore saying that “we are very proud to fly” the Progress Pride flag in the inner city.