Polyamory in the News
. . . by Alan M.

August 29, 2022

Movement for a better polyamory flag enters the home stretch

Grim and confusing?

Last year a group of volunteers under the name PolyamProud launched an ambitious project: to see whether the sprawling, disorganized global polyamory movement wanted to vote on a new polyamory flag —given the widespread dislike expressed for the current flag with its angry colors and confusing letter pi. ("Some math or engineering society?")

PolyamProud hopes to spotlight some new design that will win the kind of widespread enthusiasm and buy-in that made the Rainbow Flag the instantly recognized symbol of LGBT pride that it is.

Dozens of new polyamory flags have been offered in recent years, more all the time. The PolyamProud team set out to collect as many as possible, assemble a globally representative selection committee of poly activists, designers, and vexillologists (flag buffs), have them do a preliminary cut for clarity, distinctiveness, and principles of good design — and then hold a worldwide popular vote on the finalists in November 2021.

The project lost momentum and the date slipped. Now the project is fully back on track, has moved far along, and the public vote will open this November 1st.

Interest is big. Some 20,000 people have signed up to be notified when the voting opens in 63 days. Another indication: After the PolyamProud people announced the project, my own 2020 post The Polyamory Flag Is a Grim, Confusing Failure. Let's Do Better (which they referenced) took off and has since become the third-most-read post on this site. It now gets more reads each week than when it was fresh (31,100 to date).

If you've been planning to send in a flag design, hurry up. The submission deadline is August 31st.

From their website:



Here's how we're different: 

– Nearly 20,000 voters. A year of effort has resulted in nearly 20k polyamorists signed up to vote on our new flag.

– Flag selection committee. A small group of well-known polyamorous people will choose the candidate designs.

– Inclusion focus: Diverse, intersectional non-monogamous identities will have a direct hand in the process.

– 25+ expert consultants. Authors, researchers, therapists, coaches, activists, and more will all contribute to the design.

Ambitious or what?

...Along the way we’ve necessarily had to make some adjustments to the process. This has come about due to a combination of worldwide challenges (the pandemic among them) and the impact it’s had on our team, volunteers, experts, and committee members.

...From the designs we receive, the advisors and then the [selection] committee will choose their preferred options, which will then be tweaked or adjusted with the assistance of the experts and vexillologists we have helping us.

...We’re in the process of finalising an email subscription service which will be robust enough to email everyone [a notice] the day voting opens.

The voting platform itself has been custom-built by PolyamPirates, and will be hosted by them on a separate server. When voting opens, the candidate flag designs will appear in random order to each voter, so none of the options will have visual priority. We at PolyamProud won’t have access to the results until voting is closed. To ensure the integrity of the results every voter gets just one opportunity to vote: this will be tracked by email verification and a bot filter.

We've been building connections with folks who are ready to promote the vote leading up to and during the voting period (1-23 November, 2022). There's going to be a significant surge in promotion from us at that time, so keep an eye out on our social media feeds [ instagram, facebook, twitter ] as well as the website.

Of course nobody can get anybody to use a flag they don't want; there's nothing "official" in this sprawling community of cats. But that's not the point. The point is to see if a lot of people would like to coalesce around one new design and use it. The old one is certainly showing its age. It was created by one person on a whim in 1995, with a deliberate intent to hide its meaning at a time when the poly movement was tiny and closeted.

We didn't want to create another addition to the slush pile of online designs. So, we got in touch with other groups that had done it before us, took lots of notes, and got started.

Turns out, the way to unite the community behind a single design was to unite the community to choose a design that suits it best.

No flag will ever be a perfect fit. But we can work together to choose an emblem that feels and works better for more of us.

We think it's worth a shot.

Co-organizer Kristian tells us, "We and our advisors are incredibly excited about the candidate designs being presented to the committee. They’re original and thoughtful, and they feel more representative of 21st century polyamory and non-monogamy than any designs that have come before."

Voting will be ranked choice (instant runoff)  so if your first choice gets eliminated, your second choice enters the count, then your third. 

Sign up to vote, and stay tuned.


●  In other poly-movement news, the annual cycle of polyamory conferences, retreats, and other events continues to reassemble as people hope covid will be less of a thing. See Alan's List of Polyamory Events for what's on in the next 12 months so far. Tell me if I missed something.  

The covid protocols for these events range from strict to apparently lax. In July I went to the Center for a New Culture's very poly-friendly Summer Camp East in the mountains of West Virginia and stayed on for a while afterward. To attend, you needed to send proof of full vaccination with boost and also the negative result of a PCR test taken no more than 48 hours before arrival. We were also asked to take extra infection precautions for the previous week. Then we had a rapid antigen test on arrival, daily rapid tests for the next two days, then every other day for the next four days. Tonsils as well as nose.

It worked. Of the 300-plus rapid tests done onsite, the positivity rate was zero point zero. Nor did any of the 65 of us show symptoms, nor was a case reported in the week after it was over. When screened this thoroughly with 100% compliance, a big group event in an isolated location seems to be safe — even with close contact among most of the people for many days.

That event was definitely for the careful, otherwise I wouldn't have gone.

●  In more news of the movement: The new Polyamory Foundation has posted a list of its first grants. The foundation was created to help fund expenses for projects that advance polyamory education, awareness, and community. 

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Blogger https://www.facebook.com/POLYAMORY.LWOH/ said...

Why hasn't one caught on? Because many of us just aren't interested in having one. Another reason is that none of the proposed ones have been appealing....and still aren't.

August 29, 2022 3:35 PM  

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