Rope Pride Flags (proposed)

Well, that was fun.

My goal when first posting TopKai’s flag was first and foremost to see what people thought. I had hoped for either general disinterest or perhaps some discussion about stylistic elements.

I got some surprises.

The biggest surprise for me was not that a lot of people – people who I think of as “rope people” – didn’t feel the need for a flag. That makes sense, and is totally understandable.

No, the biggest surprise was that a lot of those people took the attitude of “I don’t see the need for a flag – so don’t make one!” Or, to put it another way, “I don’t want one – so you shouldn’t either.

That’s not something I’m used to dealing with, in this “My kink is ok, your kink is ok” world. Somehow – in spite of my constant repetition to the contrary – this was seen as being something that was being forced on people. So, for those who might not comprehend what I am saying here, I’m going to say it with big letters, and type slowly:

If you want to have a Rope Pride Flag,
here’s some ideas you might want to use.

That’s it. Not “this is the Rope Pride Flag!” Not “If you don’t fly this flag, you’re not a rope person.” Not even “This is a banner to use for the community of rope people.

Thankfully, the “community of rope people” is far too diverse to ever be adequately represented by anything. In fact, some of them are really funny – like the rope god with the Japanese scene name that always dresses Leatherman style who objected to both the elements of the Leather pride and the implication that Japan had anything to do with rope bondage (still scratching my head about that one). Or the people on the rope community lists, or who go to Shibaricon, who question if there really is a community at all.

To be honest, it got a little frustrating, having so many people’s contribution be so antagonistic towards those who did want a flag. I have to wonder if other Pride flags had the same kind of vituperative responses. Probably did. I can’t find many articles about it, but if anyone finds one, please let me know.

One Thing We Did Wrong

There is one thing we did wrong: we (the designers) talked too much.

Mr. DeBlase, a columnist for Drummer Magazine, invented the [Leather pride] flag entirely on his own, and left the symbolism purposefully vague, encouraging the community to assign their own.

He added, “…that it was only a temporary design meant to inspire others in creating a permanent flag.” I like that idea, and so do the other designers. I kind of wish we’d done it that way, but as TopKai put it “…at the very least it may unite the community if only in hatred for the symbol.”

I don’t think we’re going to debate the meaning of the symbols any more than we’ve already done. You can read what you want – or what you don’t want – into them, and if you want to come up with your own design that people like better, then I’m pretty sure the three of us will be cheering you on.

So please, don’t bother saying “I don’t want this flag!” No one is saying you have to have it. Don’t bother saying “I think this design sucks!” unless you’re planning on putting forth your own design that you like better. Don’t bother saying “There is no rope community!” because while you may never have been there, buddy, I have, and frankly, it’s a pretty cool place.

The designs presented below are the work of myself, Vesper, and TopKai, and are released under the Creative Commons License.

Creative Commons License
Rope Pride Flag is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

Does this mean you can’t use the design for commercial gain? Hell no! People gotta eat, and if you want to make your million creating Rope Pride Flags and selling them, more power to you! You can even alter, adjust, or change it – as long as you also release it under the same open license. It would also be nice if you’d give attribution where attribution is due.

Now, there is a bit of a controversy – see, in looking at the “final variations”, people seem to be pretty evenly split over which one they like – and split kind of weirdly, in that TopKai likes the version with the triskell (which was my contribution) but I prefer Vesper’s “ring” variation. So, rather than say “PICK ONE!” I’m going to put both up here, in a large format, and say (please, listen carefully):

If you want a Rope Pride Flag, here’s some ideas you might want to use.

Rope Pride Flag by Kyle Ellsworth & Gray Miller (aka “TopKai” & “Graydancer”):

Rope Pride Flag by Vesper:

Thanks for the comments, folks. Let’s go back to some smut now, ok?

Update: Hey, I wanna make my millions too, right?

10 thoughts on “Rope Pride Flags (proposed)

  • Totally Vesper. Its so gorgeous graphically I might just wear it for that reason whilst I stubbornly cling to my rugged individualism *laughs at self*.

  • Vesper’s says “bondage” more than the other one, but neither of them say “rope” in any way shape or form. I still like my design.

    • Actually, I think that’s kind of the point – it evokes rope without blatantly saying it. I prefer symbolism to literalism, myself. I like your design, too. Have you considered putting it on Zazzle? Or working with a company like NeedlePlay designs? I’d be first in line to buy a patch like that.

    • I love your design for just that reason qatana, because of the visible twisting of the rope & the knot formed with the leather pride flag. Where can I find one?

      I can see how it would be hard to translate the details from a needlework patch to an entire flag though. And the above designs have their own beauty.

  • As one of those “Do we really need this?” people (Again,because I have the Eddie Izzard skit running through my head.)…

    Vesper’s design FTW!

  • Yay! Thanks every peoples! I would also like to say that while I did create my design with specific reasons for each element, that does not mean those are not the “correct” meanings. I will not be offended by someone else having a different take on any of the elements or letting any individual elements mean different things to them. While Mr. DeBlase “left the symbolism purposefully vague, encouraging the community to assign their own”, every other kink flag out there that I’ve seen has come with an explanation. Like I said though, I have my reasons, but anyone else can make up theirs too.

  • Wow, those are both excellent. The way the ring interlocks with the other elements in Vesper’s version is pretty brilliant.

  • I like Greydancer and Topkai’s, and I love the idea of a pride flag. Or even just a way to recognize other rope enthusiasts without walking around in a chest harness.

  • I think that both flags have been thoughtfully designed. I like the attention paid to subtle elements in TopKai & Graydancer’s flag, like the white stripe in the middle anchoring the triskelion. Artistically, I love Vesper’s flag – it just feels right and for some reason I can’t articulate, the ring secured within the rope-coloured saltire resonates deeply with me.

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