Louise Redknapp posted a picture of the Progress Pride flag at the weekend to defend her decision not to rejoin 90s girl band Eternal, after claiming two members of the group refused to play Pride events.
The singer was set to join her former bandmates for a reunion tour but decided to pull out after claiming former bandmates Easther and Vernie Bennett refused to play Pride events, citing the possible “hijacking” of the LGBTQ+ community by trans people.
A statement by Redknapp's agent said: “Louise is a huge supporter and ally of the LGBTQ+ community and both herself and Kéllé (Bryan, the band’s other member) told the duo they would not work with anyone who held these views, and as such the reunion as a four would not be going ahead."
Easther and Vernie Bennett's manager has subsequently accused Redknapp of "misrepresenting the situation", claiming their stance was not about gay rights and that the pair had expressed concerns about "the erosion of the rights of women".
Rednapp updated her X status with an image of a version of the Progress Pride flag, with writing below simply saying "always and forever" - a reference to one of the group's hits.
For those unfamiliar with the Progress Pride flag, Yahoo News UK explains what it represents:
What is the Progress Pride flag?
The Progress Pride flag was developed in 2018 by non-binary American artist and designer Daniel Quasar. Based on the original rainbow flag created by Gilbert Baker in 1978, the redesign celebrates the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community and calls for a more inclusive society.
In 1977 the original pink and turquoise stripes were dropped from Baker's owing to a shortage of pink fabric, resulting in the six-colour rainbow flag most commonly used today. However, Quasar decided to reintroduce these colours in the form of an arrow, as well as adding black and brown for extra meaning.
He said: "The arrow points to the right to show forward movement and illustrates that progress [towards inclusivity] still needs to be made".
For Quasar, who created a bespoke Progress Pride flag for the Victoria and Albert museum in London, where it still hangs in the Design 1900 – Now gallery, the light blue, pink and white stripes represent trans and non-binary individuals and the brown and black ones represent marginalised People of Colour (POC) communities. The black stripe has a double meaning as it is also intended for "those living with AIDS and the stigma and prejudice surrounding them, and those who have been lost to the disease".
The yellow triangle with a purple circle - as seen in Redknapp's post - represents the rights of the intersex community.
Why are there different versions of the pride flag?
The original 'rainbow flag' was created by Baker to celebrate members of the gay and lesbian political movement. Designed as a symbol of hope, it comprised eight coloured stripes stacked on top of each. Baker gave a meaning to each colour: pink for sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, turquoise for magic, indigo for serenity and violet for spirit.
The pink and turquoise were dropped after a year, and over the past 45 years various incantations have emerged with symbols and colours meaning different things for different people.
In 1999 Monica Helms created the light blue, white and pink transgender flag, and now different versions are used by different groups and individuals that find one most relevant for them.
In 2017, Philadelphia City Hall in the United States revealed a pride flag including black and brown stripes to highlight the discrimination of black and brown members of the community. A year later, the US city Seattle added five new colours to the rainbow flag: black and brown to represent people of colour, and pink, light blue and white to represent trans, gender non-binary, intersex and those across the gender spectrum.
The history of Pride
Gay Pride events are an annual event in cities across the world, organised as an opportunity to promote and celebrate equal rights for people of all orientations, gender identities, and sexualities. The movement had originally consisted of more overtly political events, designed to challenge societies where homosexual activities were persecuted.
The first UK Gay Pride march took place in London on 1 July 1972, inspired by the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York.
The Museum of London holds many artefacts detailing the history and progression of the Pride movement.
How many varieties of the Pride flag are there?
There are more than 20 variations, each designed to represent a specific group, as well as the more common rainbow designs which cover a broader spectrum.
The Human Rights Campaign charity lists 21 of the most commonly used Pride flags here.