History of Pup Pride FlagsJune 19, 2017
Doberman Pup Pride Flag
Kind of the oldest known examples of a flag to represent the pup play community. This is still used in similar versions like the Gaydogtraining group in france for example. Not much is known from the original designer or who it was other than the comments made by the creator of the Pup Bone Pride Flag. Far as known, it is currently in the public domain for all uses.
Pup Bone Pride Flag
~ Original note from Kirk “Brue” Pierce, the original designer to the Pup Bone pride flag.
I am going to throw a little history lesson into this pup pride flag discussion:
Over 25+ years ago when I started exploring my pup journey my first experience in identifying myself was as a gay leather man in my early childhood. Growing up I always had a pup (Dog) soul. I never really identified as a bear (even though I am very hairy) or as a member of the Imperial Court system (even though I worked/volunteered with them) or as a pan-sexual (even though I belonged to many groups/friends) or any of the other organizations I belonged to that have come and gone since but as a gay leather man and finally over time as a gay leather Dog. So it was natural for me to embrace the leather pride flag that Tony DeBlase created as a symbol I could relate to in the beginning when it first came out and even more so over the decades.
But even though I identified with the leather pride flag it still was missing something, a complete representation of myself. Over a decade ago I had come across a design with a red dog head on the leather pride colors but something did not feel right about it. The main thing I did not like about it was the dog head looked like a Dobermans head and I did not identify myself as a Doberman. I tried to imagine another dog head but each one was too defining to a particular breed and there was no generic all encompassing dog head I could think of. And I didn’t want to use a paw as the bear community already had been using that particular image as their symbol representation.
So I thought what simple symbol would be universally recognized around the world that is associated with dogs? Then it became obvious, a dog bone. So I took out the red heart and added a red dog bone to the center of the leather pride colors. Now I had a symbol I could identify with as a leather dog that did not discriminate based on a dog breed and that would be visually translatable around the world. I also always liked Tony DeBlase’s description regarding the colors he choose “I will leave it to the viewer to interpret the colors and symbols.”
Initially only a few friends knew about my leather dog pride design but little by little people saw the design and remarked that they liked it. My friends at Leather Creations where I worked at the time when I created the concept encouraged me to pursue getting it out to the public. In the beginning they copyrighted it for me to help protect it from being misused and helped me get it made into a 3’x5′ fabric flag, leather armband, a few embroidered t-shirts and eventually I had pins made. I admit I have never really pushed the leather pup/Dog pride symbol I had created to be universally accepted but overtime it seems it is being embraced.
Now in more recent years it has been redesigned by having the stripes go sideways with new interpretations. But it still makes me smile to see the red bone symbol being used and widely identified, accepted as a pup symbol. In the end what matters to me the most is find out who you are and how you convey yourself, your pup/dog soul or Handler/Trainer skills. This is what is truly important to help make our community a safe and healthy space. Please remember there are many ways to convey your pup/dog interest that even if none of the current or available pup/Dog logo designs work for you, find something that does. Be true to yourself, your soul, as each of our pupdom journeys are different from everyone else’s.
It was released to the public domain for free for all uses in May 2011.
Pup and Handler Pride Flag
Original appearance in 2016 but its major public debut was at the Inaugural Australian Pup and Handler Competition in 2017 was designed as the next evolution to a flag that can represent pups and handlers. While keeping respect of the evolutionary path of previous versions with keeping the stripes and the red pup bone color codes and a nondescript pup head that you cannot tell what gender or sexuality is that .
A guiding hand to represent handlers in the community without looks like any side, pups or handlers are controlling the other, giving the spirit of individuality and being yourself as primary focus. The redesign of the horizontal stripes to be thicker were also designed to help separate from the leather pride flag as they have been confused as the same during pride events. It was also gifted into the public domain when used as a flag in March 2017. Any use other than as a pride flag is required to ask for permission which can be found by clicking here.