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PRIDE Flags at Love On Tour

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article by: bree | @otbsapphics art by: _.WATERCOLOR_SUGAR._

Harry Styles no doubt has a long history with pride flags. Between waving flags on stage since the 1D days, wearing them as statement pieces or in more subtle ways, helping fans come out, and having personal attachments to the flag, “pink and blue forever,” has never been more prominent than now. 

It’s no secret that Harry gets tons of random, various items thrown on stage during his shows. We’ve seen him get flowers, cowboy hats, plushies, and so much more. 

     But one thing that consistently seems to make its way into his possession are pride flags. There’s no coincidence that this is something that he’s been consistent with. Even in the One Direction days, he was the first to proudly wave and wear a rainbow flag on stage, happily carrying it around during Act my Age in 2015. From there, it just kept going. Out of his 219 solo shows as of  January 29th 2023, he’s had a pride flag onstage in some capacity, whether that be holding it, wearing it, or simply having one on his mic stand, at 209 of those shows. That means he’s had a pride flag on stage 95% of all of his shows. Oftentimes he’ll have multiple pride flags as well, depending primarily on what the fans decide to bring to the show. But him having pride flags on stage doesn’t just depend on the fans, as he’s also shown that he carries his own. In Sydney in 2017, he pulled out a little pride flag from his suit pocket, waving it with a small smile before tucking it back in. Obviously, the flag means a great deal to him if he’s kept one on his person before. 

     Our beloved pride flag connoisseur has taken it upon himself to not only fly flags on stage, but to wear them too. His Coachella 2022 night one look had everyone gasping when he revealed it—stepping onto the stage in an oversized black coat full of feathers, stripping it after the first song to reveal a jumpsuit sparkling in rainbow sequin. It had us all shocked at various hours of the night, watching him dance and shine so brightly on stage with such a bold design. Harry’s been known to have an eclectic style, but this was something like we’ve never seen before. Some individuals think it was a statement piece, wearing what was essentially a rainbow jumpsuit to a festival that’s donated to anti-lgbtq+ organizations in the past or perhaps just a big middle finger to the industry and closeting.

Maybe he was just simply comfortable enough wearing such a piece. There’s no exact reason why, but since he started, he hasn’t stopped. On his fourth 2022 residency date at New York, he stepped out wearing a long sleeved rainbow jumpsuit. During Matilda, he said “Maybe it hits a little different wearing a rainbow tracksuit.” Which is obviously up to interpretation, but with the lyrics, it seems like an ode to the lgbtq+ community.

For his third date of the 2022 Los Angeles residency, he wore a tank top similar to Coachella, rainbow sequined with a red sequin heart in the middle. During his final HSLOT show in South America, night three of São Paulo, he did a similar move to Coachella again, this time coming to the stage in a puffy rainbow feather coat. And for the final date of his 2022-2023 HSLOT show in Los Angeles of his American residency, he appeared on stage wearing blue pants and a pink open vest.

He’s even been seen while out and about having a small pride pin on his shirts. Due to unfortunate wardrobe mishaps, he’s recently ripped his pants on stage not once, but twice, and both times have used a pride flag to cover up his circumstances. The first time seemed for necessity, though, as he quickly ran offstage once he finished the song to change pants. Second time around he asked the crowd for a flag and wore it willingly for multiple songs. Perhaps he felt empowered wearing it in such a way onstage. 

     Harry’s shows have been deemed a safe place for many fans, for various reasons. Between Harry stating many times that it’s a place to be whoever you want to be and do whatever you want to do, and his actions and speeches on stage, he’s managed to take it a step further and even start helping fans come out. In 2018, a fan brought a sign telling Harry that she was going to come out because of him, and not only did he stop the show and ask the fan if it was okay for him to read it, but also helped her come out, which is where the iconic line, “Tina, she’s gay!” came from. Since then, many fans have brought signs to his shows and it’s become almost consistent that when someone brings one of those signs, he’ll help them come out. Even at bigger shows, such as Wembley Stadium, another fan brought a “help me come out” sign and that’s exactly what he did. Harry’s always more than enthusiastic to do these, somehow always finding them in the sea of signs.

     There’s one thing that’s for sure, and it’s that Harry has some sort of a comfort with pride flags and all things rainbow. As of recently, he’s even started taking pictures from his shows with pride flags and posting them to his Instagram. Whether it be a makeshift pride flag skirt, helping a fan come out as queer, or carrying his own personal rainbow on his person, it seems like he sure does study rainbows. 

Here is a spreadsheet with links of all of the times I found of Harry waving a Pride flag.

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