So on tiktok I got a couple of questions about flagging so I figured I’d write a little bit about it here!

Flagging is using something, like keys or handkerchiefs, to signal what you’re looking for, if you’re a top or a bottom, or if you’re just flat out gay. It came about as a way to safely signal that one was queer and looking. Most people consider it to have started with the gay leather community in the 1950’s but there are cases of similar methods being used even earlier. Most notable of these was the use of lavender for queer women.

However the more sophisticated method of flagging with the hanky code indeed originates from the leather community. Firstly with keys. Keys were hooked to ones belt loop, right meaning bottom and left meaning top. This made cruising, the act of looking for someone to fuck, a whole lot easier.

Handkerchiefs were then used to signify certain fetishes. Black for Sadism and Masochism, Grey for rope, Yellow for piss, and Red for fisting. There were only a few colours to begin with but more and more have been added along the way. One of my personal favourites is black with white crosses! It stands for the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, or a “sister fucker” meaning you’d fuck a sister while she’s in face.

If you want to know what colours to flag check out this website!

in love and leather