If you’ve been following inner map community discourse for the past year, you’re probably aware of the flag drama. Partly covered on the Map Wiki here and here, it gives an interesting example of political dishonesty.
In 2009 a map group Newgon tried to host a map flag contest. This was not the first attempt at a map flag, the butterfly childlove logo was already used as such several years prior, but this may have been the first organized initiative. They received several entries, yet actual voting never took place, and nobody used these flags.
During the following years different people made similar attempts to create a map flag, but nothing gained enough popularity and recognition till one particular case in June 2018. The map flag we all know as THE map flag was made by a Tumblr blogger Stenna. There was quite a bit of controversy around this flag, but mostly from non-maps, who were eager to accuse Stenna of being a troll. Maps who were active on social media back then, with small exception, accepted and used this flag. According to Stenna’s design, the flag included an anti offending/anti contact message, but that never stopped anyone who disagreed with this idea from using this flag. And we, the descendants of the anti contact map Tumblr, were much more interested in other aspects of map discourse than in trying to copyright the flag to any particular contact stance or lifestyle choice.
In 2021 old Newgon activists (or, perhaps, one activist – explanations I received were contradicting and confusing) reemerged and found the new flag. Their first move was to claim plagiarism and accuse Stenna of basing their design on one old contest entry. This accusation was in line with some other things these people did, such as claiming to have come up with the term “map” and have started the map movement. They have also created a redesign of the map flag, slightly changing the hue and turning it upside down, called the “yesmap” flag (a pun on “nomap”) – which wouldn’t be a problem by itself, if not how they used it later.
After pushback from me personally, most of the false claims were gradually dropped – especially with inclusion of more new people in Newgon, that were interested in actually doing something more than in magnifying their group’s past. But, having to withdraw plagiarism claims, the original Newgon activists/activist renamed their “yesmap” flag to “united” map flag.
I personally find this act of renaming quite distasteful. After a year of trying to slander the actual flag that united the map community, naming your edit “united” is hypocrisy. From 2021 and onward Newgon was nothing but divisive when it comes to flags. They created a completely new drama nobody asked for, insulted innocent people, and wasted our time. Calling their “yesmap” flag “united” is a yet one more attempt to twist the narrative and pretend that they’re fixing some unfairness and division – unfairness and division that wasn’t there till they started saying the map flag was plagiarized.
If after a year of accusations and troll-like behavior in the queer community, someone would make a “non homophobic trans flag”, how would you like it?