Polyamory is the practice, or desire to have relationships with more than one person involved, and involves the consent with everyone involved – it has been described as, “consensual, ethical, and responsible non-monogamy. The term has become an umbrella term for any type of non-monogamous relationship, multi-partner relationship – or any other type of non-exclusive sexual or romantic relationships.
The term polyamory first appeared in an article by Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart, (“A Bouquet of Lovers“), and was published in May 1990 in Green Egg Magazine, as “poly-amorous.” In May 1992, Jennifer L. Wesp made the Usenet newsgroup (alt.polyamory), and the Oxford Dictionary sites the website as the first verified appearance of the word. The word ‘polyamory’, ‘polyamorous’, and ‘polyamorist’ were added to OED in 2006 – and in 1999, Zell-Ravenheart was requested by the editor of the OED to give a definition of the term, and then provided the UK definition of, “the practice, state or ability of having more than one sexual loving relationship at the same time, with the full knowledge and consent of all partners involved.”
However, the North American version of the OED states that polyamory is a way of life, and some believe that the term should be classified as an orientation or identity – similarly to romantic orientation, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
The flag has three equal horizontal colored stripes with a symbol in the center of the flag – the colors of the flag are blue, red and black – blue represents the openness and honesty among partners, red represents love and passion, and black represents solidarity with those who have to hide their polyamorous relationship due to social pressures and stigma. The golden symbol in the middle of the flag is a lowercase ‘pi‘ sign – as is the first letter of polyamory – the color represents the value that we put on emotional relationships.