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The Master/slave and Dom/sub  Flag

By Master Tallen

Flag: Black field surrounded by white border, with red stripes.

Design by Master Tallen. Graphic design by slave andrew. Image courtesy of Master Tallen and slave andrew.

Good evening! My fellow members of the Master/slave Dominant/submissive community, I am one of you. No better than any of you, and hopefully not any worse than some of you! I am here before you tonight to offer you a proposal.

One philosophy in My life that I learned way back, was that if you see a problem or need, and you voice it, you damned well better have a suggestion for a solution, or it's just bitching. In our community I have seen a need. A need for unity and self recognition. Our community is growing, or at least in recent years we have become more visible to each other, mostly by way of events such as this one. I feel it is time for us to have a symbol of pride and unity to further the strides we have made in coming together, helping, and learning from each other.

It can be said that our modern consensual Master/slave or Dom/sub community has its roots in the leather community. And many of us have adopted the leather flag as our symbol. There is no intent to denounce our roots, and the leather flag will fly proudly in the hearts of many of us. But not all of us in this community identify as "Leather folk". Other symbols in the forms of logos for clubs and events have emerged as icons of our lifestyle. These can be such things as biker hats, collars, whips, chains, and shackles. But again I say, we are not all into those things. So what is the common bond we all share? I suggest that there is no doubt that to be a part of this particular community, we all relate to the ideals of Dominance and submissiveness. So the next question is, what symbols mean Dominance and submissiveness?

In trying to create this symbol, my hope was to make it have meaning. So many times, flags and such are just fancy colors thrown together without much thought or truly symbolic meaning. I decided to use ideograms. After tons of research and many design attempts, I have created what I hope most of you will accept as The Master/slave Flag. To be politically correct, it can also be referred to as The Dom/sub Flag. 

In ideogram systems, the vertical line, or stripe, was established to mean power, or dominance. It is commonly used today on electronic items such as your TV, VCR, and computer equipment to mark the power button. In a psychology system, there is a symbol of three horizontal stripes arranged in close proximity that represents passive, or submissive. I have combined these symbols to represent our community's foundation of Dominance and submissiveness. This is an ambiguous symbol to the unknowing. It is neither masculine nor feminine. It is neither gay nor straight. It fits us all.

I would like to thank Master Taino and the Master/slave Conference for allowing us to unveil this proposed design here. And for His support and endorsement of My idea.

Two people have worked very hard on this project. First, my slave andrew who did all the graphic work and measurements. And girl nancy of Lifestyle Sewing, who has sewn and donated the five first-run flags for this presentation. They will now unveil to you My proposed design of our new Master/slave Flag.

I have copyrighted this flag. I hereby declare that it is public domain. No licensing fees or further permission is needed for its reproduction, sale, or usage. I applied for the copyright so that no one else could control our community's symbol. I have not, nor do I plan on making profit by creating this symbol. It is for all of us.

Along with those who have helped with this proposal, another gracious donation was made. We have, for anyone who wants one, stickers, of bumper sticker quality, at no cost. They were provided for you by Master Wes of Washington, DC. We have placed them in handmade (by My slave andrew) envelopes that also give the meaning of the symbol. You can pick one of these up in the back of the ballroom after the Opening Ceremony.

I thank you for listening.

Post comments about this article at the truetales blog.

This speech was delivered by Master Tallen at the Master/slave Conference in Washington, D.C., on July 29, 2005. It is reprinted with permission of the author.

About the Author


A Flag for Unity: How the M/s and D/s Flag was Created. Includes links related to Master Tallen's speech. [True Tales]

Flag image © 2005 Master Tallen Leather CORPS. The copyright owner permits free use of the image.

Text © 2005 Master Tallen.
All rights reserved.
The text on this page is copyrighted and may not be reprinted, posted, e-mailed, or otherwise distributed except with permission of the author. You may save one copy and print out one copy of this page for your personal use.

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