The Rainbow Flag

The rainbow flag has been the co-operative emblem since 1921. Like the rainbow, this flag is a symbol of hope and peace.

Each of the seven colours in the flag has a special meaning for co-operators.

  • Red stands for courage.
  • Orange offers the vision of possibilities.
  • Yellow represents the challenge that greed has kindled.
  • Green indicates a challenge to strive for membership growth.
  • Sky Blue suggests far horizons, the need to provide education and help the less fortunate, and unity with all peoples of the world.
  • Dark Blue represents the less fortunate who can learn to help themselves through co-operation.
  • Violet represents warmth, beauty, and friendship.


Everybody in the world can recognize a rainbow and grasp its many meanings. "Rainbow" refers to the image in the sky after a rain storm, in every country and continent. In cultures around the world, there are stories and legends about the rainbow as a path or gate to a better world or a reward. And from a scientific viewpoint, the rainbow is a single, indivisible entity.

The Co-operative Rainbow Flag includes all the colours of the flags of the world. Each colour contributes to the whole and symbolizes harmony and universal unity of all people.

Because the rainbow is a universally recognized symbol, there are many flags that include the rainbow motif. The co-operative flag is often misunderstood to represent other organizations or movements.

In addition to the co-operative movement, other organizations which also use a rainbow flag include...

  • International Peace Movements: A 7-colour rainbow, often with the word Pace (Italian for Peace) written on it. (Used as early as the 18th century.)
  • Tawantinsuyu, the Pre-Columbian Inca empire (and some other indigenous peoples in Peru). A 7-colour rainbow. 
  • Used by some Druze communities in the Middle-east. A 5-colour rainbow.
  • LGBT organizations internationally. Flags include 5,6 or 7-colours in the rainbow.


OCUCF Campaign Helping Families of Fallen Soldiers

Oct 28, 2014 - Ontario Credit Union Charitable Foundation launches CanHelp Campaign to help support families of fallen soldiers.

Subscribe More… RSS


GTA Co-op Connections

Mar 7, 2015 - GTA Co-op Conference, Un-conference and Networking Event …

Register More…

Find a Co-op


The On Co-op e-Directory is a comprehensive listing of more than 1,300 Ontario-based Co-operatives, Credit Unions and Caisse Populaires. Search by city, name, type of co-op or keyword.

Enter Become a member

At On Co-op, we make it our mission to provide information that leads, cultivates and connects to the co-operative sector.