Not to be confused with polysexual, polygamy, or polygender

Polyamorous, or polyam, describes the capability or desire to be in a relationship with more than one individual at once. Polyamorous can be used both as a description of a relationship with more than two individuals and as description of individuals who desire such relationships. Polyamorous relationships can be romantic, sexual, or both; they may also be based on tertiary attraction such as queerplatonic relationships. Polyamory is not considered cheating, because all parties are aware of all other parties involved and consent to their involvement. Polyamory can involve marriage but should not be confused with polygamy, the act of marrying multiple individuals, which is illegal in the U.S. and many other western countries.


Polyamorous is made up of the Greek prefix poly-, meaning "many", and the Latin word amor, meaning "love". The term first appeared in an article by Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart, "A Bouquet of Lovers", published in May 1990 in Green Egg Magazine, as "poly-amorous".[1]

The original polyamorous flag was designed on Microsoft Paint by Jim Evans in 1995. This flag displays stripes of blue to represent openness and honesty, red to represent love and passion, and black to show solidarity with those who must hide their polyamorous relationships from the outside world.[2]

There have been many interpretations for what the pi symbol represents. Jim Evans intention was to reference how "polyamory" also starts with "p". Others think the pi symbol represents polyamorous people having "infinite love", as pi has infinite decimal places.[3] It is also possible it was chosen in part because it was one of the few symbols available to Evans in Microsoft Paint.[4] However, its gold color is widely accepted to represent the value that placed on the emotional attachment to others, be the relationship friendly or romantic in nature, as opposed to merely primarily physical relationships.[5]

Due to heavy dislike for the saturated colors, many new flags have been proposed.

On November 23rd, 2022, Polyamory Day, the PolyamProud committee announced Red Howell's design won in a community vote to choose a new polyamorous flag design. More than 30,000 people participated in the vote. According to Rod Howell:

The intention behind this design was to create a simple, bold tricolor, with a contemporary approach to traditional vexillological (relating to the study of flags) elements from the original "Pi" flag. It takes the best of the original flag, including its color symbolism, and improves on those elements of the Pi flag which alienated viewers.[6]

The flag design includes:

  • White chevron: flowing outward to depict the non-monogamous community's growth and possibility, asymmetric position to reflect non-traditional relationships
  • Gold heart: heart represents that all forms of love are the core of non-monogamy, in gold to represent the energy and perseverance of the community
  • Red stripe: love and attraction
  • Blue stripe: openness and honesty
  • Purple stripe: a united non-monogamous community

Related Terms

Label Relationship Description Difference
Ambiamorous Similar The ability to enjoy both monogamy and polyamory with little to no preference between the two Polyamorous individuals do not necessarily enjoy monogamous relationships and usually prefer polyamory.
Monogamous Opposite Desiring a relationship with only one person at a time Polyamorous individuals desire a relationship with more than one person.
Nonamorous Opposite Not desiring a committed relationship with anyone Polyamorous individuals desire to have a relationship.
Polyflexible Similar Mainly seeking out a polyamorous relationship, but willing to experiment with a monogamous relationship Polyamorous individuals are not necessarily experimenting.
Polymono/monopoly Similar Open to both monogamous and polyamorous relationships Polyamorous individuals are not necessarily open to monogamous relationships.


Label Prefix / Suffix Flag Description Creator(s)
Polyaffective/metamour -Affective Placeholder view vector.svg[7] Individuals who are emotionally close and connected by a polyamorous relationship, but not in a sexual or romantic relationship with each other Ekua Hagan[8]

Prefixes and Suffixes

Label Prefix / Suffix Flag Description Creator(s)
Polyamorish -Ish Placeholder view vector.svg[7] A partnership that is typically polyamorous, but with occasional exceptions polyadvice[1]

Prefix and suffix variations of orientation variations would be too messy for a single page and instead these flags should go into the gallery below.

Flags and Symbols

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