Is &

Information For Webmasters

Do you want to use the Emblem on your web site?
Sure, no problem--as long as you're not using the Emblem for profit. The Emblem is a copyrighted design under US and international copyright law. I have held onto the copyright in order to maintain my legal right to protect the symbol. However, I have made it available for use, free of charge, for cultural, educational and non-profit use within the BDSM community.

You are also welcome to use the official explanation of its meaning. All I ask is that you include the appropriate copyright notice(s) below.

GoldEmblemHere's the most popular sketch of the Emblem. It's a GIF file with a transparent background. Feel free to download it from here. If you'd prefer to have a copy of the file emailed to you, just send me mail. I'll be glad to oblige. Or, if you prefer a different format, a silver Emblem or a colored background let me know and I'll work that up for you as soon as I can. You can also feel free to make your own drawing of it, as others have. In doing so, though, please keep in mind that every feature of the Emblem has a symbolic meaning. They are all spelled out in the official explanation. If you deviate, you are probably eliminating symbolic meaning. Which leads us to...

Displaying the Emblem
There are a few errors that seem to pop up on sites displaying the Emblem--particularly those on which the Emblem is redrawn. For my best explanation, (ie, to let me slide by on work I've already done) I'll just reproduce here an expanded version of some email I've sent to various webmasters in order to clear up areas of confusion.

Notes on Display of the BDSM Emblem

The BDSM emblem has really caught on--at least as far as online display is concerned--since it was first conceived in a chat area by one group of BDSMers and designed by Yours Truly.

It's since been pointed out me that my description of its symbolism is not complete enough to make for clear guidelines for online display. For that I apologize. And thus these brief notes.

Please note that I am not trying to impose my design sense on anyone. I see no reason why folks shouldn't play with the form in various ways to best serve the design of their web pages. I do wish to assure, however, that when people choose to diverge from the "standard" representation it is by conscious choice and with specific design intent, and not by error.

Keeping that in mind, here are the three aspects that are most often overlooked in representing the emblem.

  1. The rim and three curved "spokes" of the design are meant to be presented in some metallic color. On the original pins and pendants this area is raised. This color (it may look like iron, gold, silver, copper, bronze, anything metallic) is indicative of the "chains" or "irons" of BDSM servitude/ownership.
  2. The three inner fields are black, representing a celebration of the controlled "dark side" of BDSM sexuality.
  3. The three "dots" are not dots but holes. The background of the page should be visible though them. These holes, as described in the original explanation of the symbol, denote the incompleteness of any individual practioner in that BDSM is at the least a playstyle and at most a lovestyle, and cannot be practiced alone. There is always the need for a complimentary other.
  4. The arms curve clockwise. There is no reason for this other than the fact that this is how I envisioned it when I was first designing it. But it's been set, so one clockwise is correct and counterclockwise is backwards.

No doubt other questions will pop up now that I've spelled these points out. I'll answer those as they arise.



If you want to direct your readers to more info on the Emblem, you're welcome to link to the Emblem Project home page at http:/members.aol.com/quagmyr/emblem.htm. You're equally welcome to use the Emblem Project logo, downloadable from this page or most of these pages. If you'd rather offer an email link directly to me at quagmyr@aol.com, that's fine too, although I'll probably direct general inquiries back to this site.

Copyright Notices
Feel free to put these notices in small print and out of the way. I require this to protect my right to protect the Emblem, not to take bows. In fact, once upon a time I didn't ask for credit or copyright notice at all--until some other folks started claiming that they'd designed the Emblem and had authored my explanation of it. Which meant I had to either defend my rights or risk losing them. Such a nuisance!

If you are using just the Emblem on a BDSM page, please use this notice:

The BDSM Emblem is copyright 1995 by Quagmyr@aol.com
who maintains the copyright in order to protect the symbol. It is
freely available for all educational and non-commercial use
within the BDSM community without charge.

If you are using just the Emblem on a NON-BDSM page, using the Emblem to identify yourself secretly to any BDSMer who happens to drop by, just use this notice:

Copyright 1995 by Quagmyr@aol.com. Used by permission.

If using the Emblem and explanatory copy on the same page, use this notice:

The BDSM Emblem is copyright 1995 by Quagmyr@aol.com
who maintains the copyright in order to protect the symbol. It is
freely available for all educational and non-commercial use
within the BDSM community without charge. The explanatory
text is copyright 1995, 1997 by Quagmyr@aol.com and used
here by permission.

If using just the explanatory copy on a page, use this notice:

Copyright 1995, 1997 by Quagmyr@aol.com. Used by permission.