A-spec (or A-spectrum) is an umbrella term for all identities on the asexual spectrum and aromantic spectrum. A-spec can describe an individual who is on the asexual spectrum, the aromantic spectrum, or both.
A-spec is also sometimes used more broadly to include other identities that use the "a-" prefix, such as agender and aplatonic. Aroace agender is sometimes referred to as AAA-spec (pronounced "triple-A-spec").
Asexual and aromantic individuals have sometimes been accused of appropriating the term "a-spec" from the autistic community. However, term was created in 2015 specifically for aces and aros and has no prior usage history before that point.
Within the asexual and aromantic communities, use of the term "a-spec" has also been criticized for introducing confusion through frequent misuse, particularly regarding asexuals using "a-spec" when only asexual spectrum (ace-spec) individuals are relevant or through saying "a-spec and aro-spec", implying that the aromantic spectrum is not inherently included under the a-spec umbrella. Unfortunately, for some individuals, "a-spec" and "ace-spec" are phonetically indistinguishable when spoken aloud.
The term a-spectrum was introduced by Tumblr users warriorsdebt, whes, and strategicgoat in 2015.
The a-spec flag was created by Tumblr user The-Moon-Is-Aroace on March 25, 2019. The compass rose in the middle is a symbol of how individuals all experience attraction in different ways, if at all. The green and purple are on opposite sides of the quadrant to show that asexuality and aromanticism are their own separate and independent identities, with the black and grey quadrants connecting them. Black represents the aroace community and grey represents grey communities.
The aloe vera a-spec flag was designed by Tumblr users Sapphic-Squirrel and Hetaces with help from the Inclusionist Discord Server and was posted on November 17, 2019. It was designed to mimic the sapphic, achillean, diamoric, and pluralian flags with three stripes and one plant. The green is for aromantics, the purple for asexuals, and grey is for the grey area between a- identities and allo- identities (including those that don't have solid labels but know they are somewhere under the umbrellas of asexual or aromantic).
The aloe vera flag was redesigned by RavenFire803 on July 1th, 2021 to represent the larger community. The aloe symbol was made to be both green and purple instead of just green to show balance.
The striped A-spec flag was coined by RavenFire803 on July 6th, 2021. It has no confirmed meaning.
An alternative flag was created by tumblr user untitled-google-docs-document on July 5, 2022. She created this flag mainly because the a-spec flags have only included aro and ace individuals and not aplatonic and agender individuals, and thus wanted to make a flag inclusive to all a-spec individuals. The green stripe represents aromantic and agender individuals. The yellow string represents love and relationships outside of amatonormative ideas, it also represents how the community fights against amatonormativity and radicalizes the word "love" and also represents tertiary attraction. The white stripes represents the diversity of the a-spec community. The blue stripe represents anyone who is aplatonic. The purple stripe represents asexual individuals and the a-spec community as a whole. The compass rose symbol was inspired from the-moon-is-aroace's a-spec flag, only changing the color for aesthetic reasons.