The Pan-African Flag

The Pan-African flag, also known as the Afro-American flag, Black Liberation flag, and various other names, consists of three equal horizontal bands of red, black, and green. The red band is positioned at the top, followed by the black in the middle, and green at the bottom. This flag is a powerful symbol of African and African Diaspora unity, pride, and freedom. The red color represents the blood that unites all people of Black African ancestry, and that was shed for their liberation. The black band symbolizes black people whose existence as a nation, though not a nation-state, is affirmed by the existence of the flag. The green represents the abundant natural wealth of Africa.

The Pan-African Flag

History

The Pan-African flag was first adopted on August 13, 1920, during the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League's (UNIA-ACL) convention in Madison Square Garden in New York City. It was introduced by Marcus Garvey, a Jamaican political leader, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, and orator, who founded the UNIA-ACL in 1914. Garvey proposed the flag in response to the 1900 coon song 'Every Race Has a Flag but the Coon,' which highlighted the fact that African Americans at the time did not have a flag symbolizing their own race. The creation of the Pan-African flag was a response to the derogatory song, aiming to provide Black people around the world with a symbol of their own pride and sovereignty. Since its adoption, the flag has been used in various African diaspora contexts, particularly within civil rights movements in the United States. It has also been embraced by many African countries and movements seeking to assert their independence and unity. Over the years, the flag has grown to become a global emblem of African solidarity, liberation, and pride.