African American Flag
• Continent of Africa - The origin of African American ancestors
• Fist-Struggle - determination, and progress
• Hand Shake - Unity among all nationalities
• Country (USA) - The land that African Americans helped build: the land we love
• Stars- Left Side: GOD…Family…community Right Side: Past…Present…Future
• Gold Trimming - Worn specifically by African American soldiers of the 9th & 10th Calvary and 24th & 25th Infantry in the Civil War
• 1863, January 1- The granting of the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves in the eleven confederate States
• Colors - The continent of Africa Black (Our Race) Red (Our Blood) Green (Our Land)
• Colors - The United States of America Red (Hardiness and Valor) White (Purity and Innocence) Blue (Vigilance, Perseverance, and Justice)
• Memorial Patch - (The black stripe) honors the memory of our forefathers
• Flag Body - The flag is ivory as a representation of the color worn by our ancestors for baptism
In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation announcing that “all those held as slaves within the rebellious states would henceforth and forever be free”. His magnificent proclamation came as the nation approached its third year of the bloody civil war.
The 13th amendment, ratified in 1865 essentially abolished slavery everywhere, but also made it legal to exploit people as punishment for a crime. The amendment provides,“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
The Pan African flag was created in 1920 with the support of Marcus Garvey, founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). This movement was in response to a racially derogatory song and the realization that every race, except the black race in America, had a flag. Garvey believed that if you were able to “show me a race of people without a flag, I will show you a race of people without pride”. The red, black and green flag that the UNIA used as a symbol was the flag of Liberia. It was meant to serve as a marker of freedom, pride and the political power of black people. Garvey’s movement was created around a plan to have black people in America return to Africa.
We did not return to Africa in the numbers anticipated by Garvey, but we did become aware of ourselves as part of the African diaspora and recognized the need to establish for ourselves a pride and cultural awareness of our place in America. In support of that recognition, during Memorial Day weekend 2000, the African American flag was conceived. In 2001, Heritage Quest Enterprises, dba Homeland Arts launched the African American flag at the Atlanta Black Expo. The flag is a symbol of pride, progress and history. Now, in 2023, the African American flag is a symbol of celebration for the 160th year of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation!