The African American Heritage Flag. Designed by African American artist David Hammons in 1990. Today is a National holiday to commemorate Juneteenth.
I continue to learn about the history of fellow Americans. A history that is not taught in our schools, but a history that must be understood and reconciled before we can expect to continue to be a united group of countrymen.
Mr. Hammons’ flag started with the basic flag known as the Pan-African Flag. The tricolor flag of three equal horizontal bands has represented African American causes for one hundred years. “Red is the color of the blood which men must shed for their redemption and liberty; black is the color of the noble and distinguished race to which we belong; green is the color of the luxuriant vegetation of our Motherland.” (The Universal Negro Catechism, published in 1921.)
As is the case with African American History the flag was a ‘speaking truth to power’ issue. Around 1900, a song became popular, among European Americans:
In 1927, Marcus Garvey in an interview stated: “Show me the race or the nation without a flag, and I will show you a race of people without any pride. Aye! In song and mimicry they have said, “Every race has a flag but the coon.” How true! Aye! But that was said of us four years ago. They can’t say it now. …”.
In 1990, David Hammons took the basics of the Pan-African Flag and combined it with the familiar feel and look of ‘another’ flag to create a representation of the lack of progress over the past four hundred years, and the need to never forget that in order to be truly ‘out of many one’ respect and dignity are tantamount values.
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