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Universal Symbol of Black Liberation

Posted by John Pierre-Louis on

The Pan-African flag, simply put, is the universal symbol for "black freedom." It was designed to politically empower the people of the African Diaspora. 


Adopted by the Universal Negro Improvement Association on August 13, 1920, this beautiful tri-color flag with its horizontal bands of red, green, and black will celebrate its centennial in 2020. It is also known as the Marcus Garvey, UNIA, Afro-American and Black Liberation flag. 


The red band symbolizes the shared blood of Africans worldwide and the blood of Africans who gave their lives in the battle for freedom from slavery. The black band simply symbolizes black people, the very center of the Pan-African movement. The green band symbolizes the natural wealth of the African continent and the continued growth of its people everywhere.


Marcus Garvey spoke profound words of truth in his 1921 speech when he declared, “Show me the race or the nation without a flag, and I will show you a race of people without any pride.”

Today, Pan-African flags can be found flying proudly nearly everywhere –

  • In support of liberty in small neighborhoods
  • In large cities, such as Philadelphia, historically impacted by Marcus Garvey’s political influence
  • At many places of business, both black-owned and those that support worldwide equality
  • In parades, such as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day parades, and other civil rights rallies around the world
  • At times of crisis, such as following the 2014 shooting of unarmed 18-year-old African American, Michael Brown, by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri

 The raising of the Pan-African flag is an act of global solidarity, a symbol of unity, and a celebration of black liberation. August 17, the birthday of Marcus Garvey, is celebrated as Universal African Flag Day by people worldwide.


Find your Pan-African International Flag Stole here, and proudly represent your African heritage.