Goodman Community Center | The Flags of Black History Month

The Flags of Black History Month

Have you ever wondered why we see flags of red, black and green during Black History Month?

February 16, 2023 |

Have you ever wondered why we see flags of red, black and green during Black History Month?

The main BHM flag is the Pan-African flag created in 1920 by Marcus Garvey. The flag is known by many names.

  • Afro-American Flag
  • Black Liberation Flag
  • UNIA (Universal Negro Improvement Association) Flag
  • Marcus Garvey Flag.

Each color holds significance.

  • Red stands for the blood uniting all black people around the world and that has been lost to enslavement, colonization and systemic violence.
  • Black honors black skin and indicates strength.
  • Green represents the abundance of Africa's vegetation.

The flag was designed to represent those who belong to the African Diaspora and provide a symbol for black liberation in the US.

Pan-African Flag
Alt Text: A drawing of two hands tugging at either end of the red, black and green Pan-African flag.

“The African Diaspora [includes]...people of native African origin living outside the continent, irrespective of their citizenship and nationality...”

Another flag commonly seen during February is the yellow, green and red flag resembling the flag of Ethiopia. This flag is flown to honor Ethiopia's ability to resist colonial take-over and represents pan-African ideals.

Celebrate Black History Month
Alt Text: Three hands cover an image Africa colored red, green and yellow. The continent is surrounded by four point stars and says "Celebrate Black History!".

Sources: CSUSM Black Student Center, Pan-African Alliance, Insider, The AAREG

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