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A Timeline Of Black American Flags Throughout History

For over 100 years Black Americans have tried to find a single visual representation that captures their experience in the United States.
A Timeline Of Black American Flags Throughout History
JASON CONNOLLY/AFP

At its best, flags can be powerful symbols. Flags can represent pride, hope, resilience, history, and the future. At the worst, they are symbols of hate and can incite fear and trigger trauma. Regardless of the use, like language and culture, flags are a vital aspect to any group of people’s identity. Given the history of Black people in United States—ascending from chattel slavery to free American citizens—the journey to establishing an identity for ourselves has been laborious. As the Black identity is constantly changing, the icons that represent us have too.

Here is the growing list of flags that have sewn the Black experience into the fabric of American history: