• Madeline Foskey-Lott

Wait...We Have a Flag? Black American Heritage Flag!

We all know that there is a biased habit of burying the history around people of color. Day after day, a piece of history is discovered that many of us had no idea took place. This is the reason a lot of us are seeing this flag for the first time.

No, this isn’t something new that was created in the last decade. This flag, known as the Black American Heritage Flag, was created in 1967 by Charles Melvin and Gleason T. Jackson. The idea of having a flag for his people started to develop in Melvin’s head as a young child. He would stand outside and watch as parades would march down the street waving their cultural flags, but when the black people came, all they had was the standard American flag.

Fast forward a good number of years, Melvin runs into Jackson, and they have a conversation about how the black community should have proper representation. The two sit down and discuss all the possibilities, they brainstorm and conduct a ton of research at their library.

After two weeks of planning, the pair comes up with the design presented above. The blunted sword represents pride and the fig wreath is for peace, prosperity, and everlasting life as described by Charles Melvin in his PBS interview. The color red is for all the blood that was lost to someday gain our freedom and dignity. The black simply represents us as the black community.