May 14, 2007

Manic Monday: Green

The RED, BLACK and GREEN Flag was unveiled to the world by the Honorable Marcus Garvey and the members of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League at it's first international convention on August 13, 1920. The UNIA-ACL knew that Africans at home and abroad needed their own flag as other flags around the world could not represent the collective of African people.

The use of Red, Black and Green as colors symbolizing African nationhood was first adopted by the UNIA-ACL as part of the 1920 Declaration of Rights as the official colors of the African race. The question of a flag for the race was not as trivial as might have appeared on the surface, for in the United States especially, the lack of an African symbol of nationhood seems to have been cause for crude derision on the part of whites and a source of sensitivity on the part of people of African descent.

White derision over this deficiency was summed up in a popular American song, 'Every Race Has a Flag But the 'Coon.'" A 1912 report appearing in the Africa Times and Orient Review (for which Marcus Garvey worked) documented the far-reaching consequences of this song. In 1921 he declared, "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...."

The race catechism Garveyites used explained the significance of the red, black, and green as for the "color of the blood which men must shed for their redemption and liberty", black for "the color of the noble and distinguished race to which we belong," and green for "the luxuriant vegetation of our Motherland."

A flag must represent the standard by which it's people live. Thus, the Universal African Flag, the 52nd Article of the Declaration of Rights of the Negro Peoples of the World was ratified in convention.

There has been a great deal of talk and controversy over the origin, creation and use of the Red, Black and Green. There was no Red, Black and Green Flag prior to the coming of the Honorable Marcus Garvey and the founding of the UNIA. Today there are many African nations that have adopted the colors Red, Black and Green after the great Marcus Garvey and his program of African Redemption.

On this manic Monday, villagers are reminded about the importance of Ourstory!


12 comments:

Stine said...

A great reminder.

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

i would rather think our american flag can cover every citizen regardless of race, religion, or anything else. just my opinion though...

smiles, bee

Villager said...

Stine - Thank you.

Empress Bee - The American flag does cover every citizen. However, you would acknowledge that in 1920 the American flag wasn't covering citizens of African descent very well, wouldn't you? Also, I notice that the Italian flag flies proudly on Columbus day parades. I'm hopeful that your sense of discomfort at non-USA flags is as high when you see that occurance as it appears it was today. Just a thought...

peace, Villager

Gattina said...

I know these colors from Raeggae, lol !

tegdirb92 said...

Wonderful take on the theme :)

Comedy + said...

Lately all I see is the Mexican flag. Everyone has a right to their flag, but quit waving it in my face 24-7! Talking about the Mexican flag here :)

Interesting history lesson here.

Happy MM with Mo!

Rebecca said...

Thank you for the reminder. *hugs*

Jamie said...

To this day "Cry Africa" is still one of my favorite movies, and the National Anthem still gets an emotional reaction.

Great post.

Danielle said...

I come for knowledge and never leave empty handed.

Be well, sweets.

Natalie said...

Best MM post ever. Thanks. I'll be back.

Villager said...

tegdirb92, gattina, rebecca, danielle, natalie - Asante sana!

comedy+ - yeah, the Mexican flag was very prominent last year during the mega-rallies held around the nation in favor of new immigration laws. this year, i saw more American flags during those celebrations on or around Cinco de Mayo.

jamie - 'Cry Africa' was a powerful movie. Thanx for the reminder!

peace, Villager

Meloncutter said...

A very good post. Makes for a powerful approach to the Manic Monday theme of the week

Well done.

Later Y'all