Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture

If you like honey, fear not the bees. -African Proverb

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Red, Black and Green, Every Race Has a Flag but the Coon

Interesting History of the Red, Black and Green Pan-African Flag


The Pan-African flag or Black Liberation Flag is a tricolor flag consisting of three equal horizontal bands colored red, black and green.

Marcus Garvey in response to the 1900 coon song created the Pan-African flag in 1920.
Marcus Garvey in response to the 1900
coon song created the Pan-African flag in 1920.
The three colors on the Pan-African flag represent red for the blood that unites all people of Black African ancestry, and shed for liberation, black for the people of Black African ancestry and green for the abundant natural wealth of Africa.

Marcus Garvey, a founding member and former president of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA) created the Pan-African flag in 1920 in response to the 1900 song "Every Race Has a Flag but the Coon." The song was written by Will A. Heelan and J. Fred Helf was very popular in the United States and Britain.

Song chorus for Every Race Has a Flag but the Coon:


For Ireland has her Harp and Shamrock
England floats her Lion bold
The three colors on the Pan-African flag represent red for the blood that unites all people of Black African ancestry, and shed for liberation, black for the people of Black African ancestry and green for the abundant natural wealth of Africa.
Red, black and green beauty 
Even China waves a Dragon
Germany an Eagle gold
Bonny Scotland loves a Thistle
Turkey has her Crescent Moon
And what won’t Yankees do for their Red, White and Blue
Every race has a flag but the coon


A 1921 report appearing in the Africa Times and Orient Review, Marcus Garvey stated on the importance of the flag “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 years ago. They can't say it now!"

Share this page

Trending Now

Did you know?

The eye never forgets what the heart has seen - African Proverb