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

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

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


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


Jamaican political leader Marcus Garvey was 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.


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!"


The flag later became an African nationalist symbol for the worldwide liberation of people of African origin. As a symbol of Black pride, the flag became popular during the Black Liberation movement. Although other designs and colors including yellow are also considered to be International Pan-African flags, the horizontal stripes of red, black, and green, originated by the UNIA in 1920. Flag names include the UNIA flag, Marcus Garvey flag, Black Liberation flag, Pan-African flag, and the Black or African Nationalist flag.


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 

Minstrel music song chorus for Every Race Has a Flag but the Coon


For Ireland has her Harp and Shamrock
England floats her Lion bold
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


Red, Black and Green, Every Race Has a Flag but the Coon
Library of Congress, Music Division

1900's Music Hits Every Race Has a Flag but the Coon
Library of Congress, Music Division


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