Its Origin and the UNIA
According to the official website of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL), the flag was developed in the 1920’s by the UNIA and with the support of Marcus Garvey, as a response to a racially derogatory song. The ridiculously popular 1900 coon song “Every Race Has a Flag but the Coon,”helped to solidify the term “coon” in the American vernacular.
Pan-Africanism and the Black Liberation Flag
For years, the flag has been utilized as a symbol for the idea of Pan-Africanism and the Pan-African Movement. Dr. Minkah Makalani, a Black Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies describes Pan-Africanism as the following: “Pan-Africanism represents the complexities of Black political and intellectual thought over two hundred years. What constitutes Pan-Africanism, what one might include in a Pan-African movement often changes according to whether the focus is on politics, ideology, organizations, or culture. Pan-Africanism actually reflects a range of political views. At a basic level, it is a belief that African peoples, both on the African continent and in the Diaspora (sic), share not merely a common history, but a common destiny. This sense of interconnected pasts and futures has taken many forms, especially in the creation of political institutions.”