For centuries people around the world have waved the flags of their countries, often to display a sense of pride for where they came from.
As a child, Melvin Charles attended a parade where he witnessed numerous floats upon which organizations represented their home countries, and the flag that most captured his eye was the American Flag. However, during the 1960’s Black Americans did not wave the American Flag. It was at that time that the Civil Rights Movement took place, and the Black Panthers, Dr.King, Malcolm X, and others took the stage to stand up for Black rights in America.
And so, at that time, Melvin Charles and Gleason T. Jackson, knowing Black Americans were losing their connection to Africa, felt a flag should exist that symbolized the Black Culture that was created in America after the Atlantic Slave Trade that took place between the 16th and 19th centuries. Charles and Jackson created a design representing resilience, power, and unity, and the time and love that went into developing America’s Black culture. The Black Heritage flag embodies what Black Americans created in the United States even in the midst of difficult times.
The Black Heritage flag continues to be proudly waved by Black Americans today and each piece represents the culture’s importance, power, and history from the red and black diagonal lines to the fig leaf that surrounds a blunt edge sword.
To learn more, visit https://youtu.be/aRmBarI34TM for a video of Melvin Charles talking about the story and meaning behind this flag.
Admissions – Outreach/Success Advisor