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African American National Heritage Flag (U.S.)

Last modified: 2019-02-18 by rick wyatt
Keywords: united states | afro-american | heritage | james wesley chester |
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[African American National Heritage Flag] image by Tomislav Todorovic, 22 April 2017



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Description of the flag

African American National Heritage Flag was created in 1998 [1] by James Wesley Chester 1932-2012) of Trucksville, Pennsylvania, founder of the Institute for African American National Heritage [2]. It is divided horizontally red above green, with a black canton, which occupies nearly one-half of the flag length and is charged with 50 white stars, arranged as in the USA national flag, but set upside-down. In the bottom central part of the green field, there is black inscription */Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing/* - the title and first verse of the song written by James Weldon Johnson (1871Ė1938), African-American writer and activist [3], which is considered the African-American national anthem [4]. The flag seems to have never been widely used: its only available photo originates from the Institute for African American National Heritage website, which seems to have been active from late 1999 [5] to early 2009 [6]. The same photo was used by Mr Chester as his avatar in the discussions at the AfricanAmerica.org forum [1]. None of these sources, though gives any explanation to the flag design and its peculiarities, such as the upside-down stars.

Sources:

[1] AfricanAmerica.org forum: http://www.africanamerica.org/topic/the-black-man-the-greatest-problem-in-america-today

[2] Obituary of James Wesley Chester at Legacy.com: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/citizensvoice/obituary.aspx?pid=157141172

[3] Poetry Foundation website - Biography of James Weldon Johnson: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poets/detail/james-weldon-johnson

[4] Poetry Foundation website - Lyrics of "Lift Evíry Voice and Sing": https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/48104

[5] The Institute for African American National Heritage website at the Internet Archive (saved on 1999-10-01): http://web.archive.org/web/19991001061957/iaanh2.org

[6] The Institute for African American National Heritage website at the Internet Archive (saved on 2009-04-17): http://web.archive.org/web/20090417210436/iaanh2.org
Tomislav Todorovic, 22 April 2017