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Modern American Protest and Message Flags - Part II

        Accepting the notion that many of the flags used by the British Colonists prior to the American Revolution and many of the secession flags of the American Civil War can be considered "Protest Flags," I ignore them on this section as they are featured in their own individual sections of this website, and concentrate on the lesser known and more modern flags of either protest or message flags used by Americans today. It also should be noted that some of the flags on this page can't be considered either "protest" or "message" flags, they are rather "aspiration" flags. By this it is meant that it is the manner in which they are used that determines what they are. For example, a peace flag reflects an aspiration and it only becomes a protest flag when used that way, otherwise, it remains just a peace flag.



50th Anniversary Commemoration Flag


Korean Veterans Flag
1950-1953

50th Anniversary of the Korean War 1950-2000

The United States Department of Defense has added a Korean War Anniversary Flag to their officially sanctioned set of commemorative flags (Similar commemorative flags were issued for World War II and the Vietnam War), both to honor and commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Korean War and those who served in it. The Korean War, often called the "Forgotten War" was the first "police action" of what would become known as "The Cold War" between the Western democracies and the Soviet Union. Often misunderstood by the American people, the war was fought between the forces of the United Nations and South Korea against the Communist North Koreans and Red Chinese between 1950 and 1953.

The commemoration flag, authorized by Congress and issued by Department of Defense, was meant to thank and honor Korean War veterans and their families; especially those who lost loved ones. Over a four-year period, more than commemorative events were scheduled to show that a "grateful nation remembered" their service and sacrifice. Between 2000 to 2003, events took place throughout the United States, Republic of Korea and the pacific region, reflecting the US military, its allies and the United Nations' concerted efforts during the Korean War.

Centered on Korean War 50th Anniversary Flag is the symbol of South Korea surrounded by 22 gold stars representing the troops of the United Nations. The motto "Freedom is Not Free." appears in both English and Korean written in gold at the bottom of the flag. Also displayed honoring the Korean War Veterans has been the Korean War Veterans flag.


Image from Juneteenth website
Juneteenth Flag 2000
original design by Ben Haith

Image by Pete Loeser and Tomislav Todorovic
Variant Stars and Stripes #1
"The Middle Passage Flag"
original design by Carl Sharif


Image by Pete Loeser and Tomislav Todorovic
Variant Stars and Stripes #2
"The Mainlander Flag"
original design by Carl Sharif


Image by Pete Loeser and Tomislav Todorovic
Variant Stars and Stripes #3
"The Islander Flag"
original design by Carl Sharif


Image by Tomislav Todorovic
Variant Stars and Stripes #4
First seen at the Inauguration of President Barack Obama 2009

Juneteenth Flags 2000

Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day, is the oldest known celebration of the ending of slavery in America. It was on June 19, 1863 (Juneteenth), that Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, to deliver the news that the Civil War was over and the slaves were free. Although they had been freed by the "Emancipation Proclamation," signed by President Abraham Lincoln almost two years earlier in 1863, it wasn't until Juneteenth that they learned of it.

Since 1980 the Juneteenth Celebration has been an officially recognized Texas State holiday, and has now spread far beyond its Texas origins. Today more than 30 states have followed Texas's lead by either making it a state holiday, or sponsoring celebrations. Some cities sponsor week-long celebrations, culminating on June 19, while others hold shorter celebrations. The day is, of course, especially meaningful for black Americans, as it not only commemorates a historical day that forever changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of African Americans, but also marked one of the greatest moral victory's of our nation's history. It restored basic human rights to a group of Americans, who never should have been denied them in the first place. Its growing popularity acknowledges this period in our history, one that shaped and continues to influence our society today.

Credit for the creation of the original Juneteenth Flag goes to Ben Haith, the former Massachusetts Juneteenth State Director and, in 1997, the founder of the National Juneteenth Celebration Foundation (NJCF). The original flag was raising in Boston, Massachusetts, in 2000. The tradition of raising the Juneteenth Flag at the Dillaway Thomas House in the Roxbury Heritage Park on every June 19 continues to this day.

Besides the flying of the original flag, in recent years several variant versions of the Stars and Stripes have become increasingly popular, called the "All American Flag Series," they replace the red white and blue national colors with various combinations of the colors of the African Heritage movement. They were designed by Carl Sharif of Newark, New Jersey.

The Middle Passage Flag (Variant #1) is dedicated to the memory of all Africans who lost their lives during the Middle Passage, the horible voyage faced by African slaves on their way to the Americas. Black stripes stand for their deaths and green ones for their youth, for most of them were young people. The black canton stands for African origins of the flag users and red stars are for the blood loss by their ancestors, not only during the Middle Passage, but also during the latter sufferings and struggles in America, this symbolism being common to all the three flags. The Mainlander Flag (Variant #2) is meant to represent the North American people of African origin, which is why it resembles the original Stars and Stripes the most, with seven red and six green stripes. The Islander Flag (Variant #3) has the stripes in Garvey colors, reminding us that the African traditions in the New World are best preserved in the Caribbean Islands and South America, as well as that Marcus Garvey himself was a native of Jamaica. This set of flags thus represents the Afro-American population with all the complexities of its identity.

A flag similar to the Islander Flag, but with the stars changed to green (Variant #4) was first seen in Washington, D.C. at the inauguration of President Barack Obama in January 2009. While nothing else is currently known about this flag, its meaning is obviously similar to that of the All American Flags, which might have provided the inspiration to its designers.

Also seen during the Juneteenth Parades and Celebrations are lots of the normal stars and stripes, but also other historical Afro-American flags variants. See the "Black Liberation Flag," the "Hammons´ African American Flag," the "African American Unity Flag," and the "African American Flag House," as examples of these flags.



AIDS Awareness Flag

HIV/AIDS Awareness Program Flag 2001

"The history of HIV and AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) in the USA began in 1981, when the United States of America became the first country to officially recognize a strange new illness among a small number of gay men. Today, it is generally accepted that the origin of AIDS probably lies in Africa. However, the USA was the first country to bring AIDS into the public consciousness and the American reaction undoubtedly contributed to the establishment of AIDS as one of the most politicized, feared and controversial diseases in the history of modern medicine."

April 10 has been made National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, as part of the Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Month in the United States. Through education, prevention, and treatment many groups are working to eliminate the spread of HIV/AIDS, and eventually eradicate it.


Image by António Martins-Tuválkin
D.C. Taxation Without Representation Flag

Image from Phil Nelson
D.C. Statehood Green Party Flag

District of Columbia Statehood Movement Flag 2002

The District of Columbia Statehood Movement was a political movement that advocated making the District of Columbia a state which dates back to the 1970s. Statehood would give the citizens of Washington, DC, full representation in the United States Congress and full control over their own local affairs, which they don't enjoy at this time. Unfortunately, there is very little political support in Congress for the proposal and since 2003 the proposal seems mostly abandoned.

Another suggestion made for the District of Columbia is that they create a special government district just around the National Mall in downtown Washington to include only the Capitol, the White House, and the Supreme Court (with no permanent residents), which would be under the direct control of Congress. The remainder of Washington could become a separate city, and once again be part of Maryland.

In November of 2000, the DC Department of Motor Vehicles began issuing license plates bearing the slogan "Taxation without representation." President Bill Clinton had these plates placed on the presidential limousines; however, President George W. Bush, in one of his first official acts as president, had the plates removed. The second flag shown here resulted from the merger of the DC Statehood and Green parties in 2006 forming the DC Statehood Green Party.


Image by Pete Loeser
Police Mourning Flag

Image by Pete Loeser
Firemen Support Flag

Police Mourning and Police Support c2002
Fire Fighters Support, Thin Blue and Red Line Flags

This flag began as a police mourning arm band used in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, area and was at first typically worn when an officer was killed in the line of duty. It stood for the "thin blue line" of police protection. It evolved into an auto sticker and finally into a flag. It was also used as a show of respect for the police officers killed on September 11 and was also seen as a variant with a red stripe instead of a blue one for fire fighters.

Image by Pete Loeser
   
Image by Pete Loeser
Fire and Police Support Flag
   
Police and Fire Support Flag

Versions with much thinner blue or red stripes have also been reported. A variant with the text "Police Lives Matter" was used in 2015 at a rally in Baltimore, Ohio.


Image from Adbusters website
Corporate America Flag
(Adbuster version)


Corporate America Flag
(variant version)

Corporate America Protest 2003

These defaced American flags were a part of a protest sponsored by the radical Adbusters Media Foundation against their perceived take-over of the American government and society by multi-national corporations. They described themselves as: "a global network of culture jammers and creatives working to change the way information flows, the way corporations wield power, and the way meaning is produced in our society."

The flags were used in a variety of street protests and "teach-ins," which were largely ignored at the time by the national press, but apparently the movement lives on with its rebirth in the 2011 "Occupy" protest. They continue to sponsor their website Adbusters.org and publish a free magazine called, naturally, "Adbusters." Apparently, several variants of this flag have been produced, changing some of the 30 corporate logos and their order of appearance. The size of the canton and color seems to vary as well as the flag's size ratios. Two examples are shown here.

An interesting side note about this flag design origins is that it may have had its introduction in Canadian caricature. In Design of Dissent: Socially and Politically Driven Graphics, a book about graphic design in politics written by Mirko Ilic, an Yugoslav-born graphic designer from New York, and Milton Glaser, the inventor of the famous "I (heart) NY" sign, and Tony Kushner, there were illustrations showing the flag with logos, and stating that the original design was of Canadian origin. Vexillologist and Illustrator Phil Nelson posted an image of the flag as early as 2001 on the "Flags of the World" website.


Image by Tomislav Todorovic
Black American Flag

Black American Flag 2003

The Black American Flag was proposed in 2003 as a flag which would better represent the whole population of African Americans, or Black Americans, as they are consistently called on the flag designers website. According to them the black color symbolizes all the hardships that Black Americans have endured in the past, as well as the hope for their unity in the efforts for creating a better future. The white star is said to represent the North Star, which "was used as a guide for the long journey towards freedom"; this probably refers to the fact that runaway slaves went north to get hoped for freedom, as well as to the later migrations to the northern parts of the United States after the abolition of slavery, where the discrimination was much less pronounced. As an extrapolation of this, the North Star is also seen as the "guide into the future," for those still seeking a better life.

The Black American Flag is a simple black flag charged with a large white star in the canton. The flag is sold on the Black American website. It is also offered as a car flag.


Image from Philip Kanellopoulos
Earth Flag

Earth Flag 2004

This version of an Earth Flag has been in use by an environmental advocacy and activist group called the Knights of Gaia since 2004. The flag is based on James Cadle's "Flag of Earth," first proposed in 1969.

According to the group, the flag represents the community of all the peoples of the Earth. The flag's background is divided into two fields yellow and black. In the center of the flag is a large blue roundel representing the Earth, the smaller gray roundel representing the Moon, with the yellow field representing the edge of the Sun against the black of space. The gray roundel is 6/22 of the diameter of the blue roundel, corresponding to the ratio of the actual sizes of the Moon and the Earth.




51-Star Puerto Rican
Statehood Movement Flag

Image by Gunter Küchler
Proposed 51-Star Flag

Puerto Rican Statehood Movement Flags

This 51-star version of the United States flag is commonly used by the Puerto Rican Statehood Movement (Movimiento Estadista Puertorriqueño). Although, it has been popular among the island's statehood supporters for years, a basic question for most Puerto Ricans remains as to whether Puerto Rico should remain a U.S. territory, become a U.S. state, or become an independent country, and on this they disagree.

It should also be pointed out that the Puerto Rican Statehood Movement is not actually a single group or organization, but more of a unofficial confederacy of various organizations and individuals that have staged events and activities and share the common goal of advocating, supporting, or seeking statehood for Puerto Rico. These organizations that promote statehood include the New Progressive Party of Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rico Statehood Students Association, and the Republican Party of Puerto Rico, to name a few. It should also be pointed out that some Puerto Ricans favor the "reunification" of Puerto Rico with Spain.

In anticipation of the addition of a new State, the US Army Institute of Heraldry has also designed a Proposed 51-star national flag for use in the event that a state is admitted as the fifty-first state. The suggested design follows the more traditional horizontal rows of stars design used by the military over the years. Naturally, both these flags have become very popular with both the Puerto Rican Statehood supporters and the District of Columbia Statehood Movement. Naturally, if they are both successful neither 51-Star flag would never become a reality anyway.


Image by Antonio Martins
Nation of Hawai'i Flag


Image by Ivan Sache
Ka Lahui Hawai Flag

Hawaiian Independence Flags

Since Hawaii became part of the United States there have been several local groups or movements whose goals were independence for Hawaii. The Nation of Hawai'i is a pro-independence group of people who claim descent from the original inhabitants of the islands. They use a white-yellow-black horizontal tricolored flag with a "Kahili" symbol in the middle yellow band. The Ka Lahui Hawai, also known as the Polynesian Sovereignty Movement, are another group desiring independence who use a flag with a white constellation of stars placed on a dark blue field.

Image by Peter Orenski
Hawai'i Ko Aloha Flag 2004

A third group, known as Hawai'i Ko Aloha claim to represent all the lineal descendants of Hawaiians from Maka'ainana to Alii. The colors of the background of their Flag represent the Nine islands of the inhabited Hawaiian chain prior to the arrival of the western exploiters. The saying Hawaii ko Aloha means "Love of our land of Hawaii."


Image by Rick Wyatt
Term Limits Flag

Term Limits Protest Flag 2008

Reformers since the early 1990s have been trying to get congressional term limits approved. In the elections of 1994, part of the Republican platform was to pass legislation setting term limits in Congress. They proposed a constitutional amendment to limit members of the Senate to two six-year terms and members of the House to six two-year terms. However, since constitutional amendments require a two-thirds majority, it failed.

Since 2007, supporters have been trying to get a national constitutional convention organized, since it appeared that Congress would be unlikely to propose and adopt any amendment that limits its own power.


Image from CRW Flags
Join or Die Flag
(popular modern variant)


Join or Die Flag
(Variant based on original cartoon)

The "Join or Die" Flag 2008

Although this flag isn't historical in the sense that it ever waved during the American Revolution, some contemporary flag companies are today selling a version of the "Join or Die" flag. There is no historical documentation to support this flag's existence, but this flag was used in the opening titles and credits of the somewhat inaccurate seven-part historical HBO melodrama "John Adams," released in the 2008, and based on the Pulitzer prize-winning book of the same name by David McCullough.

The flag design is based on a political cartoon based on an article published in 1751 by Benjamin Franklin's Pennsylvania Gazette protesting the British practice of sending convicts to America. The author suggested that the colonists return the favor by shipping a cargo of rattlesnakes to England, which could then be distributed in the noblemen's gardens.

Three years later, in 1754, the Gazette printed this political cartoon of a divided snake as a commentary on the Albany Congress. They wished to remind the delegates of the danger of disunity, and the serpent was shown cut to pieces. Each segment is marked with the name of a colony, and the motto "JOIN or DIE" written below. Other contemporary newspapers soon took up the "JOIN or DIE" theme.

Although today this flag is not connected to any particular group or protest movement, it is frequently flown by individuals as either patriotic statements or individual protests of American disunity.



Gadsden Flag 1775


design by Jeffrey Allan McQueen
2nd American Revolution 2009



Tea Party 2010

Tea Party Flags 2009

The Tea Party movement is a conservative political movement in the United States that grew throughout 2009 into a series of locally and nationally coordinated protests. The Tea Party protests were a series of protests across the United States that focuses on smaller government, fiscal responsibility, individual freedoms and upholding a conservative view of the Constitution. The protests were partially in response to several Federal laws: the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and a series of healthcare reform bills. The name "Tea Party" refers to the Boston Tea Party of 1773 when American colonists destroyed British tea rather than paying what they considered a tax that violated their right to "No Taxation without Representation." In the 2010 Congressional elections, it became a recognized faction of the Republican political party, and successfully ran several conservative Congressional candidates under its name.

Image by Rick Wyatt
   
Image by Rick Wyatt
Culpeper Minute Men Flag 1775
   
Gonzales "Come and Take It" flag 1835

Several Tea Party flags have been reported being seen at Tea Party Rallies; one a modified "Betsy Ross" flags with a Roman Numeral II placed in the center of the 13-Star pattern representing the "Second American Revolution," another, less seen, but reported was a variant slightly renascent of a Confederate States of America flag. Reportedly, in Texas, the Tea Party likes the Gonzales "Come and Take It" flag. The flag most popular, however, hands down, is the modern replica of the Gadsden Flag showing a coiled rattle-snake with 13 rattles on a yellow background with the black lettered motto "Don't Thread On Me," although the Culpeper Minute Men Flag has also been seen. Snakes? Anyone?


Image by Pete Loeser
Three Percenters Flag


Image by Pete Loeser
Oath keepers Flag


Image by Kerodin III
The III Battle Flag


Image by Kerodin III
The III Battle Flag (variant)


Image by Pete Loeser
Gun Control Flag

Nyberg Battle Flag of the Three Percent 2009
Oath Keepers and III Percent Patriots

The Nyberg flag, named after right-wing activist Gail Nyberg, who apparently designed it, is being sold at the "Sipsey Street Irregulars" website. Based on the belief that during the American Revolution, the active forces in the field against the King's tyranny never amounted to more than 3% of the colonists, militia groups calling themselves by such names as the "Three Percenters," (Threepers), the "Sipsey Street Irregulars", and the "Oath Keepers" (led by Nevada lawyer Stewart Rhodes, a former staffer of Congressman Ron Paul), have sprung up expressing the belief that any attempt at gun control is unconstitutional and violating their second amendment rights. These groups claim to be the new three-percenters who "the Founders counted on to save the Republic when everyone else abandoned it."

These extreme "anti-gun control" (or "pro-second amendment") gun owners, claim to be preparing to "defend" themselves and "their right to bare [sic] arms" against perceived "enemies, foreign and domestic," and who warn all those they call "collectivists" (those who favor gun control "control"), to leave them and their guns alone. The Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League have labeled these groups as anti-government, extremists, and racists.

The Oath Keepers, founded on March 2009 by Stewart Rhodes (a Yale Law graduate and former US Army paratrooper) were incorporated in Las Vegas as a non-profit corporation. They advocate their members disobey any orders that they are given if they believe they violate the Constitution of the United States. Supposably made up of present and former servicemen, police, and firefighters, the Oath Keepers include chapters in many states across America. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has reportedly been seen sporting an Oath Keepers patch.

   
III Percent Patriots Resist Flag
   
III Percent Patriots Chaplain Corps

An apparent very milita-like splinter group calling themselves the III Percent Patriots, led by someone using the alias of Kerodin III, has broken away from the main body of the Three Percenters and established websites where he claims to be attempting create an "official III Organization." He say this about their flag: "This is my Battle Flag. Tremble, Enemies of Liberty. For if I fall and take it to the bloody mud - one of my brothers will pick it up and kill you for me." He says his Battle flag´s stripes are from the Sons of Liberty flag, and the III represents "...every American...who has picked up a rifle, or would pick up a rifle, for Rightful Liberty." Thus far these groups have not been involved in violent activities, other than spending a great deal of time and money arming and outfiting themselves.

A related gun control protest flag is a modern twist to the Texan Gonzales Banner of 1835 which replaces the texas cannon with a modern M-16 military semi-automatic rifle. Although this flag isn't affiliated with any particular gun control group, it seemed to fit here.


Image by Eugene Ipavec
"Oh, My God, Snake!" Flag

"Keep Fear Alive" Protest Flag 2010

A "Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear" took place on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on Oct 30, 2010. Billed as an "anti-extremism" gathering, it was hosted by Jon Stewart (of Comedy Central´s "The Daily Show") and Stephen Colbert (of Comedy Central´s "The Colbert Report"). A huge crowd attended, and apparently it received mixed reviews, not enough content and too much clowning around for some people, others loved it.

The participants brought many humorous or ironic signs, many spoofing the flags present at Tea Party rallies like this modified Gadsden flag with the motto "Don't tread on me" replaced with "OMG SNAKE! HELP! SNAKE!". The red slogan "KEEP FEAR ALIVE" was also inserted into the snake's coils.



"In the Fall" Flag

The "In the Fall, Fire Them All" Movement Flag 2010

United States voter dissatisfaction with the apparent inability of the politicians in Washington D.C. to work together birthed a "In the Fall, Fire Them All" ground swell that resulted in many people voting against all incumbents regardless of their political views in the 2010 Congressional Elections. This seriously harmed the Democratic majority and cost them control of Congress.

Unfortunately, the politicians ignored the message and the Republicans took it to mean they had received a mandate from the people, and so the movement may either gain momentum or die; only time will tell.



Legalize Marijuana Flag
(Type #1)


Legalize Marijuana Flag
(Type #2)


Legalize Marijuana Flag 2017
("Come and Get It" variant)

Legalize Marijuana Flags 2010

The recent attempt to legalize marijuana in California brought a whole new set of flags to wave. Interestingly enough the growers themselves helped defeat the proposition on the election ballot. Ah, capitalism...

 
 
Legalize Marijuana Flag
(Type #3)
 
Legalize Marijuana Flag
(Type #4)
 
Legalize Marijuana Flag
(Type #5)

A whole rash of flags appeared on the market, supporting the legalization of marijuana and the use of "medical" marijuana. These are a few examples. Type #1 - places marijuana leaves on the stripes and canton; Type #2 - tries to mix conservation, recycling and marijuana use; Type #3 - plays a word game using the popular ipod as a ploy; Type #4 - features a marijuana leaf and the word "blunt," slang for a tobacco leaf that is often used to roll marijuana cigars. They come in flavors such as cherry and peach and are used to camouflage the potent smell of pot. Type #5 - centers a leaf and the word "Marijuana" on a horizontal red-yellow-green tricolor.

One of the newest Legalize Marijuana Flags is the Marijuana "Come and Get It"flag, a modern twist to the Texan Gonzales Banner of 1835 which replaces the Texas cannon with a lit Marijuana joint and adds a black Marijuana leaf above it. After seeing this historic Texas Revolution flag with AR-15 automatic rifles and such, this re-purposing of its design should not surprise us anymore.



COEXIST Flag

The COEXIST Movement Flag 2010

The COEXIST Movement has sprung up, especially on college campuses, across the country. The goal of this movement is to embrace tolerance for all belief systems. The chief promoter of this movement is the music industry and the pop icon Bono from the band U2. Hollywood and the fashion industry also promotes this movement with an array of clothing products, gear and bumper stickers, including a flag. Not surprisingly, this is not a popular movement with most fundamentalist groups or churches.

On the flag every letter in "COEXIST" has a symbol representing a religious system or spiritual ideology: "C" for the crescent and star (representing Islam); "O" being dotted with the Karma Wheel (Buddhism); "E" as energy in the relativity equation (Science); "X" illustrating the star of David (Judaism); the "I" doted with the peace symbol; "S" for the Tao symbol; and "T" for the cross for Christianity. The black stripes hold a whole range of different belief symbols.



9/11 Remembrance Flag #1
(WTC Towers Black Striped Flag)



9/11 Remembrance Flag #2
(Blackinton 9-11 Commendation Flag)



9/11 Remembrance Flag #3
(National Remembrance Flag)



9/11 Remembrance Flag #4
(New York City Skyline Flag)



9/11 Remembrance Flag #5
(Flight 93 Hero Flag)



9/11 Remembrance Flag #6
(Thunder Flag)



9/11 Remembrance Flag #7
(DAR 9/11 Remembrance Flag)



9/11 Remembrance Flag #8
(Freedom Foundation Flag)



9/11 Remembrance Flag #9
Flag of Honor
(Which list the names of all the victims within the design)


9-11 World Trade Center Attack Remembrance Flags
10 Year Anniversary of Patriot's Day 2011

On September 11, 2001, a terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City and another attack on the Pentagon in Washington DC resulted in the deaths of thousands of people, including many firefighters, police, rescue, and medical personal who were attempting to help the victims. This Terrorist attack started what became known as "The War on Terrorism" and an invasion of Afghanistan led by American Troops followed. The campaign in Afghanistan was an attempt to destroy the al-Qaeda terrorist training camps inside the country and eventually resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden and several other al-Qaida leaders. In the process, the US military temporarily helped to overthrow the oppressive Taliban government. On September 11, 2011, the World remembered, the fateful day it all began...

  
9/11 Remembrance Flag #10

  
9/11 Remembrance Flag #11

  
9/11 Remembrance Flag #12

  
9/11 Remembrance Flag #13

  
9/11 Remembrance Flag #14

  
9/11 Remembrance Flag #15

  
9/11 Remembrance Flag #16

  
9/11 Remembrance Flag #17

  
9/11 Remembrance Flag #18

  
9/11 Remembrance Flag #19

  
9/11 Remembrance Flag #20
(actually a Canadian Remembrance Day Flag)
  
9/11 Remembrance Flag #21

  
9/11 Remembrance Flag #22

  
9/11 Remembrance Flag #23

  
9/11 Remembrance Flag #24

  
9/11 Remembrance Flag #25

There were no shortages of 9/11 Remembrance/Patriot´s Day flags on the market to help remember the Twin Towers Attack, the Pentagon Attack, and United Flight 93 on the 10th anniversary of the disasters. Here are just a few of the dozens seen being flown and sold. Although all these were reported being used, it should be pointed out that some of these flags may have been designed for other remembrance-type days, like the "Armistice" and "Remembrance" Days of the British Commonwealth nations, and the "Veteran's Day" and "Memorial Day" celebrations in the USA, etc., then multi-purposed.



Corporate America Flag


Image by Ultimate Flags
"Surrender the Booty" Flag
(reported, use undocumented)


Image by Ultimate Flags
Gadsden "Bite Me" Flag
(reported, use undocumented)


Image by Rick Wyatt
Turquoise-Green Peace Flag


Image by Rick Wyatt
Culpeper Minute Men Flag



NWRP Flag
(New World Regeneration Party)



Che Guevara Flag



Image by Pete Loeser & Tomislav Todorovic
Anarcho-Syndicalists Flag
at Urban Shield Protest 2013
(Unidentified Black Power Variant?)

Occupy Protest Flags 2011-2012

This wave of American protests, originally called "Occupy Wall Street," started in New York and spread across the United States, with the name being modified to simply "Occupy" plus the place (Occupy Oakland, Occupy San Francisco, etc.). The protesters claimed to be tired of the large corporations, who, in their quest for more power and profit, show an apparent disregard to the economic woes of the American people. This, along with the legislature´s apparent inability or unwillingness to work together at the time to solve the financial crisis facing the nation, sparked these large and spreading protests. Eventually, some of the movement´s "camp-ins" began to generate escalating violence between demonstrators, citizens, and law enforcement as more dissident and extremist groups infiltrated the grassroots movement to get their share of the national spotlight. Examples of violence and flag burnings, especially in the San Francisco/Oakland Bay area, resulted in the loss of middle class support, and the continued lack of any clear message, direction, or leadership further damaged the movement. By the early 2013s the movement was so fractured it had practically disappeared, but not before generating a whole genre of flags.

Image by Pete Loeser
   
Image by Ivan Sache
"In the Red" Flag
   
The Anarchist Flag
Image by Rick Wyatt
   
Image by Henry A. Waxman and António Martins
The Continental Flag
   
The Earth Day Flag
Image by Peter Orenski, ©2011 TME Co.
    Image by Tripodero
The 99% Stars and Stripes
   
American Indian Movement Flag
Image by Pete Loeser
   
Image by Pete Loeser
Corporate America Flag
("SOLD" variant framed with gun)
   
Corporate America Flag
(variant defaced with "WAR")
Image from Veterans for Peace website
   
Image by Peter Orenski, ©2011 TME Co.
Veterans for Peace Flag
   
"Those Privileged Few" Flag
(suggested, use undocumented)
Image by Pete Loeser
   
Image by Tomislav Todorovic
United States Flag
(flown upside-down in protest)
   
Peace Sign Flag
(Occupy Los Angeles Protests 2011)

Apparently, the movement failed to focus its attention on any particular flag, but some of the more interesting ones re-purposed or used at their demonstrations can be seen here. Naturally many regular US flags were displayed, either right-side-up or upside-down (many times defaced with slogans), and versions of the US flag with the stars replaced by corporate logos (first used in the 2003 Corporate America protest) saw some popular use. Examples would be the defaced variant with "SOLD" stenciled across the stripes (framed with a gun), or the one with the letters "WAR" shown here.

Other flags seen in use at Occupy demonstrations included plain red flags, red and black anarchist flags, a version of the Peace flag with a black and white peace symbol on a turquoise-green field, another with the peace sign over the Rastafarian tricolor, flags of Puerto Rico, Tennessee, Veterans for Peace, the Earth Flag, a 99% Stars and Stripes (representing the general ignored population), and even a "Those Privileged Few" Flag apparently pointing a finger at those wealthy privileged few who control society.

Also reported used were a variety of historical and group flags, including the historical red American Continental Flag with its green pine tree on a white canton, the Culpeper Minute Men Flag, and several different interesting versions of the Gadsden Flag. The flags of the American Indian Movement, the New World Regeneration Party, and Che Guevara have also made their appearances.


Image by Tomislav Todorovic
Born This Way Flag

Born This Way 2011 (USA)

This Black flag with the words "BORN THIS WAY" in rainbow colors (each word in two colors) is being increasingly used as a sexual orientation flag. It has been seen in demonstrations in various American cities such as West Hollywood (California), San Francisco (California), and Jacksonville (Florida). It first appeared in England in 2011, but quickly made the trans-Atlantic crossing to the New World.

The words themselves may have come from a song and album title from recording artist Lady Gaga, herself a major supporter of the LGBT community.


Image by Pete Loeser
Lest They be Forgotten Flag
© Lest they be Forgotten Foundation

Image by Eugene Ipavec
The KIA Memorial Flag
© Flags of Freedom Program

Memorial Flags for the Fallen

Since the War Against Terrorism is like no other war the United States has entered, not a war not against another nation or people, but one against the actions of fanatical cults, reactionary groups, and individuals who use violence to attempt to force people to believe as they do, it is not surprising that the families of those who have perished in this modern crusade have sought different ways to express their grief and validate the sacrifice their families have made. Several flags have been designed to help fill this void.

The "Lest they be Forgotten" Foundation was the result of the desire of a Florida father named Gregg Garvey to honor his fallen son who died in Iraq, and to help honor all those killed in the War against Terrorism. The foundation was set up to help establish memorials in towns throughout the United States to those soldiers and patriots who have given their lives during Operation Enduring Freedom, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and in the War against Terrorism. The flag is designed to be flown under the Stars and Stripes over these monuments. The "Lest they be Forgotten" Flag was first unveiled in 2007.

The goal of the "Flags of Freedom Program" is to provide a special free KIA Memorial Flag to any the surviving spouses or parents of those killed in action or who died of wounds received in combat in the War against Terrorism. Since there is no special national memorial flag for those who die in combat, they state that the KIA Memorial Flag "is dedicated to Honor and Remember all those killed in combat and those that died of wounds received in combat and the surviving families that endure so much." This KIA Memorial Flag, designed by Randy Yglesias, was first flown at American Legion Post 154 in Marathon, Florida on Pearl Harbor Day 2008.


Image by Tomislav Todorovic
Equal Marriage Flag
(Type #1 - 13 State variant)


Image by Carl Tashian
Equal Marriage Flag
(Type #2 - 13 State variant)


Image by Tomislav Todorovic
Equal Marriage Flag
(Type #3)


Image by Tomislav Todorovic
Equal Marriage Flag
(Type #4)


Image from Tomislav Todorovic
Mars Flag Type #1
(In use as a marriage equality flag)


Image from Tomislav Todorovic
Venus Flag Type #1
(In use as a marriage equality flag)


Image from Tomislav Todorovic
Mars Flag Type #2
(In use as a marriage equality flag)


Image from Tomislav Todorovic
Venus Flag Type #2
(In use as a marriage equality flag)


Image from Tomislav Todorovic
Rainbow Heart Flag
(In use as a marriage equality flag)

Same Sex Marriage/Equal Marriage Flags

The Same Sex Marriage Movement, sometimes referred to as "equal marriage" or "gay marriage," has produced some interesting and colorful flags. Same-sex marriage is basically marriage between two persons of the same sex or gender. Supporters of legal recognition for same-sex marriage refer to it as marriage equality. Thus far only thirteen States and the District of Columbia have passed laws allowing same sex marriages. They are Massachusetts (2004), Connecticut (2008), Iowa (2009), Vermont (2009), New Hampshire (2010), District of Columbia (2010), New York (2011), Washington (2012), Maryland (2013), Maine (2013), California (2013), Delaware (2013), Rhode Island (2013), and Minnesota (2013).

As more States pass these civil rights laws, the evolving protest flag for equal marriage rights in the United States will continued to change and add stars in the manner similar to the Woman's Suffrage Movement of the early 20th Century. They have also chosen to use modified Stars and Stripes and other historical flags to represent their cause. In protest, the suffragists created their own National Women's Party (NWP) flag (horizontal tricolored stripes of Gold/White/Purple) starting with only four centered stars on the white stripe, representing the four states that first allowed women to vote. The flag flew at the podium of the First International Women's Suffrage Conference in 1902, and as more States allowed woman the vote, they added stars to the design. Eventually, there were two rows of eighteen stars each, representing the 36 State votes necessary to amend the Constitution.

The modern Same Sex Marriage Movement seeks to end state-wide same-sex marriage bans and uses the same type of rational in their flag designs. Type #1 changes the color of the white stars pink in the canton to represent those States who have made same sex marriages legal, and replaces the red and white stripes with the Gay Rights rainbow. The creator of the Type #1 flag was Eddie Reynoso. Type #2, designed by Carl Tashian, leaves the stripes red and white, but only illuminates the stars of the States with equal marriage right laws in place. The stars are positioned from the top left based on the date that the state was admitted into the union, basically lighting up only those state stars that allow equal marriages.

The Type #3 flag basically defaces the "Gay Rights" Flag (LGBT - Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) Flag - with the traditional US coiled rattlesnake and "Don't Thread On Me" design. Designer unknown.

Image by Pete Loeser
   
Image by Tomislav Todorovic
HRC "Equality" Flag
(Blue-yellow hand held version)
   
HRC "Equality" Flag
(Red-pink hand held version)

On June 26, 2013, the US Supreme Court announced that it would not overturn a previous lower court's ruling on California's Proposition 8. This controversial state law banned same-sex marriages, and had been deemed unconstitutional by the lower court. The refusal of the higher court to overturn their decision seemed a great victory for the proponents of same-sex marriage. This decision was greeted with wild celebrations in San Francisco's Castro District where the blue-yellow "Equality" or "Human Rights Campaign" flag made it's appearance. Also reported in use in Washington DC was a red version of the HRC flag, specifically supporting the Equal Marriage movement.

The Type #4 flag was created to be specific for Civil, Gay and Same-Sex Marriages and to contrast the Gay Pride Flag. The white field is said to represent new beginnings, the pair of interlocking rings depict the commitment between two partners; the six colors within the rings standing for gay and lesbian pride. The flag is commonly defaced with the name of whichever state the movement or demonstration for equality of rights is currently taking place. The name of the state, usually either in red or black, is placed either horizontally below the rings or vertically up the hoist side of the flag. The Californian version of this flag was used at the anti-Proposition 8 rallies.

Image by Tomislav Todorovic
   
Image by Jim Ferrigan
Delaware Rainbow Gay Flag
Used in Equal Marriage campaign.
   
California Rainbow Gay Flag
Those being against Proposition 8.

Image by Tomislav Todorovic
   
Image by Tomislav Todorovic
Georgia Rainbow Gay Flag
Used in Equal Marriage campaign.
   
Texas Rainbow Gay Flag
Used in Equal Marriage campaign.

During the campaign for legalization of same-sex marriages in Delaware, a Rainbow flag with the diamond and Coat-of-arms from the State flag was used, and in the California Proposition 8 fight the old California Rainbow Gay Flag reappeared. It is a California Bear State flag with the normal single red stripe which usually appears across the bottom of the flag replaced with seven small rainbow stripes. The Georgia Rainbow Flag and the Texas Rainbow flag were derived from the their state flags, from which they borrowed the hoists (blue vertical stripe charged with the state seal and star respectfully), combining them with the gay rainbow flag, whose pattern forms the flys.

Other Same-Sex Marriage/Equal Marriage flags making their appearances are using the Mars/Venus symbols centered on a rainbow background. Although they were not developed as strictly marriage equality flags, they are being used in that context. Variants on this theme included several similar designs using the Mars/Venus symbols in the canton replacing the stars, such as the 1990 Gay Pride Flag.

Variants of these basic design continue to appear and can be seen both on the Internet and at LGBT/Same Sex Marriage/Equal Marriage demonstrations, including the Rainbow Heart Flag shown on the left which has become popular in some areas. To see a more complete collection of images (without detailed text) of American Rainbow flags in one place (Click Here).



Yes We Can Flag
(2008 Presidential Campaign)


Yes We Can Flag
(Vertical Garden Flag)

Yes We Can Campaign Flag 2008

It is rare when an American campaign slogan becomes a worldwide phenomena, but Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign slogan of "Yes We Can" seems to have transcended international boundaries and become just that. Naturally, there are flags associated with it.

The Slogan was first introduced into the American political scene in "Senator" Barack Obama's remarks after he won the Democratic presidential primary in South Carolina, the slogan has since then spread far and wide. Originally used by the Scottish National Party's campaign in the United Kingdom General Election in 1997, it was re-purposed by Obama with his words "...and where we are met with cynicism and doubt and fear by those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of the American people in three simple words - yes, we can."

It should be pointed out here that for years the slogan has been used by the character of "Bob the Builder" in the popular British children's animated television show, which in turn, we might even speculate that this might have influenced its use in the Obama family.

Whatever the origins of the slogan, it has now been adopted by the United Farm Workers and is well known amongst Latinos in its Spanish form Si se puede. In the 2014 Indian General elections, Chief Minister Narendra Modi used the chants of Bharat Mata Ki Jai and Vande Mataram to start off his Bharatiya Janata Party's campaign.


Image by Clay Moss
State of Jefferson Flag
(Political Movement - Fictitious State)

The Double-Cross Flag

With the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors voting (4-1) to secede from the State of California stating that the State bureaucrats were too focused on the needs of the big cities, the seventy year old semi-serious vision of a separate northern California state was rekindled. Originally in 1941, the mayor of the small town of Port Orford (Oregon), Gilbert Gable, announced that rural areas of southern Oregon and northern California should attempt to secede from Oregon and California, forming a new state named Jefferson. These secessionists soon gave up their efforts after Gable died, and World War II started. The whole thing has been reawaken by recent the Siskiyou County Supervisors vote.

The green double-x flag was once again raised (representing the double-cross of the officials in the state capitol). It features a green field with a gold mining pan centered on it with the words "The Great Seal of State of Jefferson" engraved onto the lip, and two Xs askew of each other. The two Xs are known as the "Double-Cross", and signifies the region's sense of abandonment from the state governments in both Salem, Oregon and Sacramento, California.


Image by Pete Loeser
FSP Flag

Free State Project (USA)

The Free State Project is a New Hampshire based far-right non-violent extremist group that wants to recruit 20,000 "liberty-loving" people to move to New Hampshire to better further their cause. They look at themselves as "pro-liberty reformers," and want to form a community of other "pro-liberty people" to focus their reform efforts on the State of New Hampshire legislature. They appear to be a mishmash of classical liberals, libertarians, paleo-conservatives, constitutionalists, voluntariysts, anarcho-capitalists, anarchists, and more.

The FSP flag appears to be an interesting combining of the Tea Party re-purposed Gadsden Flag and the Free State's porcupine logo.


Image by Ivan Sache
MRE Flag

Movement for Reunification with Spain Flag 2014

The MRE (Movimiento de Reunificacion con España) is a small Puerto Rican protest movement calling for a "reunification" of Puerto Rico with Spain, which is in direct conflict with those Puerto Ricans who are campaigning for Puerto Rican statehood. The MRE wants to be "the 18th autonomous community of a country they never asked to leave." The MRE points out that Puerto Ricans "were Spanish citizens until the invasion of the island by the USA in 1898." The leader of MRE, José Nieves, who is of Canarian and Catalan desent, says that he plans to apply to the The Hague World Court to obtain the nullification of the Treaty of Paris of 1898, the treaty that transferred Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Guam from Spanish to US sovereignty. Nieves, believes that the Puerto Ricans will be readily accepted by the Spanish people, but most observers don't believe that the movement will gain much support in either Spain or Puerto Rico.

The flag of the MRE was unveiled in June of 2014 in San Juan (Río Piedras) and seems to be modelled on the flag used in Puerto Rico as the Republic of Puerto Rico Flag between 1873 and 1875.



US-Mexico Friendship Flag



US-Mexico-Canada Friendship Flag



US-Canada Friendship Flag
(type #1)


NAFTA Flag 1992

North American Friendship Flags

The market has been flooded with a whole collection of fusion flags called North American Friendship flags, Canadian-American Peace Flags, Mexican-American Flags and other similar names. They are being sold in flea Markets, on the internet, and used by various groups and individuals for a variety of unrelated reasons, both as protest and message flags. By far the most popular of these "friendship" flags seem to be of the Canadian-American variety.

   
US-Canada Friendship Flag (Type #2)
   
US-Canada Friendship Flag (Type #3)
   
US-Canada Friendship Flag (Type #4)
   
US-Canada Friendship Flag (Type #5)
   
US-Canada Friendship Flag (Type #6)
   
US-Canada Friendship Flag (Type #7)

Only one of these designs is actually a flag of a real organization. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is an agreement signed by Canada, Mexico, and the United States, creating a trade bloc in North America. The agreement was signed by President George H. W. Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Mexican President Carlos Salinas in San Antonio, Texas, on December 17, 1992. NAFTA also uses this flag as their logo.



Anonymous Organization Flag


Anonymous Flag
(black variant with title)


Anonymous Flag (black)


Anonymous Flag (green)


Anonymous Flag (white)


Anonymous Medic Flag

Anonymous Organization Flags

Anonymous is a loosely associated international network of activist, formed in 2003 on the internet, claiming they "operate on ideas rather than directives." The group is known for a series of well-publicized publicity stunts and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on government, religious, and corporate websites. They are active in the United States at various protests, including the Occupy protests and the demonstrations at Ferguson. Anonymous members (known as "Anons") can be distinguished in public by the wearing of stylized Guy Fawkes masks and displaying a variety of flags, some of whom are illustrated here.
   
Anonymous US Flag
   
Anonymous Hope Flag
   
Anonymous Legend Flag
   
Red-White-Blue
   
Anonymous/Gadsden Flag
   
Anonymous/Guy Fawkes Flag
   
Anonymous Pirate Flag
   
Anonymous Guy Fawkes Flag
   
Anonymous Stars and Stripes
   
Anonymous Cross Bones Flag

Apparently the Anonymous Organization has organized their own street medics, volunteer activists who attend political actions equipped with medical supplies to give medical aid to protesters and civilians in need during violent confrontations. The Anonymous Medic flag was displayed just prior to the violence at Ferguson, Mo, after the Grand Jury's decision not to recommend charges against Officer Darren Wilson's shooting of Michael Brown in November of 2014, and carried by a masked Guy Fawkes's protester.


Image from Pete Loeser
Black Gadsden Flag



Texas Gadsden Flag

Flags at United Steel Workers Strike 2015

A version of the Gadsden flag with a black field was flown by members of the United Steelworkers on strike at the Motiva plant in Port Arthur, Texas, in February of 2015. Port Arthur is the home of the United States's largest oil refinery. Also flown at the demonstration was a Texas flag with a coiled rattlesnake on the white and red stripes, and the motto "DON'T TREAD ON ME" in white letters along the bottom of the flag.

The first of these two flags is actually a Market Anarchist Flag derived from the historical Gadsden Flag, and sometimes called the "Gadsden Tactical" flag. The traditional Gadsden Flag has also been the favorite of the Tea Party since 2009. The use of this particular flag by the USW protesters is curious, since no connection between any of these three groups is suspected or likely.

The use of the Texas Rattlesnake flag is more easily explained. It is popular and commercially available throughout Texas, and its appearence at the strike most likely doesn't have any deeper meaning other than the strike took place in Texas, and Texans are proud of their "rebel" image. What else can one expect from a state whose state motto is "Don't Mess with Texas."

With these things in mind, it would seem most likely that the use of both of these flags do not have anything to do with either Anarchy or the Tea Party, but that they were simply commercially available and probably used simply because the strikers didn't realizing their origins or care, they simply thought they looked good. They also flew a Gonzales Banner and what looked like a professionally made flag of light green with the words "UNION THUG" in black, evidently embracing the term used to discribe "union strikers" by rich conservative "owners" in the Texas demostration.


Image by Joseph McMillan
Recession Flag

Image by Pete Loeser and Tomislav Todorovic
The Islander Flag

Image from Pete Loeser
Che Guevara Cuba Flag

Flags Used at the Freddie Gray/Police Brutality Protests 2015

In April of 2015 Baltimore became the center of widespread violence and protest over the unexplained death of a black man named Freddie Gray. Many protesters believed his death to be the fault of the arresting policemen. In the early demonstrations in Baltimore one flag appears to have been a flag popularized by rappers Young Jeezy and Kanye West from the album "The Recession." West in particular is known for being politically outspoken, having famously berated President Obama on live TV during a Katrina benefit. The flag has thirteen horizontal stripes of alternating dark silver (or gray) and white, with white stars on a black canton. Another flag making its appearance at the Baltimore Protests was the Straight Pride Flag (see "Straight Pride/Straight Ally Flags" directly below)

A second flag was seen in protests that spread to New York City and appeared to be one of the flags first used in the Juneteenth Celebrations in Texas. Known as the Islander Flag, it has stripes in what are now known as the Garvey colors, and the black canton has a field of fifty red horizontal stars. The colors are supposed to be reminiscent of the African slave trade in the Caribbean Islands, and a reminder that Marcus Garvey himself was a native of Jamaica.

In Philadelphia, the UNIA or Black Liberation Flag with its distinctive red-black-green horizontal stripes was seen displayed, sometimes apparently upside down with the green stripe on top. Another flag seen at the demonstrations, yet to be identified, reportedly had what looked like Al Shabaab spelled out in elaborate red letters, with "God Almighty" in English below it, on a white field. In Seattle, Washington, a plain red flag was used.

In Dallas, Texas, the Protest against Police Brutality saw use of both the standard seven striped Gay Pride/Rainbow Flag and Che Guevara Cuba Flag. The Gay Rights Flag was not too unexpected considering the past history of police discrimination towards Gays, but the Che Gurevara flag was a bit more unexpected.


Image from Pete Loeser
Straight Pride Flag

Artist Unknown
Straight Ally Flag

Straight Pride/Straight Ally Flags 2014-2015

Given recent changes in public opinion on civil rights for sexual minorities in the United States, it is perhaps of little surprise that straight people are now publicly "coming out" for gay rights in unprecedented numbers. These "allies," who support and stand by any socially marginal group, are working to combat the various social and legal inequalities that still exist in the United States. They are expressing support for issues like marriage equality, school bullying, and workplace discrimination against GLBTQ people. Just as it was not unusual to see white people publicly working as anti-racist allies alongside communities of people of color, or pro-feminist men acting as allies to women, it is not unusual now to see straight people standing as allies alongside the sexual-minority communities.

Because of this, two interesting "reaction" flags have resulted from the Gay Rights/Equal Marriage Movements of the early 2000s. The first is the Straight Pride Flag. It mimics the striped Gay Pride Rainbow by removing the rainbow colors into neutral shades of black and grey. It is considered insulting by some Gay Rights supporters because of this.

The second flag is the Straight Ally Flag and is less ambivalent. Using the black-grey "colors"" of the Straight Pride flag as a field, it adds a large rainbow colored "A" (for Ally) to indicate straight support for the Gay Pride/Equal Marriage movement.



Vietnam War Anniversary Flag


Vietnam Veterans of America


Vietnam Veterans Black flag


Vietnam Veterans Flag

50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War 1965-2015

The United States Department of Defense has added a Vietnam War Anniversary Flag to their officially sanctioned set of commemorative flags (Similar commemorative flags were issued for World War II and the Korean War), both to honor and commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War and those who served in it. Fifty years after the end of one of the most controversial wars ever fought by American troops, the nation still remains embarrassed and divided on America´s evolvement. There are those who deeply believe that the United States should never have entered what they view as an economically driven war, and others who view it as another stand against Cold War Communist aggression. Many of the supporters of the conflict feel embarrassed that, after the United States promised help the Vietnamese people, they then withdrew their support and abandoned hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese to their deaths.

On the new flag a representation of the Vietnam Service Medal ribbon rests below the inner green laurel wreath, with the words "Service, Valor and Sacrifice." Contained in the red, white and blue circle is a map of Vietnam in black outline relief, it represents both the country and the Vietnamese war veterans. The subdued outlines of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and surrounding waters represent the whole area of operation where US Armed Forces served. At the bottom of the inner blue ring are six white stars, three on each side of the blue star. These six white stars symbolize the contributions and sacrifices made by the United States and its Allies, Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, Republic of Korea, and Thailand. At the bottom of the flag are the words "A Grateful Nation Thanks and Honors You."

   
Vietnam Service Ribbon Flag
   
Vietnam Native American Veterans Flag

Other flags being displayed to honor Vietnam Veterans include the Vietnam Veterans of America flag, the Vietnam Veterans Black flag (which displays the shoulder patches of the US Army Divisions serving in Vietnam), the Vietnam Service Ribbon flag, and the Native American Vietnam Veterans "Eagle Feather" flag (designed by Chuck Cline).


Image by Pete Loeser
Police Support Flag

Police Mourning/Police Support 2015

This flag was used at a rally in Baltimore, Ohio, in support of the police in June of 2015. It is a variant of the Police Mourning Flag first used in the early 2000s and later on September 11. It this case it was being used as a show of respect for the thousands of well-meaning police officers in Baltimore.

This variant has the traditional three horizontal stripes (black-blue-black) where the center stripe represents the "thin blue line" of police protection, with the addition of "POLICE LIVES" in white letters on the top black stripe and "MATTER" on the bottom black stripe.


Image by Clay Moss
Georgia-CSA Heritage Flag
(State Flag 1956-2001)

Image by Randy Young
Louisiana-CSA Heritage

Image by Randy Young
Virginia-CSA Heritage

Image by Randy Young
Florida-CSA Heritage

Image by Rick Wyatt
North Carolina-CSA Heritage

State "Confederate Heritage" Protest Flags

As a result of the widespread attacks on displaying the Confederate Battle flag in 2015, a backlash of displaying Confederate Heritage flags for each of the former Confederate States has resulted. These flags first became popular in the South during the debates and arguments that began in 2001 over the 1956 Georgia state flag. The original idea behind the flags following this pattern was to show support for and solidarity with the supporters of the 1956 Georgia state flag design.

Image by Pete Loeser
   
Image by Randy Young
Kentucky-CSA Heritage
   
Alabama-CSA Heritage

Basically, as done on the 1956 Georgia flag design, each flag of a former Confederate states has their state seal or other prominent State related emblem placed in the blue canton next to the Confederate Battle flag. An examples of using a State related emblems would be the Louisiana design that uses the pelicans and State motto instead of the actual state seal. Texas uses the Bonnie Blue Star.

Image by Randy Young
   
Image by Randy Young
Tennessee-CSA Heritage
   
Arkansas-CSA Heritage

Tennessee and Arkansas would be the exceptions to the basic heritage design. The Tennessee design uses the three-star device from the center of the Tennessee state flag to replace the central star of the Confederate naval jack. Arkansas also breaks the pattern.

Image by Rick Wyatt
   
Image by Randy Young
South Carolina-CSA Heritage
   
Texas-CSA Heritage

Mississippi doesn't have one of these designs since its flag is the only remaining state flag that already incorporates a Confederate battle flag in its design, and for some reason a Missouri-CSA Heritage flag has not made an appearance. There were originally 13 Confederate states.


Image by Pete Loeser
CSA Statement Flag

Alabama Confederate Statement Flag

Some say the Confederate battle flag represents southern heritage while others say it represents racial hatred. The problem is it represents both. Perceptions of the flag depend upon the context it is used. At a national cemetery or national battlefield it is seen in the historical context of the American Civil War, but it is equally obvious that some racists and White Supremacist have appropriated the Confederate Battle Flag for their own racial causes.

In Alabama this flag is being sold as a heritage flag. It combines the state flag of Alabama on the hoist side with the CSA flag on the fly side. Is it a hate flag or a Heritage flag?



1787 Constitution Flag

The Constitution Pride Flag 2015

The members of the Constitutional Convention signed the United States Constitution on September 17, 1787, in Philadelphia. The Constitutional Convention had been convened in response to dissatisfaction with the Articles of Confederation. After four months of debate and many compromises, the proposed Constitution was submitted to the states for approval. The Constitution was eventually ratified and the new Federal government came into existence later in 1789.

This flag has gained some popularity among a mixed group of those wishing to show support for the principals found in the United States Constitution, and feel freedom and liberty are under attack by both the extreme right and left. It has become especially popular with Tea Party members and has been seen displayed by them along with their usual favorite - the Gadsden Flag.


Image by Pete Loeser
Thin Blue Line Flag

Image by Tomislav Todorovic
Thin Blue Line Flag (variant)

Image by Pete Loeser
Thin Red Line Flag

Image by Pete Loeser
Thin Blue and Red Line Flag

Police and Firemen Support/Morning Flags c2014

With the increased attacks on cases of police brutality also came increased support for the nations "first responders", the majority of whom continued to go about their duties properly and with dedication. This flag design is intended to act as a testament to the valor of police officers across the country. The courage exhibited by officers in the line of duty is represented by the Thin Blue Line in the center of the flag. The solemn black background acts as a memorial to the lives lost while shielding citizens from danger.

A more colorful variant of the Thin Blue Line Flag preserves the red, white and blue of the normal United States national flag, but places the blue stripe between two black stripes. These flag designs, minis the American Flag background, were first introduced with the first Police Morning flags used in early 2002

The Thin Red Line American Flag honors the firefighters who risk their lives to rescue and protect the public from fire and who act as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) at accidents and medical emergencies. The black background of the flag honors those who have died doing their duty. The Thin Blue and Red Line Flag design combines both the colors of the police and firefighters to honor both.

Image by Tomislav Todorovic
   
Image by Pete Loeser
Basic Thin Blue and Red Flag
   
Thin Blue Line Skull Flag

The Thin Blue Line Skull Flag is a more militant approach to police support combining a super hero "Punisher" type skull, a stylized American flag, and a thin blue line on a plain black field as a different way to show support and commitment to American police officers. According to the flag's designer the skull attempts "to serve as both a testament to the police as defenders killed in the line of duty, and as a reminder of the danger they stare down day after day." We must theorize that there was a strong influence from the comic book fandom subculture responsible for this design.


Image by Randy Young
Gun Control Variant Flag


"Send Snacks" Flag

Flags used at the Malheur Refuge Protests 2016

Between January 2 and February 11, 2016, a group of armed activists and militiamen protesting the prosecution of two ranchers (Dwight Hammond and his son Steven Hammond) took over a remote federal wildlife refuge office at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in the rural southeastern corner of Oregon near Burns. The Hammonds had been convicted of setting arson fires on federal land, and sentenced to five years' imprisonment. When armed protestors occupied the Federal office building, CNN showed an assortment of defaced variant historical American flags mixed in with the protest slogans, including two flags taking design elements from the Gadsden and Gonzales flags.

The first of these flags appeared to be a combination of the thirteen red and white stripes of the Sons of Liberty flag overlaid by a gold silhouette of the state of Oregon, upon which is the traditional coiled rattlesnake device of the Gadsden flag. Added to it was a black upright M-16 silhouette at the hoist, a symbol popular with Second Amendment/anti-gun control protesters and militia.

The second one showed a bit of humor after the protestors were cut off from food supplies by law enforcement, basically just asking for some snacks.


Image from the Pale Blue Dot website
Flag of Earth (Type #1)

Image from the Pale Blue Dot website
Flag of Earth (Type #2)

The Pale Blue Dot Flag 2016

The concept of the Pale Blue Dot flag, also known as the Flag of Earth, or the Pale Blue Dot Home Flag, was inspired by Dean C. Wayland. He feels it is a perfect iconic image and emblem for our home planet. The design finds its origins in NASA's Pale Blue Dot image, inspired by Carl Sagan and Carolyn Porco in 1990, and earlier flags such as James Cadle's 1969 Flag of Earth. Wayland feels it is the "perfect icon beneath which to make our stand and set our sights upon the stars."

Wayland adds on his website that "After some 70 years of unprecedented relative peace, the world is entering a potentially deadly era of disunity, wherein people of small minds and narrow vision are seeking to divide humanity into warring camps. Some are even beginning to think the unthinkable - once again."

There are several very similar "pale blue dot" designs being used, differing with the size of the dots and using different shades of pale blue. Type #2, for example, sports a very small pale blue dot and reportably was used in the United States by a female demonstrator who was seen waving this particular design.


Image by Pete Loeser
Thin Orange Line Flag


Image by Pete Loeser
Thin Green Line Flag


Image by Pete Loeser
Thin Silver Line Flag


Image by Tomislav Todorovic
Thin Purple Line Flag


Image by Tomislav Todorovic
Thin Gold Line (Type #1)


Image by Tomislav Todorovic
Thin Yellow Line Flag


Image by Pete Loeser
Thin Red/Blue & Green Lines

More Thin Line/Mourning Flags c2016-2017

Starting with the thin Blue and Red line flags (Police and Firefighters) back in 2013, apparently all emergency services are now getting on the bandwagon resulting in a confusing collection of similar flags. For example, now being both sold and flown in the United States are the following flags:

Image by Pete Loeser
   
Image by Pete Loeser
Thin Orange Line Flag
Search and Rescue Personnel
(SAR)
   
Thin Green Line Flag
Border Patrol, Park Rangers,
Game Wardens and Conservation Personnel
Image by Tomislav Todorovic
   
Image by Pete Loeser
Thin Silver Line Flag
Correctional Officers
   
Thin Red Line Flag
Registered Nurses
Image by Tomislav Todorovic
   
Image by Pete Loeser
Thin White Line Flag #1
Emergency Medical Services
   
Thin White Line Flag #2
Emergency Medical Services

The Thin Purple (Violet) Line is for persons who died or suffered great injury while in political office due to violence. However, many of these flags seem to now be associated with multiple meanings, depending who is flying or using them. Examples would be that although the Thin Red Line Flag with white background is said to represent Registered Nurses, the same Thin Red Line design originally was used to represent an out-gunned military unit holding firm against attack.

The Thin Green Line Flag representing Federal Agents such as Border Patrol, Park Rangers, Game Wardens and Conservation personnel, is also now consider to represent the military as well. The yellow striped flag is being used for security and loss prevention officers, but also for fallen road and construction crews, and persons who gave their lives in service to transportation services in the line of duty (including school bus drivers). Apparently these flags have also been re-purposed to other unrelated political causes. For example, the orange line is now being promoted to the concept of carrying concealed firearms.

Image by Tomislav Todorovic
   
Thin Gold Line (Type #2)
   

One of the newest of these "Thin Line" flags being marketed seem to be the Thin Gold Line flags of the Emergency Dispatchers and Communication Personnel (Type #1 and #2). The size of the thin Line on the Type #2 seems to be a bit wider, placing it somewhere between the height on the 2016-17 variants shown above and height on the Police Mourning and Fire Fighters Support Flags of c2002. One suspects that there will be even a wide variety of Manufacturers variants appearing as these flags evolve.

Perhaps the Thin Red/Blue and Green Lines flag says it all. This appears to support the police and law enforcement, the firemen and fire fighters, federal officers and rangers, the military, and the bottom white stripe could be said to represent all the Emergency Medical Service personal. I wonder when the there will be a rainbow-like flag with all the white stripes a different colors to represent all first responders?


Image by Pete Loeser
Blue Lives Flag 2017

Duty Honor Courage Flag

The recent senseless violence directed at the police has spawned new concern and support for the majority of the hard-working police who try to do their duty with honor and courage.

This flag places an image of the Thin Blue Line (Stars and Stripes version) flag on a plain white field with the blue text "DUTY HONOR COURAGE" above the flag image, and the blue text "BLUE LIVES MATTER" below the flag image.


Image by Pete Loeser
All Lifes Flag 2017

All Lifes Matter! Flag 2017

Another flag meant to protest the increasing and senseless violence that seems to have become a worldwide phenomena, and supporting peace and the worth of all individuals is this message flag being sold in the United States.

This message flag places a black (slightly rotated left) peace sign on a turquoise field behind the large white text "ALL LIVES MATTER!", but hard to see is the twitter message in small white text of "#stoptheviolence" under the "MA" of the larger text message.


Image by Pete Loeser
Orlando Pride Flag

Pulse Memorial Flag 2017

This special flag remembers the terrorist attack on the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, one year after. The incident is considered one the deadliest examples of hate-crime violence against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in United States history.

On June 12, 2016, a 29-year-old security guard named Omar Mateen killed 49 people and wounded 58 others in a senseless hate attack on a gay nightclub named The Pulse. Eventually he was shot and killed by law enforcement officers after three-hours of unsuccessful negotiations. They finally made a breach in the night club walls by crashing an armed car through them. This flag remembers the victims of that attack.


Image by Tomislav Todorovic
Texas Thin Blue Line

Image by Tomislav Todorovic
Texas Thin Blue Line

Texas Thin Blue and Red Line Flags 2017

It was only a matter of time that the Thin Line flags would begin to evolve into state flags. Texas appears to be the first state in the USA for which Thin Line Flag designs have appeared which are derived from their state flag. This flag design is intended to act as a testament to the valor of the majority of Texas police officers who serve to protect the Texas public. The courage exhibited by officers in the line of duty is represented by the Thin Blue Line in the center of the flag. The solemn black background acts as a memorial to the lives lost while shielding citizens from danger.

The Texas Thin Blue Line flag is derived from the state flag by repainting the blue and red fields into black and grey and adding a blue horizontal stripe over all three fields but under the star.

The Texas Thin Red Line flag is also derived from the state flag by repainting blue and red fields into black and grey and adding a red horizontal stripe. The Thin Red Line American Flag honors the Texas fire-fighters who risk their lives to rescue and protect the public from fire and who act as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) at accidents and medical emergencies.

Designs derived from other states' flags already exist, but currently only appear as patches, decals, and the like. We expect to see this practice to spread.


Image by Tomislav Todorovic
Solid Red "Rainbow" Flag

Image by Tomislav Todorovic
Solid Orange "Rainbow" Flag

Image by Tomislav Todorovic

Solid Yellow "Rainbow" Flag

Image by Tomislav Todorovic

Solid Green"Rainbow" Flag

Increased Use of Solid-Color Rainbow Flags 2017

An interesting phenomena has developed in the gay movement; they basically have broken-up their traditional 6-striped Rainbow Flag (Red-Orange-Yellow-Green-Blue-Violet) into individual colored flags of the rainbow. As strange as this may sound, it has definitely added impressive new color to their LGBT demonstrations as the large colorful flags are waved above their heads as they march.

Image by Tomislav Todorovic
Image by Tomislav Todorovic
Solid Indigo "Rainbow" Flag

Solid Violet "Rainbow" Flag

Image by Tomislav Todorovic
Image by Tomislav Todorovic
Solid Turquoise "Rainbow" Flag
Solid Pink "Rainbow" Flag

Reports of adding solid color flags of the additional two colors (turquoise and pink) from the original Eight-Striped Rainbow flags have also been received. The usual order of the stripes on Eight-Striped Rainbow Flags are usually Pink, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Turquoise, Indigo and Violet.

It must be remembered that the original Rainbow flag had eight stripes, later simplified to seven stripes, and finally down to the popular commonly used six-striped version. In short, each set of flags employs the colors Gilbert Baker used on one of his flags.

The rainbow flag concept has been modified and adapted into many variants over the years. To see a more complete collection of LGBT rainbow flag images without detailed text (Click Here)



California Republic Flag
(California State Flag)


Image from Pete Loeser
Blue and Gold Variant
(used as Protest Flag)


Image from Pete Loeser
Purple and Gold Variant
(used as Protest Flag)


Image from Pete Loeser
Red and Gold Variant
(used as Protest Flag)

California Republic Flags Used as Protest Flags 2017

President Trump's Executive Orders limiting immigration and suspending the admission of refugees, his threats to cut off federal funding to cities or states that hosted so-called "Sanctuary Cities", his comments on everything from renewable energy and the Greenhouse Effect to gun laws and health care, have caused a series of marches, rallies and protests in California climaxing on the May Day (May 1, 2017) where immigrant groups and their allies carried out huge protests across the state. There is no question that California, with the sixth largest economy in the world, has the numbers, dollars and clout to at very least serve as the center of the Trump opposition in America.

When the Trump Administration threatened to cut off Federal funding to cities or states hosting Sanctuary Cities who refused to have their law enforcement officers seek out and arrest undocumented illegal aliens in California, an interesting grass roots flag practice has been noticed. On homes that once proudly displayed the national flag in the past, the practice of replacing the Stars and Stripes with the California Republic Flag has become a quiet protest of the federal government's demands. Several protest variants of the California Flag have been re-purposed and reported, including the black/white and grey mourning flags.

Governor Jerry Brown said in his State of the State speech in January that "We must prepare for very uncertain times and reaffirm the basic principles that have made California the great exception that it is." He declared that California would not compromise its crusade to fight climate change or stop welcoming immigrants with protective arms. "California is not turning back, not now, not ever" he added.

Image from Pete Loeser
   
Image from Pete Loeser
Black and Grey Variant
   
Black and White Variant

Of course, California cannot stop federal immigration officers from conducting deportation raids in the Golden State, but the state can stop local cops and deputies from helping the feds enforce immigration laws. They also apparently plan on denying them use of their prison facilities. In the California legislature State Senate Bill 54, known as California's "sanctuary state bill," it will severely restrict how much local law enforcement can work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement if passed. It will ban state agencies from asking and collecting anyone's immigration status, and it would stop ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Protection offices from using local jails and restrict their access to some state databases, but the bill would not completely eradicate cooperation between local and federal law enforcement.


Image by Tomislav Todorovic
Rainbow Variant Flag

Thin Line Rainbow Flag 2017

In the apparent rush to add everybody's cause to the Thin Line flag design, this interesting combination has emerged. Combining the Thin Line/Mourning US Flag with the Gay Rights Rainbow flag we get this curious merging of mixed messages - mourning, pride, civil rights, and defiance.

The use of the Rainbow design, begun back in the 1970s with the American Gay Rights/Gay Pride (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender, or simply LGBT) movements has now seen many variants as can be seen clearly on the Rainbow and Pink Triangle Flags page, and today is a recognized symbol of their pride and defiance. It now has now clearly been merged with the thin line design message.


Image by Tomislav Todorovic
Thin Line Flag Variant

Thin Red-Blue-Orange Line 2017

Another flag which combines more than two Thin Line colors has recently appeared: the stripe beneath the canton is parted red and blue, standing for the police and fire fighters, and an additional orange stripe is placed beneath it and said to represent emergency medical service.

Unfortunately, as flag manufacturer's rush to take advantage of the thin line craze, these flags and the causes they represent are becoming blurred together in an over abundance of mixed messages. What began as a simple design with a clear cut message as a Police Morning flag in 2002 has now been combined with the United States flag and a host of Support/Morning flags attempting to honor our emergency first responders, the meaning of which are now becoming little understood by the general public.


Image by Rick Wyatt
Garvey flag
(carried by the counter protesters)

Image by Pete Loeser
Thin Blue Line Flag
(carried by ultra right protesters)

Image by Rick Wyatt
Confederate Flag
(carried by ultra right marchers)

Unite the Right Rally August 11-12, 2017

The 2017 violent clash between shield carrying ultra-right marchers and ultra-left counter protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, gave birth to a flurry of new flag variants as the two opposing forces met head-on in the explosive demonstrations. Present were numerous Confederate Flags and even some National Socialist flags being waved by the marching extremist who were there to protest the threatened removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee. What didn't seem present at all were the stars and stripes of the United States of America, except for one "Thin Blue Line Flag" mixed in with the ultra right flags. The extremist represented a wide variety of white supremacists, white nationalists, neo-Confederates, Klansmen, neo-Nazis, and militias. The right-winged groups embolden by the apparent swing to the right by the present administration in Washington took the chance to emerge from the shadows to publicly support their white racist sentiments, only to be met with a violent backlash from an equal number of outraged left-winged protesters who attempted to play a dangerous game of "seize that flag" from the hands of the marchers. The result was naturally an explosive emotional mixture that resulted in one death and many injuries on both sides.

The following groups and their flag or symbols were seen at the resulting riots:

  1. Anti-Communist Action
  2. Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
  3. Identity Evropa.
  4. Identity Dixie.
  5. National Socialist Movement.
  6. Southern Nationalist Network.
  7. Southern Nationalist/Neo-Confederate.
  8. Traditionalist Worker Party.
  9. Vanguard America and Vanguard-Texas.
Also seen were the Afro-American Flag, also known as the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) or Garvey flag and Police Mourning or Thin Blue Line Flags being carried by the counter protesters.


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