If a White Flag Means Surrender, A Black Flag Represents Anarchy

black-flg-1This stylized black flag represented as four black bars was designed by Raymond Pettibon for the band Black Flag. The four staggered bars suggesting a waving black flag is inseparable from the band. It suggest the DIY, anarchist ethos of the band Black Flag.

Anarchists have used the black flag as a symbol at least since the early 1880’s. The origin of the symbol is not clear, but it was adopted and bonded to anarchism during the latter half of the 19th century.

The black flag is a symbol negating all other symbols. The color black is a non-color or anti-color swallowing all other color. The black flag supposedly “negates all borders” and symbolizes the final abolishment of the state and everything connected with its rule. It also represents the anarchists’ allegiance to nothing; the plain black is therefore the total void of allegiance.

The black color and the black flag symbolize that the time of tyranny and oppression is to be ended, and that the rebellion against the oppressive rule will not stop, its rebels will not surrender nor be merciful. “Liberty or Death.” “Surrender or die!”