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Modern American Protest and Message Flags - Part III

        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," or "Message Flags," I ignore them in these sections 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.

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 fire fighters, 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

(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.

Patriot Flag

The Patriot Flag 2017

The Patriot Flag is intended to honor those who gave their life in the service of the United States military and to show support for their families. It designer was John Carlisle Jr. of Mount Morris Township, Michigan, who donated a percentage of every sale to organizations that helped the families of "fallen patriots" or veterans in need. Its resemblance to the Gold Star Service banners given to those who have an immediate member of their family in active duty is no accident.

According to its designer the blue outlined golden star in the middle represents a fallen patriot, the white field is for the purity of the deceased, the red bars represent their blood given in service of their country, and the black fields symbolize mourning their valor.

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, voluntaryists, 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 Pete Loeser
President Obama Flag

Image by Pete Loeser
The ΩΨΦ Flag

50th Anniversary of the March on Washington 2013 (USA)

Tens of thousands marched to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the famous March on Washington of 1963 (also known as "The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom"). It was on that occasion that Martin Luther King Junior made his now-iconic "I Have A Dream" speech before some 250,000 people gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial. During the 50th Anniversary March in 2013, there were several unusual flags included among a very large display of the Stars and Stripes as participants celebrated not only the anniversary of the historic first march, but the fact that America now had its first "black" president with the election of Barock Obama, truly a milestone in the slow and painful progress of the American civil rights movement.

The first shown here is a modified US flag with President Obama's picture in the canton instead of the usual stars. Similar modified US Flags are quite common for sports teams and other such organizations, but this particular flag has met with disapproval by some less tolerant conservative American citizens. In 2012, when the Florida Lake County Democratic Party flew it under the American flag on a flagpole outside its headquarters, a group of local veterans forced it to be taken down. The flag had been flying for several months.

The second flag is that of the Omega Psi Phi (ΩΨΦ) fraternity, flown horizontally (sideways) from a pole by a marcher (as shown here) during the march. The fraternity was founded in 1911 at Howard University. Omega Psi Phi is the first predominantly African-American fraternity to be founded at the historically black university.

Image by Tomislav Todorovic
BLM Flag (Type #1)

Image by Tomislav Todorovic
BLM Flag (Type #3)

Image by Pete Loeser
BLM Flag (Type #5)

Black Lives Matter Movement Flags 2013

The growing activist movement named Black Lives Matter (BLM) has now become international, but originated in the African-American community. It campaigns against violence and racism towards black people. BLM regularly holds protests speaking out against police killings of black people, and broader issues such as racial profiling, police brutality, and racial inequality in the United States criminal justice system. It began in 2013 in Ferguson, Missouri, after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of African-American teen Trayvon Martin in February of 2012. Another similar group calling themselves "Black Life Matters United" also has a web presence.

Image by Tomislav Todorovic
Image by Tomislav Todorovic
BLM Flag (Type #2)
BLM Flag (Type #4)

The most widespread BLM flag (type #1) is black with the words arranged in three rows inscribed as shown with the text centered horizontally. A much less used flag (type #3) replaces black and white with yellow and black, respectively, and aligns the text along the left-hand edge.

One variant uses the Garvey colors (type #2) with each word centered upon a colored stripe and another variant (type #4) is black, charged with what seems to have become one of the official logos of the movement, adding three yellow horizontal lines below the white block letters.

In May of 2020 a video of a policeman kneeling on the neck of a black American causing his death would ignite worldwide protest demanding social change against police violence and the systematic racism existing in the United States and worldwide.

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 descent, 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 modeled on the flag used in Puerto Rico as the Republic of Puerto Rico Flag between 1873 and 1875.

Image by Tomislav Todorovic
The All-White US Flag

Brooklyn Bridge White "Stars and Stripes" 2014

The idea of an all-white Stars and Stripes has been around since the 1950s. The first appearance might have been in the 1955 painting named the "White Flag" by Jasper Johns. In the 1970s and 1980s a white flag, which was sold by the Paramount Flag Company, was created as an homage to the book The Stars and the Stripes by Boleslaw and Marie-Louise D'Otrange Mastai, which was published in 1973. The edges of stripes and canton were created by heavy stitches, making them look "whiter than white" - actually, less transparent than the rest of the field; the stars were embroidered on the canton, which produced the same effect.

Since then several other all-white US flags have appeared as parts of larger art projects, the most recent one being the all-white flags which were hoisted over the Brooklyn Bridge in 2014 by a couple of German pranksters. The bottom line of all this would be the concept of an all-white American Flag has been a reoccurring art theme, but without having developed any sort of universal meaning in the process. More recently, they seem to have provided the inspiration for an all-black variant of the same design.

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
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 appearance 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 describe "union strikers" by rich conservative "owners" in the Texas demonstration.

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 George W.Bush 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
Sometimes called "CSA Statement 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 Tomislav Todorovic
Arkansas-CSA Heritage
Tennessee-CSA Heritage

Some Tennessee and Arkansas flags would be the exceptions to the basic heritage design. Arkansas breaks the pattern by placing their logo centered on the naval flag.

Image by Randy Young
Tennessee-CSA Heritage Variant

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.

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

There were originally 13 Confederate states. For some reason a Missouri-CSA Heritage flag has not yet made an appearance. One wonders if the recently replaced Mississippi State flag of 1959 will not be joining these other heritage flags since their new Magnolia State flag of 2022 doesn't incorporate a Confederate battle flag in its design?

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.

More thin-line flags also located here.

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 by Rick Wyatt
Flag of Earth (Type #1)

75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor Flag (1941-2016)

On December 7, 1941, a successful sneak attack took place on Sunday morning by naval forces of the Imperial Japanese Navy on the United States Pacific Fleet stationed at Pearl Harbor near Honolulu, Hawaii. Approximately 2,335 Americans died in the attack, and 1,143 more were wounded. Twenty-one United States war ships were damaged or lost in the attack. On the day after the attack, President Roosevelt delivered his famous "A Date in Infamy" Speech to a Joint Session of Congress, calling for a formal declaration of war on the Empire of Japan. On December 11, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States, Congress then issued a declaration of war against Germany and Italy later that same day. World War II had officially begun for the United States.

With this awakening of the "sleeping giant", the industrial might of the United States transformed the Allied Nations in World War II. All but three of the ships damaged in the attack would be repaired and returned to service against Japan before the war's end. This flag commemorates the 75th Anniversary of the "infamous" naval attack.

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 (Type #1)

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

Image by Tomislav Todorovic
Thin Yellow Line Flag (Type #1)

Image by Tomislav Todorovic
Thin Red & Blue Lines

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
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, but the purple/violet line is sometimes being attributed the same meaning as well.

Image by Tomislav Todorovic
Image by Tomislav Todorovic
Thin Purple Line (Type #2)
Thin Yellow Line (Type #2)
Image by Tomislav Todorovic
Image by Tomislav Todorovic
Thin Gold Line (Type #2)
Thin White Line (Type #3)

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). Other new designs include the Stars and Stripes variants, one with separate red and blue lines instead of a single bicolor line and the other with all but one white stripes turned blue. One suspects that there will be even a wider 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?

There are similar flags above at Police and Firemen Support/Morning Flags

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 Pete Loeser
War Dogs (Gold on brown)

Image by Pete Loeser
War Dogs (Silver on black)

America's Forgotten Heroes Flags 2017

There are several veteran groups working to get recognition for our service "War Dogs" and their handlers. They have thus far been successful mainly at the state level, but are actively fund raising to establish more memorials for these forgotten heroes and their service.

One such group in Columbia, South Carolina, has been led by a Vietnam veteran Johnny Mayo. Mayo was an Army dog handler in Vietnam. He and his scout dog Tiger were searching for snipers or ambushes in the jungles of the central highlands of South Vietnam on October 16, 1970. Tiger was off leash, about 35 feet ahead of Mayo, when he hit a trip wire. Tiger sadly died from his wounds, but he saved Mayo's life and the soldiers of the 173rd Airborne Brigade following behind him. Tiger is an example of these brave animals who live and die unrecognized for their brave service.

In 2017, Mayo efforts led to having a Vietnam War Dog memorial built and dedicated at the S.C. Memorial Park in Columbia. These flags were part of the fund raising efforts. They show a stylized silhouette of a German Shepard with two combat helicopters flying overhead. The words "America's Forgotten Heroes" arch over the image in golden text and "War Dogs" appears underneath. A variant version of the flag shows all in silver on a black background.

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 -Texas (Patriot Front).
  10. Vanguard America.
  11. National Flag of Kekistan
  12. Mjölnir Flag
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.

Image by Tomislav Todorovic
Rainbow Diversity Flag

9-Color Diversity Rainbow Flag 2017

In March 2017, shortly before his death, Gilbert Baker created a new version of the Rainbow Flag, by adding the ninth stripe in lavender color, next to the stripe in hot pink. This color is meant to represent diversity, something Baker thought is endangered in present-day America.

Baker had 39 copies of this 9-Color flag made with the intention of having them displayed in San Francisco in June, for the 39th anniversary of the Rainbow Flag. After his death participants marched down Christopher Street to Christopher Street Pier, proudly carrying Baker's banners. Interestingly enough, Baker never sought a trademark on the Rainbow flag because he considered it "his gift to the world."

Image by Tomislav Todorovic
More Color More Pride Flag
Philadelphia, 2017

Image by Tomislav Todorovic
More Color More Pride Flag
Seattle, 2018
More Color More Pride Flags 2017-2018

The rainbow flag with added black and brown stripes was first hoisted in Philadelphia in June of 2017, as part of a campaign named More Color More Pride, which was aimed to turn public attention to the issues specific for LGBT "people of color" (of African and/or Latino origin), who often face neglect and even racism even within the LGBT community. The new flag had produced the whole range of reactions: the opponents of idea insisted that the rainbow colors are already a complete symbol of inclusion, so black and brown stripes are unnecessary, or even divisive, while the supporters not only agreed that the addressed issues are real, but also found the others to point out, such as the pronounced homophobia among the people of color themselves. Regardless of all opinions, the flag did catch on and was used in Philadelphia in 2018 again, as well as in other places, such as Washington, DC and Athens, Ohio.

A futher derivation of this concept is the flag which was raised in Seattle on June of 2018 to mark the beginning of the Pride Month. There, colors of the Transgender Pride Flag (pale blue, pink and white) are added between the black and brown stripes at the top and the rainbow pattern in the lower part. The flag thus created is intended to symbolize the inclusion of the largest variety of identities.

Image by Pete Loeser
Honor & Sacrifice Flag 2017

Image by Pete Loeser
Honor & Sacrifice Flag
(with example of personalized text)

Honor and Sacrifice Flag 2017

Because of the increased fire fighter and law enforcement line of duty deaths in recent years, and as a way of honoring those who are giving their lives attempting to preserve and protect the nation's security through service in public safety, Honor and Remember organization started this program in 2016 on the 15th Anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks was initiated to recognize their honor and sacrifice, including personalized flags for the fallen and their families. On each flag, below the black text "Honor and Sacrifice", has the flags personalized with the person's name, service, etc. in red (fire) or blue (police or medical) lettering to be presented to their families.

On the Honor and Remember website, they state that the blue field symbolizes the law enforcement community, the purple field respectfully signifies mourning for a loss in the fire fighter community, the white field recognizes the purity of heart that the individual who serves and protects, regardless of the risk. The black star represents those who wear the badge proudly, including the sheriff and marshal services, the Red Maltese Cross recognizes all who have fallen in the emergency response communities, the gold shield recognizes all law enforcement and other public safety representatives who wear the shield, including EMT and have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. The folded flag signifies the final tribute to an individual life that a family has lost for the sake of others. The flame is an eternal reminder of the spirit that has departed this life yet burns on in the memory of all who knew and loved the fallen hero.

Image by Tomislav Todorovic
Diversity Flag

Diversity Flag 2017

This flag was used at the counter-protest to the Free Speech Rally, a rightist gathering which took place in Boston in July of 2017. The name matches the design well: a derivation of the USA national flag, with additional vertical red stripes along the hoist and fly edges (the first of these extending between the canton and bottom corner and the latter one occupying the whole edge) and ten vertical stripes in different colors, interlaced with the red stripes and arranged in the following order: gray (nearest to the hoist), pink, light brown, dark brown, black, purple, blue (same as the canton), green, yellow and orange (nearest to the fly). The design might have been partly inspired by the adding of black and brown stripe to the Gay Pride Rainbow Flag, which was done in Philadelphia in June same year.

Image by Pete Loeser
The "I Take A Stand" Flag

Image by Pete Loeser
The "No Fear" Flag

Image by Pete Loeser
The "We Fight Back" Flag

Presidential Inauguration Day DACA Protests 2018

The protests against Donald Trump's immigration policies began on Inauguration Day. A group of Americans of Latin American descent and others demonstrated in defense of the threatened Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). This was an American immigration policy that allowed some individuals who entered the country as minors, and had either entered or remained in the country illegally, to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and to be eligible for a work permit. These flags are composite flags that appear to have been made for this event only.

Image by Pete Loeser
"Make the Road, Pennsylvania" Flag

One interesting version of these flags is the "Make the Road, Pennsylvania" Flag. The "Make the Road" organization was created in the fall of 2007 to help immigrant welfare recipients who suffered illegal disruptions in their public benefits in the wake of welfare reform. The logo on the flag reads "Make the Road, Pennsylvania" on the top and on the bottom it reads in Spanish Dignidad, Comunidad y Poder (Dignity, Community and Power). The logo features a series of characters in black and white, over a set of houses, that represent the community (mostly immigrants). There are similar logos for branches in New Jersey, Connecticut, and New York.

Individuals participating in the DACA program are commonly referred to as DREAMers after the DREAM Act. This is a bipartisan bill first proposed in August of 2001 that was the first of a number of subsequent efforts in the US House and Senate to provide an opportunity for these illegal immigrants brought into the US as children to attend college and eventually become permanent citizens of the United States. It has failed several times.

Image by Tomislav Todorovic
California Thin Blue Line Flag

Image by Tomislav Todorovic
California Red Thin Line Flag

California Thin Blue and Red Line Flags 2018

The newest Thin Line flags to evolve into state flags are these two now being sold in California. These flag designs are intended to act as a testament to the valor of the majority of California police officers who serve to protect the California public. The courage exhibited by these officers in the line of duty is represented by the Thin black and blue Line at the bottom of the flag.

The Thin Red Line California Flag honors the 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. The solemn grey/black background acts as a memorial to the lives lost while shielding citizens from danger.

These Thin Blue and Red Line flags derived from the state flag by repainting the existing state flags into black and grey and adding either a blue or red horizontal stripes into the designs seem to becoming popular as more of the tragic and senseless shootings are occurring. Designs derived from other states' flags already exist, but mainly as patches, decals, and the like. We expect to see this practice to spread to more state flags in the future.

Image by Pete Loeser
XR-US Flag (White)

Image by Pete Loeser
XR-US Flag (orange)

Image by Pete Loeser
XR-US Flag (green)

Image by Pete Loeser
XR-US Flag (yellow)

Extinction Rebellion (XR) Flags 2018

This grassroots environmental movement began in the United Kingdom as Extinction Rebellion (XR), but has now spread worldwide including in the United States. Under the name "Extinction Rebellion US" (XR-US) the group is pushing non-violent rebellion against the United States government for its "criminal inaction on the ecological crisis." The movement worldwide hopes to "...utilize nonviolent resistance to avert climate breakdown, halt biodiversity loss and minimize the risk of human extinction and ecological collapse."

Image by Pete Loeser
Image by Pete Loeser
Image by Pete Loeser
Image by Pete Loeser
XR-US Flag (purple)
XR-US Flag (violet)
XR-US Flag (blue)
XR-US Flag (stencil)

XR-US is demanding that the US Government "...tell the truth about the climate and wider ecological emergency...(and)...reverse all policies not in alignment with that position alongside the media to communicate the urgency for change including what individuals, communities and businesses need to do." It further demands that "...the Government must enact legally-binding policies to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025 and take further action to remove the excess of atmospheric greenhouse gases." Critics of the movement feel it is demands are unrealistic.

The flags the movement use at rallies and demonstrations are square with their logo printed in black on a variety of colored fields. Their logo is a stylized hour glass within a circle (the earth) indicating "time is running out". Many appear home-made using a stencil as illustrated above.

Image by Ivan Sache
Image by Ivan Sache
Image by Ivan Sache
XR Flag Type #9
XR Flag Type #10
XR Flag Type #11

Variant flags containing a smaller XR logo centered above a stylized text "Extinction Revolution" have been reported in use in the United Kingdom and France as the movement continues to evolve.

Image by Pete Loeser
Puerto Rican Mourning Flag

Puerto Rican Black and White Flag 2019

As thousands of protestors demonstrated in San Juan in week long demonstrations against Puerto Rico's Governor Ricardo Rosselló, a black and white version of the Puerto Rican flag was seen mixed in with territorial flags. Demonstrators are calling for the resignation of Governor Rosselló, and the black and white flag is said to be an expression of their unhappiness with the island's current political status and the worsening financial crisis. Although Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States, since 1948 the island's governor has been elected by the people of Puerto Rico.

The flag is also said to be a mourning flag over the damage and deaths caused by Hurricane Maria, a perceived lack of governmental support for victims and their loses, and as a protest of the US government's placing of a federal control board over the commonwealth's government.

Image by Pete Loeser
100th Anniversary Flag

American Legion Centennial Flag 2019

The American Legion is celebrating its 100 Anniversary this year. It was chartered by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization. Today, its membership stands at nearly 2 million with more than 13,000 posts worldwide. The posts are organized into 55 departments for each of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, France, Mexico and the Philippines. Over the years, the Legion has influenced considerable social change in America, won hundreds of benefits for veterans and produced many important programs for children and youth. The Legion is one of the most influential nonprofit groups in the United States.

Therefore, nobody should be surprised that a special flag was provided to mark their centennial. Sept. 16, 2019, is American Legion Centennial Day.

Image by Pete Loeser
WWII Veteran's Flag

World War II Veteran's Flag

World War II (US involvement 1941-1946) was the most widespread war in history with more than 100 million people serving in military units. About 16 million Americans served during the "Great Crusade," and this flag is meant to honor that World War II generation, now called the "Greatest Generation" and their sacrifices made before they pass from the scene. Yielding to the inalterable process of aging, the men and women who fought and won the great conflict are now in their late 80s and 90s, and now dying at the frightening rate of 349 a day.

This flag design uses the World War II Victory medal and ribbon as its inspiration. The Victory medals were presented to all who served in the armed forces during World War II. The words "World War II Veterans" is written across the flag's fields in gold lettering.

Image by Pete Loeser
AIF "Organizational"

Image by Pete Loeser
AIF Flag (variant #1)

Image by Pete Loeser
AIF Flag (type #2)

Image by Pete Loeser
AIF Flag (type #3)
(Good Night Alt-Right,
a fist smashing swastika design)

Image by
AIF Flag (type #7)
(stars and stripes design)

Artist Unknown
Straight/Gay Ally Flag
(used, but not an Iron Front flag)

American Iron Front Flags

The American Iron Front (AIF) is an anti-fascist, pro-democracy, non-violent activist network who oppose far-right activity in the USA. They support anti-racism, anti-fascism, and encourage general inclusion of all. At the present time the group has not been tied to any violence in their activities. Because of this they are considered a protest group, not extremist, but of course this could change quickly in our uncertain times. They claim they aren't leftist looking for a Marxist revolution or abolition of organized government, but are against the teachings of the far-right extremist groups presently being encourage by the policies and behavior of the Trump administration.

The symbol they have adopted - three arrows pointing inside a circle - dates back to pre-World War II Germany when it represented an actual leftist political organization, also named the Iron Front, that stood in direct opposition to Nazis and has persisted as a visual representation of anti-fascism. In this latest reincarnation of the Iron Front symbol, the AIF apparently display the arrows facing downward in either direction on their flags (hoistward or flyward). The shield design used on their "House" flag is purposely modeled after the shield used by the Marvel super hero Captain America.

Image by Pete Loeser
Image by Pete Loeser
AFA Type #4
AFA Type #5

In August of 2019 during a Portland Timbers soccer game supporters waved a green and gold American Iron Front flag (type #4) at Providence Park in Portland, Oregon. This apparent displaying by the Timbers fans of the AIF flag resulted in a knee jerk banning of the fans from the stadium and has started a dialog about Freedom of Speech, etc. Apparently the controversy has spread to the games of the Seattle Sounders, another professional soccer team in nearby Washington State. Apparently a sign saying "Anti-fascist/Anti-racist/Always Seattle" joined the green flag being displayed in Portland. During the same month another version of the AIF flag, this one red, white and blue (type #5) made an appearance in the Straight Pride Parade in Boston, so we have activities on both coast by the American Iron Front.

Image by Pete Loeser
Image by Pete Loeser
AFA Type #6
AFA Parade Flag

This all led to yet another AIF variant appearing at a soccer game. The Seattle Sounders' supporters, who go under the name of Emerald City Supporters (ECS), have introduced another flag (type #6) with three arrows within the circle. Their flag also has a green field, but in the lighter emerald green of their team colors, and changing the charges in black. The ECS have been issued a formal warning from the Seattle Sounders about the use of political symbols, with which they disagreed regarding this one. It is worth noting that, despite the pronounced rivalry between Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders, their fans' organizations have been expressing solidarity with each other regarding the use of anti-Fascist symbols.

The use of the Straight Ally Flag was a bit ambivalent. The flag, using the black-grey "colors" stripes of the Straight Pride flag as a field, adds a large rainbow colored "A" (for Ally) to indicate straight support for the Gay Pride/Equal Marriage movement. The flag was used by the AIF as a counter protest of an anti-LGBT rally, showing that even non-LGBT people were also opposed to the "straight pride" message of the event.

Image by Pete Loeser
Breast Cancer Awareness Flag

Breast Cancer Awareness Month Flag 2019

The Pink Patch Project began in 2013 with the Seal Beach Police Department in Southern California, when the SBPD officers wore pink patches on their uniforms during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and sponsored by the American Cancer Society and similar organizations worldwide. Since then the Pink Patch Project has become a yearly event with multiple police agencies wearing special pink shoulder patches for the month to support breast cancer research. The program has expanded to include hundreds of emergency response agencies including, police, sheriff, fire, EMS and federal departments worldwide.

In October 2019, the Oxnard Police Department introduced a pink California bear flag as part of their Pink Patch Project observations during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Image by Pete Loeser
Friendship Flag (Type #1)

Image by Pete Loeser
Friendship Flag (Type #2)

Image by Michael Del Duca
Friendship Flag (Type #3)

Italian-American Friendship/Columbus Day Flags

Columbus Day is a national holiday in many countries of the Americas which celebrates the anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival on October 12, 1492. Columbus was an Italian explorer sailing for Spain who crossed the Atlantic in search of a faster route from Europe to the Far East. His first voyage to the "New World" on the Spanish ships Santa María, Niña, and La Pinta took approximately three months and was followed by three more longer voyages resulting in a flood of Spanish Conquistadors and other fortune hunters descending on the Americas. Although his arrival began an exchange of plants, animals, culture, human populations, and technology between the Americas and Europe often called the Columbian Exchange, it also attracted greedy and violent opportunists interested only in exploiting and enslaving the native populations in their search for riches. In the process European diseases wiped out large numbers of native peoples.

Image by Pete Loeser
Columbus Day "Stars and Stripes" Flag

Today it is not a universally recognized federal holiday in the United States but Columbus Day is celebrated as an Italian festival day for many Italian-Americans. Friendship Flags combining the United States and Italian flags can be seen flying along with many of the official national flags of both Italy and the United States at these celebrations. They include a less obvious version of the Stars and Stripes with the blue canton color replaced with an Italian green. Some of these flags have "Italian American" written in bold red capital letters on a navy blue band across the bottom (Type #3).

Image by Clay Moss
51-Star Puerto Rican Flag

Image by Pete Loeser
Puerto Rican Gold Flag

Puerto Rico Statehood Flag 2020
Puerto Rico Gold Flag c2017

Puerto Rico has been struggling in recent years to obtain US federal funds for a series of disasters, including hurricanes, earthquakes and now the Coronavirus pandemic. Being a US territory its residents are US citizens; they pay into the US Social Security system, Medicare, and other local taxes, but receive less federal help than states and the residents cannot vote in US presidential elections.

There have been five previous failed referendums held in Puerto Rico to decide the issue of Puerto Rico's statehood, but there will be a sixth held in November of 2020. If the Puerto Rican citizens do vote in favor of statehood, then the next step would be to get the US Congress to approve Puerto Rico's request for admission.

The 51-Star Puerto Rican flag began as part of a display on immigration at the Chicago Museum of Art in 2017, but in 2020 has gained new meaning for some. If Puerto Rico is granted statehood it would become the 51st state of the Union.

The Gold Puerto Rican flag began appearing in street art in various municipalities of the island and now has been embraced as a symbol of hope and resolve for a brighter future by the Puerto Rican people.

Image by Pete Loeser
Climate Change Flag

"Climate Change is Real" Flag 2020

Climate change is any long-term change, globally or regionally, in average weather patterns. These changes have occurred in Earth's history for many reasons. However the massive changes in global temperature and weather patterns today are caused by human activity, and they're happening much faster than ever before. Today climate change is linked to the emission of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide and methane) and trapping heat from the sun in the Earth's atmosphere causing the "Greenhouse Effect" and rapid "Global Warming." The result is violent storms, long term droughts in some areas and severe flooding in others. Those concerned about climate change are seeking ways to raise peoples awareness about global warming and what it may cause. They see the problem as, how do they get those in denial to realize the danger is real, and then to convince them to support solutions for the problem before it is too late?

This flag is obviously an attempt to do so in a rather simple way. A shame it is only one-sided and the message reversed on the backside when flown.

Image by Pete Loeser
BLM Flag Type #6

Image by Pete Loeser
BLM Flag Type #7

Image by Pete Loeser
BLM "Fist" Flag (black)

More "Black Lives Matter" Flags 2020

When in May of 2020 a black American named George Floyd was killed during an arrest in Minneapolis protests against police violence toward black people quickly spread across the United States and internationally. In Minneapolis a white police officer knelt on Floyd's neck for nearly eight minutes as he cried "I can't Breathe" until he died. A video of it went viral and an estimated 15 to 26 million people participated in the world wide protests against what was coined police violence towards black people. Spearheaded by the existing Black Lives Matter Movement (2013) the protest became one of the largest movements in United States history. They were soon advocating "defunding" the police and investing money directly into black communities and alternative emergency response models.

Image by Pete Loeser
BLM "Fist" Flag (white)

As these millions of demonstrators took to the streets in what organizers hoped to be peaceful demonstrations, violent and destructive agitators soon appeared and massive property damage and acts of vandalism occurred. The police responded and the stage was set. It seemed as though the world had suddenly woken to the systematic racism and how deeply rooted it was in society. New flags appeared, although massively out numbered by crude hand-drawn signs and placards. The raised fist symbol of racial injustice and protest appeared on these new BLM movement protest flags.

Image by Pete Loeser
BLM Rainbow Flag

Image by Pete Loeser
BLM Trans-Sexual Flag

BLM Sexual Orientation Flags 2020

A merging of the BLM with race, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity movements has become apparent with some of these flag designs. This in addition to escalating violence between demonstrators, citizens, and law enforcement, the destruction of historical statues, all beginning to cloud the original message.

Image by Pete Loeser
BLM "Rainbow Fist" Flag

As more dissident and extremist groups begin to infiltrate the initial grassroots movement wanting to get their share of the national spotlight, the BLM Movement might be in danger of becoming so fractured it may falter, but not before generating a whole genre of flags.

Image by Pete Loeser
Y'All Flag Type #1

Image by Pete Loeser
Y'All Flag Type #2

"Y'All Means All" Flags 2020

When a folk singer/song writer named John McCutcheon released a song titled "Y'all Means All" little did he know it would become a slogan that popularized a movement. His lyrics tell how his grandmother called his family into dinner by saying "Y'all come in, And y'all means all of you." By tapping into something Southerners all have pride in - the phrase y'all - the down-home country message has become a reminder that an inclusive community is really for everyone, not just one type of person. The use of the phrase caught on and began to spread.

The phrase has been adopted by a Madison County (Illinois) organization called "Rural Organizing and Resilience" (ROAR) which is dedicated to educating the mountain community on the impacts of racism, poverty and bigotry. ROAR sponsors an annual fund raiser to bail women of color from local jails around Mother's Day. They have led peaceful gatherings honoring the victims of racial violence on the courthouse steps in Marshall and engaged in difficult conversations on white supremacy and Confederate symbols with white audiences.

These particular Texas flags are reportedly being used by Flags for Good to help support Equality Texas, a leading advocacy organization defending the rights of LGBTQ Texans against attack, claiming tens of thousands of members across the state. They work to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration.

Gadsden Flag
(American Revolutionary War and
Tea Party's favorite)

Nation of Kekistan Flag
(Alt-Right 4chan Online Community)

Unleash the Kraken Flag
(Sea Monster Pirate Banner)

Jesus Fish Flag
(Christian Ichthys symbol)

Confederate Battle Flag
(Army of Northern Virginia)

Georgia National Flag
(The east European country)

Three Percenters Flag
(Extremist Militia Movement)

United States Marine Corps
(United States Military Branch)

Thin Blue Line Flag
(Police Morning Flag)

South Carolina Navy Ensign
(American Revolutionary War)

Republic of Vietnam Flag
(Old South Vietnam Flag)

Gonzales Banner
(Texas War of Independence)

Republic of Vietnam Flag
(Old South Vietnam Flag)

Confederate Battle Flag
with Assault Rifle
(Anti-Gun Control Movement)

Defaced National Flag
with QAnon Symbol and motto "Where We Go One, We Go All" in crude gold text above and below the symbol (which is not shown on this illustration)

Flags at the Capitol Hill Insurrection 2021

On January 6, 2020, rioting began after incumbent President Donald Trump held a rally at Ellipse Park for his supporters and encouraged them to march on the United States Congress Building and stop the Congress from certifying the results of the November presidential election, which he had lost. Unable to accept his defeat in the election he had continued to make baseless claims of election fraud. Telling his supporters the Democrats had stolen the election saying "All of us here today do not want to see our election victory stolen by emboldened radical Democrats", he urged his supporters to march on Congress "to fight" for his "stolen" victory. He believed he couldn't have possibly lost.

The result was his supporters - some of whom were armed and wearing body armor - made their way up the Capitol steps pushing their way through barricades, breaking doors and windows, and stormed into the Capitol building. The pro-Trump mob then moved freely about the interior, looting and vandalizing as they went. The members of Congress had been safely extracted to safety, but it took hours for law enforcement to clear the Capitol building and establish a perimeter around the area. Four people lost their lives in the riot.

Congress then reconvened and the House and Senate resumed its interrupted duel session. They ultimately went on to certify the Electoral College votes in the presidential election, with Vice-President Mike Pence, the presiding officer, declaring Joe Biden the winner early Thursday morning.

Many in the mob who stormed the US Capitol came armed with a portable and potent weapon: a flag and pole. There were hundreds of them. Many flags displayed have been tied to groups and individuals with agendas of white supremacy, anarchy, racism, anti-Semitism and hatred. There were large Trump election banners, battle colors from the American Civil War, neo-Nazi flags, Christian flags, and national and state flags. They made a strange twisted ideological quilt of those who believe that the US election was stolen from incumbent president Donald Trump. There was even a Trump Flag in the mix promising his return in 2024.

Here are some of the flags seen at the riot. There were many more.

Trump 2020 Flag #1
Trump 2020 Flag #3
Trump 2020 Flag #4
Trump 2020 Flag #5
Trump 2020 Flag #8
Trump 2020 Flag #9
Trump 2020 Flag #14
Trump 2020 Flag #15
Trump 2020 Flag #16
Trump 2020 Flag #19
Trump 2020 Flag #20

Trump 2020 Flag #34
Trump 2020 Flag #35
Trump 2020 Flag #36
Trump 2020 Flag #37
Trump 2020 Flag #38
Trump 2020 Flag #37

Trump 2020 Flag #40

Trump 2024 Flag #38

Trump-adorned flags of all types were on display, including one with the US president styled as a bazooka-bearing Rambo. The Trump lion motif flags (type #3 and #4) can be traced back to a quote from Benito Mussolini that Trump tweeted in 2016. It was used by the Lion Guard, a civilian group formed to "protect" Trump and his supporters, similar to the Proud Boys.

Flags of Canada, Cuba, Georgia, India, Israel, South Korea, and South Vietnam were spotted in the mob. It's unclear why many of these flags appeared, though a number of the white supremacist and militia groups that were present have international chapters. For example, the presence of the Canadian flag could have been because the white nationalist group the Proud Boys was founded by a Canadian.

The "Release the Kraken" flag references former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell's comments that she was going to "release the Kraken" when she falsely said she had evidence that would destroy the idea that Joe Biden won the presidency.

The fringe group QAnon believes a discredited far-right conspiracy theory alleging that a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles is running a global child sex-trafficking ring and plotting against Donald Trump, who is fighting the cabal. QAnon asserts that Trump is planning a day of reckoning known as the "Storm", when thousands of members of the cabal will be arrested. No part of the conspiracy claim is based in fact.

False "No Quarter" Flag

All Black Stars and Stripes 2023

Vexillologist Randy Young and Tomislav Todorovic have both verified the use of this strange all-black design by ultra-rightists who now falsely claim that all-black flags like them were used in the Civil War to indicate that no surrender would be accepted. This bit of modern extremist revision of history has been expanded to claim these imaginary black flags also were "no quarter" flags signifying that not only would no prisoners would be taken but any attempting surrender would be shot. This is all historically not true. However, the black flags (with way too many stars) do now exist and have been displayed by individuals for a variety of reasons, but have not adopted by any particular group or movement.

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