Africa, Ghana, ca. late 20th century CE. The Asafo or "war people" have traditionally created patchwork flags that visually represent a proverb. This hand-sewn cotton textile banner features wonderful appliqued figures and hand-embroidered details with identical images on both sides of the flag. It was displayed in ceremonial parades of the A1 Company and relayed a proverb - "If it were only the tortoise and the snail, the gun would not be fired in the forest" - with its images. Representing the A1 Company, the man in brown pants and light skin addresses a member of a rival Company. This flag suggests that if the A1 and rival Company behave as peacefully as the slow moving tortoise and snail who carry their homes with them, there will not be any warfare. Interestingly, the canton is inspired by the British Union Jack. Size: 60.5" W x 38" H (153.7 cm x 96.5 cm)
Traditionally, prior to 1957, the canton represented the British flag, but after 1957 when Ghana became an independent nation, the canton usually represented the Ghana national flag.
This flag was exhibited at the Free Library Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA in 2013. It was also published in "Emblems of Power- Asafo Flags from Ghana" by Mary S. and Paul P. Rosen, 2014, Fig. 75, p. 80.
Provenance: private New York, New York, USA collection; Exhibited at Free Library Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA in 2013; Published in "Emblems of Power- Asafo Flags from Ghana" by Mary S. and Paul P. Rosen, 2014, Fig. 75, p. 80.
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