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Ashanti people (Ghana)

Asanteman Flag

Last modified: 2022-09-17 by ian macdonald
Keywords: ashanti | variation | throne | star: 5 points (white on red) | cross (yellow) | chevron (yellow) |
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Yellow-white-green-black flags

According to my files the flag of the Ashanti has several variations. Sources are McMeekin [mee03] and the Fachinger-collection [fcgXX] at the Museum at Bremerhafen (DE).
Falko Schmidt, 16 February 2001

Simple horizontal tricolor

Yellow over black over green horizontal stripes with a yellow device in the black stripe.
Falko Schmidt, 16 February 2001

Fimbriated horizontal tricolor

Ashanti flag image by Falko Schmidt, 02 March 2001

Yellow over black over green horizontal stripes with small white fimbriations between the stripes and a yellow throne-emblem in the middle stripe.
Falko Schmidt, 16 February 2001

Horizontal tricolor in canton

Ashanti flag image by Falko Schmidt, 02 March 2001

Flags used by uprisings: yellow with a green-white-black horizontal striped first quarter.
Falko Schmidt, 16 February 2001

Vertical tricolor in canton

Ashanti flag image by Falko Schmidt, 02 March 2001

Flags used by uprisings: yellow with a green-white-black vertical striped first quarter.
Falko Schmidt, 16 February 2001

Ashanti flag image located by Brendan Hennessy, 15 August 2022

An article on the Asante flag from this past June shows photos of a different design: https://myinfo.com.gh/2022/06/details-of-the-symbol-of-authority-of-the-ashanti-region-the-asanteman-flag/

The flag shown there has the same yellow-black-green horizontal tricolour but no white fimbriation, and a different symbol in the middle. To quote the article:

"The symbol in the Black at the centre of the flag is called “Gyemirekutu KYƐ” (Hat) which is made up of animal parts coated with gold-coloured paintings: Elephant Tail, Ɔwam ti (Hornbill Head), The Skin Covering the Elephant Kneebone, The Feathers of the Hornbill, Adwera (Portulaca Oleracea leaves)."

Clearer photos of the flag and the emblem can be seen on these pages:
https://www.facebook.com/MANHYIAPALACE/posts/what-does-the-colors-of-asanteman-flag-representlets-hear-from-you-raiseyourflag/2060441114257769/
https://twitter.com/ashanti_kingdom/status/1206525993260896256
https://afrikaleaks.com/en/ashanti-royal-court-kill-in-a-thousand-a-thousand-more-will-rise-up/
https://www.pngkit.com/bigpic/u2t4u2w7q8w7u2i1/
And the a picture of the literal hat itself can be seen here: https://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/maize/14689915.0001.001/1:10/--engaging-modernity-asante-in-the-twenty-first-century?rgn=div1;view=fulltext

This design seems much better attested than the one with the golden stool on it.

I also have some more scraps of information about the history of Ashanti tricolour. An undated mid-century picture of the Asantehene's Rolls Royce in this middle of this article shows a plain tricolour flag. It's black and white so you can't tell what the colors are but my speculation is that it's green-black-gold.
https://thepostghana.com/history-of-asantehenes-rolls-royce-20-25/

The 2010 book The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire by Piers Brendon describes the Asante national flag circa 1954: Green, gold and black, decorated with a cocoa pod and a porcupine. https://books.google.ca/books?id=eVnyQr2avocC&pg=PA523#v=onepage&q&f=false

Brendan Hennessy, 15 August 2022


King of Ashanti car flag

Ashanti flag image by Rob Raeside, 27 May 2018

The present King of Ashanti, Asantehene, Otumfuo (His Majesty), Nana Osei Tutu II, (since 1999) has a car flag, a horizontal tricolour of yellow over black over green, (with narrow white separation stripes between the central band & the other two bands). On the central black band is the yellow capital letters of ASANTEHENE spread over most of the central band. The flag also has a golden frill.
Sources: B.B.C. T.V., supported by Google Images.
John Duncan McMeekin, 27 May 2018

Here's another source for the same car flag in case we can't find the BBC one: https://www.ghpage.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Asantehene2.jpg (source: https://www.ghpage.com/photos-asantehenes-garage-tourist-site-visit-check-luxurious-cars/).

It seems, though, that the inscription is only featured on the obverse, since the reverse is a plain flag with colors, as seen in this other picture: https://i1.wp.com/www.ghpage.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Asantehene9-1.jpg?zoom=1.25&w=740&ssl=1 (source: https://ghanavibes.com/photosvideotake-look-luxurious-cars-asantehenes-garage/3/).
Esteban Rivera, 27 May 2018


Pan-African tricolor

Ashanti flag image by Falko Schmidt, 02 March 2001

According to Nations Without States [mnh96], the flag of Ashanti national movement is a horizontal tricolor of red, yellow, green with a five-pointed white star in the upper hoist. I’m not sure where the author obtained his information, but perhaps the flag is that of some contemporary Ashanti political movement.
Ned Smith, 16 February 2001


Miscellaneous Ashanti flags

The flags below were reported as "flags from the Gold Coast", with no further attribution.

Ashanti flag image by Rob Raeside, 19 May 2010

Sefwi Anhwiaso, from arms.
John McMeekin, 19 May 2010

Ashanti flag image by Rob Raeside, 19 May 2010

Hohoe.
John McMeekin, 19 May 2010

Ashanti flag image by Rob Raeside, 19 May 2010

Ashanti.
John McMeekin, 19 May 2010

Ashanti flag image by Rob Raeside, 19 May 2010

Ashanti Personal Standard.  Not sure what the line object is, but I reproduced faithfully from John's sketch.
John McMeekin, 19 May 2010

Ashanti flag image by Rob Raeside, 19 May 2010

Akwamu.
John McMeekin, 19 May 2010


Flag with cross and chevron (early 19th. cent.)

Ashanti historical flag image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 22 December 2006

It is a plain flag with a cross a little bit thinner than usual. In the lower hoist is a chevron.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 30 March 2006

The upper stripes seem to be stripes and not a red streamer, for they fly in unison with flag and show the same texture and shading.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 22 December 2006

In the Nationalmusset Copenhagen you can the a coloured copperplate-engraving, showing the Ashantis yams-feast in September of estimated 1740-1745. It was a fairly bloody event, for the Ashanti-King killed a slave, each time when an important person arrived, just to honour the guest. The so called highlight was a mass-slaughter at the end of the event.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 30 March 2006

You can see in the engraving big red parasols, the Ashanti-kings used instead of flags, as well as Dutch, British and Danish flags. There is however an unknown flag partially hidden by white objects. I don’t know, whether the flag is topped by a thin red pennant or not. Two versions are possible: plain (excl. pennant) or with stripes. (Source: Per EILSTRUP & Nils Eric BOESGAARD Fjernt fra Danmark, Copenhagen 1974: p.112-113.)
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 30 March 2006

Another version of the same portrait would seem to make it that the flag is blue: http://hitchcock.itc.virginia.edu/SlaveTrade/collection/large/bow-yam.JPG. Also, the other 3 flags are repeated a few time but not this one, could it be simply decorative?
Marc Pasquin, 1 April 2006

The cross is red, not yellow. The upper red stripe seems to flutter in unison with the blue/black area of the flag: not a red pennant hoisted above the flag against a white sky, but two top stripes, red and white.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 2 April 2006

In addition to the that and the point António made about the cross being red not gold, it should be noted that another website, referring to the above image, dates the event to 1817, not the originally reported 1745 or so. See http://web.grinnell.edu/courses/his/s05/his105-01/Slideshows/1600_Slavery_files/frame.htm#slide0040.htm. That may make a difference in identifying the flag [even if the author of the webpage can't tell the difference between the Dutch and French flags - the British flag does have the St. Patrick's cross so the image was definitely produced post 1801].
Ned Smith, 2 April 2006

I stumbled across yet another color variant of this same image. In this one the chevron is clearly gold and the cross is pinkish, distinctly lighter than the red of the top stripe (in fact at a quick glance, at certain lighting angles the cross might even be mistaken for pale gold, perhaps accounting for our original correspondent reporting both cross and chevron as gold).

This example was from a two-page illustration in The Horizon History of Africa (New York: American Heritage Publishing Co.; 1971: ISBN 07-030342-8) at the top of pages 392-393. According to the caption the illustration, which a website* describes as a colored lithograph, was taken from Thomas Bowditch's 1819 book "Mission from Cape Coast Castle to Ashante", and that the festival it depicts was "seen and sketched by Thomas Bowditch" in 1817.

And just as a further thought- since the illustration was apparently done for the publication, and possibly commissioned by a publishing firm and not the author/artist, it raises the question of how much input the colorist had from Bowditch.

* http://www.bridgeman.co.uk/search/view_image2.asp?image_id=234075&tmp= The Bridgeman Art Library Image Search Title The First day of the Yam Custom, from 'Mission from Cape Coast Castle to Ashantee', engraved by Robert Havell, published London 1819 (colour litho), Artist Bowditch, Thomas E (fl.1819)
Location © Lambeth Palace Library, London, UK
Medium colour lithograph
Century C19th

Ned Smith, 28 December 2006


 
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