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Last modified: 2022-05-01 by randy young
Keywords: anarchism | anarcho-syndicalism | anarchy | black flag | a | circled a | michel (louise) | star (red) | fist |
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Flags with anarchist symbology and/or of ideologically related political organizations worldwide: See also: External links:

Anarchist flag use

There is the red-n'-black flag, with or without the A; and the black one. I'm guessing, of course, but couldn't these different flags reflect different trends within the anarchic movements, being the red and black used by currents related with the anarcho-syndicalism and the black one used by the others?
Jorge Candeias, 17 August 1999

The black/red is used by anarcho-syndicalists but the black one (with or without circle-A) seems to be used by all other anarchists (and sometimes by the anarcho-syndicalists too).
Marcus Wendel, 17 August 1999

In addition to any other flags, a number of anarchists around the world may fly their national flags upside down as a symbol of distress (much like the mourning theme in the black flag) and a simultaneous denial of state authority.
Matthias Speer, 5 February 2003

Variants and composite symbols

Apart from the circle-A, another common symbol is a star (although I have seen a black flag with a white star carried by a neo-Nazi demonstration) or a raised clenched left fist (symbolising strength through unity and resistance — it is also an anarchist salute).
Matthias Speer, 5 February 2003

Red star on black

black flag with red star
image by Tomislav Todorovic, 17 May 2014

Black flag of anarchism may sometimes be charged with the communist red star, the resulting design resembling that of the flags of Zapatista National Liberation Front and Zapatista National Liberation Army. Such flag has appeared in Voronezh, Russia, on 1 May 2005, along with other anarchist flags. The photo gallery from the rally was available at the National Bolshevik Party website (no longer available online). Another Russian website describes the flag as the "general flag of anti-globalist movement, originally used by the anarchists and Zapatistas."
Tomislav Todorovic, 17 May 2014

The flag was also photographed in Bologna, Italy on 13 July 2007, at the Anti-racist World Cup (Italian: Mondiali Antirazzisti), the international gathering of anti-racist football supporters which takes place in Italy every year. The photo can be seen here:
Tomislav Todorovic, 30 September 2017

Non-anarchist use of anarchist symbols

Anarchism symbols (including the very word "anarchy") have been used also for ideologically unrelated causes, such as:
António Martins, 8 August 2004

As a teacher I see the anarchy symbol a lot at school. It is on stickers, drawings, etc. It is used by students to express their anger toward some of my controlling, domineering and fear-inducing colleagues.
Edward Mooney, 13 August 1999

It is not enough to be seriously considered as anarchist to just simply say so, or even just use the word in a compound name. We've seen anarcho-capitalists, anarcho-fascists, what next? ... Anarcho-christians, maybe? Like many other words in the political jargon, this is just an abusive and misleading useage of a formerly well-established term.
António Martins, 5 July 2003

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