It was originally created as the official banner of the African Race by the members of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA).
They formally adopted it in article 39 of the Declaration of Rights of the Negro Peoples of the World on August 13, 1920 during their month long convention held in Madison Square Garden, New York City, United States.
The three colors represent:
* Red: the blood that unites all people of African ancestry, and shed for liberation;
* Black: black people whose existence as a nation, though not a nation-state, is affirmed by the existence of the flag; and
* Green: the abundant natural wealth of Africa.
The flag was created in 1920 by the members of the UNIA in response to the enormously popular 1900 coon song "Every Race Has a Flag but the Coon," which has been cited as one of the three coon songs that "firmly established the term coon in the American vocabulary".
A 1921 report appearing in the Africa Times and Orient Review, for which Marcus Garvey previously worked, quoted him regarding the importance of the flag:
"Show me the race or the nation without a flag, and I will show you a race of people without any pride. Aye! In song and mimicry they have said, "Every race has a flag but the coon." How true! Aye! But that was said of us four years ago. They can't say it now...."
The flag later became an African nationalist symbol for the liberation of African people everywhere. As an emblem of black pride, the flag became popular during the Black Liberation movement of the 1960s.
In 1971, the school board of Newark, New Jersey, passed a resolution permitting the flag to be raised in public school classrooms. Four of the board's nine members were not present at the time, and the resolution was introduced by the board's teen member, a mayoral appointee. Fierce controversy ensued, including a court order that the board show cause why they should not be forced to rescind the resolution, and at least two state legislative proposals to ban ethnic or national flags in public classrooms other than the official U.S. flag.
In the United States, the flag is presently widely available through flag shops or ethnic specialty stores. It is commonly seen at parades commemorating Martin Luther King Day, civil rights rallies, and other special events.
Text Attribution: Wikipedia