African-American Flag

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Pan African Flag
African American Flag (1990) in 2022 at the National Gallery of Art's showing of Afro-Atlantic Histories
ArtistDavid Hammons
Year1990 (1990)
MovementContemporary art
Dimensions142.2 cm × 223.5 cm (56.0 in × 88.0 in)
LocationThe Broad, Jack Shainman Gallery, Museum of Modern Art, National Museum of African American History and Culture, The New School, Studio Museum in Harlem

Untitled (African-American Flag) is a vexillographic artwork by American artist David Hammons from 1990, combining the colors of the Pan-African flag with the pattern of the flag of the United States to represent African diaspora identity. The flag replaces the red, white and blue colors on the traditional American flag with Pan-African colors.[1]

It was first created for the art exhibition "Black USA" at an Amsterdam museum in 1990, and its first edition was of five flags, which are now in major museum collections.[2]

The work's creation has been seen in the context of the inauguration of David Dinkins as the first African American mayor of New York City, following his 1989 election.[3] The following year Hammons was awarded the MacArthur Genius Fellowship for his "contributions to African American cultural identity".[4]

Collections and galleries[edit]

The original series was of five flags, these are sometimes known as the 'Amsterdam flags'. The original series was followed by another series of ten.

The original series flags include the versions in the collections of:

The work is also in following collections but it is unclear when they were created:

Display and symbolism[edit]

Since 2004 the Studio Museum Harlem has flown its version of the artwork above its entrance in Harlem, New York.[9]

Replicas of Hammon's flag are frequently flown social justice protests and demonstrations.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "African-American Flag".
  2. ^ a b Valentine, Victoria (30 May 2017). "Mixed Media: $2 Million Flag by David Hammons is a Work of Art, Political Statement, and Art World Commodity". Retrieved 2019-10-02.
  3. ^ Whyte, Murray (2016-12-02). "Stars and stripes? Whatever: six times artists subverted the American flag". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-10-08.
  4. ^ "Catalogue Essay - David Hammons - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale New York Wednesday, May 17, 2017". Phillips auctioneers. Retrieved 2022-07-28.
  5. ^ "David Hammons. African American Flag. 1990 | MoMA". The Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 2019-10-02.
  6. ^ "African-American Flag - David Hammons | The Broad". Retrieved 2019-10-02.
  7. ^ "African-American Flag". Smithsonian. Retrieved 4 June 2022.
  8. ^ "A Look at Nick Cave's Stunningly Colorful Show at Jack Shainman's New School". Hyperallergic. 2014-05-19. Retrieved 2019-10-02.
  9. ^ Tomkins, Calvin (9 December 2019). "David Hammons Follows His Own Rules". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2022-07-28.
  10. ^ Robinson, Shantay (14 July 2022). "How a Celebrated Artist Redesigned the Stars and Stripes to Mark His Pride in Black America". Smithsonian magazine. Retrieved 2022-07-28.