Last modified: 2002-06-14 by antonio martins
Keywords: anarchism | anarcho-syndicalism | anarcho-capitalism | ultra liberalism | acracy | libertarianism | politics | black flag | a | circled a | michel (louise) |
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Historically and in Europe, the anarchic tendencies have been fighting their fights in a more or less difficult alliance with the socialists and communists. This was so in the Spanish Civil War, for intance, and they do have some things in common, at least the hope for a social change/revolution for some or dangerous utopical dreams to others.
In the States, however, there’s a peculiar trend of anarchists that could receive in Europe the epitet of ultra-liberal. That is, they look at the Market as the sole ideal regulator of human society, and see the government as an unnecessary and expensive intrusion into the perfect mechanisms of the Market (remember that "liberal" in Europe does not mean the same as in the States).
Now, I’m would guess that these guys would never fly a red-n’-black flag, with or without the A. This leaves 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 Aug 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). Note that I
don’t call the anacho-capitalists anarchists;
I have never seen any them use any particular flag,
by the way.
Marcus Wendel, 17 Aug 1999
Neither would I, but they do. That’s probably
the reason why several anarchist trends are nowdays
calling themselves as libertarian instead of anarchist,
at least in Portugal...
Jorge Candeias, 20 Aug 1999
A black flag is the traditional international
anarchist flag. It «negates all borders».
Marcus Wendel, 13 Aug 1999
My personal consideration of the black flag is that it
donates «legance to nothing higher». Plain black represents
total voidness of legance.
Solver Hafsteinn Hafsteinsson, 19 May 2000
Regarding the symbolism of the colour black:
This is historically incorrect, possibly a myth associated to the mythical Louise Michel:
It is a black flag with a circled A.
Jamal Hannah 05 Oct 1995
The circle-a means "anarchy is order".
Ben, 02 Feb 2000
The origin of this symbol is unkown but it was
used by anarchists during the Spanish Civil War.
Marcus Wendel, 16 Aug 1999
I heard that the black flag with A was for
ultra-anarchist named "Acratas". This acratas
(I don’t know the english equivalent) are anarchist
that believe that each man is like an independent
Jaume Ollé, 21 Aug 1999
First used by anarchists
during the Spanish Civil War: The red flag of socialism
(Confederación Nacional del Trabajo) and the
black flag of anarchism
(Federación Anarquista Ibérica). The red and black
colours are also often used by the syndicalism movement.
Marcus Wendel, 16 Aug 1999
The red and black flag goes from bottom left to top right,
with red on top and black on bottom. The red is the red of the
communist flag, and symbolises material equality, or the
principle of «from each according to their abilities, to each
according to their needs». The black is the black of the
anarchist flag, and symbolises social freedom, the freedom of
each individual to do as they please so long as their actions
don't cause harm to others. Together red and black symbolise
libertarian communism. It goes diagonally as a negation of
nationalism and a reaffirmation of internationalism.
Ben, 02 Feb 2000
I believe the red over black
diagonal is most used as anarchist flag, at least
Ole Andersen, 14 Aug 1999
Perhaps so in Denmark, but not in Portugal. The
only anarchist flag I’ve seen around here was the
black flag with encircled "A".
Jorge Candeias, 16 Aug 1999
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 Aug 1999
Both arrangements (red/black diagonal
and circled A) may also appear together.
António Martins, 07 Dec 1999
Another anarchist flag:
Different in that the "A" is Green.
Phil Nelson, 14 Aug 1999