About the Banner

AAS Flag

The banner for the UIS African-American Studies program incorporates a variety of African and African-American images/symbols into the pattern of a flag.

Its background presents a merge from kente cloth on the left to the liberation colors: red, black, and green. This obvious symbolism represents the transition from the motherland of Africa to the new world. At the same time, it uses a traditional ceremonial kente in conjunction with the popular liberation flag dating back to Garvey, Rastafarianism, and numerous nationalist movements.

The adinkra symbol of Sankofa calls us to the fact that we must explore and honor our history if we are to be successful in the present and future. The Sankofa supports a black power fist reminiscent of the Black Arts and Black Power movements that stimulated most Black Studies programs and departments in the United States.

Finally, perched over the UIS dome symbol is the “drinking gourd,” what the Africans call the north star—the constellation that runaway slaves followed to their freedom.