Asafo flag - ROM2016_15057_17


Asafo flag

Maker: Unidentified Artist, Kormantse Workshop
Medium:Cotton, rayon, applique, embroidery
Geography: Tuafo No.1 Company, Gomoa Dago, Ghana
Date: acquired in 2014
103 × 139 cm
Object number: 2014.59.20
Credit Line: This acquisition was made possible with the generous support of the Department of Museum Volunteers Acquisition and Research Fund
Not on view

Warfare is not something that takes place only in the battlefield. For the asafo companies of western Ghana, competition among groups took as much an aesthetic as a military form. These military companies use flags to represent, in vivid and graphic ways, the values and ethos of the group.

In 1958, the elders of No. 1 Company received a flag of Ghana directly from the hands of President Kwame Nkrumah when he visited the region. The presidential gift legitimized the introduction of a new range of symbols into the company’s display. These included the Ghana coat of arms. This flag was one of many flags with this motif owned by Tuafo No. 1 Company. It was purchased in 2014 with the full agreement of the company leaders. It was made by either Kwame Suromanyi or his brother Kwesi Asemstin in the late 1990s or early 2000s.

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