Asafo flag - ROM2015_14959_5


Asafo flag

Maker: Unidentified Artist and Workshop
Medium:Cotton, applique, embroidery
Geography: Unidentified Company, Ghana
Date: c. 1940
85 × 144 cm
Object number: 2012.65.34
Credit Line: Federico Carmignani Asafo Collection; This acquisition was made possible with the generous support of the Louise Hawley Stone Charitable Trust
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.

This flag is unique in that it is an impositon on a stretched-out Union Jack that occupies the entire flag. A road is leading to a castle in the middle. It may depict the proverb "It is not wrong to go back for which you have forgotton.", or Sankofa (san - to return; ko - to go; fa - to seek.)

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