• Wed. Mar 29th, 2023


CINCINNATI, OH — For the third consecutive year, City officials have raised the Pan-African flag on the flagpole at City Hall in observance of Black History Month and as a symbol of collective commitment to racial justice.

The Pan-African flag — a tricolor of red, black, and green — symbolizes Black pride and the worldwide liberation of Black people.

“I am honored to represent the City of Cincinnati at this third annual raising of the Pan-African flag at City Hall,” said City Manager Sheryl Long, who authorized the raising of the flag. “Seeing this flag raised on this pole provides inspiration of what many will continue to work for.”

The flag-raising event this past Friday included music by the Hughes All Star Marching Ensemble and Living Proof and the Congos, a performance of “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” (often referred to as the Black national anthem), a libation ceremony, and remarks from several speakers, including:

  • Leah Saho (Cincinnati Kwanzaa Committee)
  • Joe Mallory (President, Cincinnati NAACP)
  • Toilynn O’Neal Turner (Robert O’Neal Multicultural Arts Center)
  • Ras Yeremiah Tafari (Cincinnati UNIA, Nefertiti Akhenaton Division)
  • Iris Roley (Community activist and City consultant)
  • Asja Bard (Cincinnati Freedom Center)

Mayor Aftab Pureval, Vice Mayor Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney, and City Council President Pro Tempore Victoria Parks attended, along with members of City Council and Human Relations Office Director Paul Booth.

“Cincinnati is a city of diverse cultures, so during Black History Month, it’s a joy to celebrate the descendants of the African diaspora,” said Vice Mayor Kearney. “Everyone is welcome as we raise the Pan-African flag and celebrate Black history in Cincinnati.”


The Pan-African flag was formally adopted in 1920 by the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) in then-leader Marcus Garvey’s first official Declaration of the Rights of the Negro Peoples of the World. Inspired by other liberationist movement flags for oppressed ethnic minorities, it was created to celebrate and honor Black Americans and all people of the African Diaspora.

The flag is a tricolor of three horizontal stripes:

•     RED represents the blood that unites all people of Black African ancestry and that has been shed for liberation;

•     BLACK represents Black people whose existence as a nation, though not a nation-state, is affirmed by the flag;

•     GREEN represents the abundant natural wealth of Africa.