The Black Flag
I took this photo at an IMF / World Bank action in D.C.
Black is a shade of negation. The black flag is a negation of all flags. It is a negation of nationhood, which puts the human race against itself and denies the unity of all humankind.
Black is a mood of anger and outrage at all the hideous crimes against humanity perpetrated in the name of allegiance to one state or another. It is anger and outrage at the insult to human intelligence implied in the pretenses, hypocrisies and cheap chicaneries of governments.
Black is also a color of mourning; the black flag, which cancels out the national, also mourns its victims – the countless millions murdered in wars, external and internal, to the greater glory and stability of some bloody state. It mourns for those whose labor is robbed to pay for the slaughter and oppression of other human beings. It mourns not only the death of the body, but the crippling of the spirit under authoritarian and hierarchal systems; it mourns the millions of brain cells blacked out with never a chance to light up the world. It is a color of inconsolable grief.
But black is also beautiful. It is a color of determination, of resolve, of strength, a color by which all others are clarified and defined. Black is the mysterious surrounding of germination, of fertility, the breeding ground of new life which always evolves, renews, refreshes and reproduces itself in darkness. The seed hidden in the earth, the strange journey of the sperm, the secret growth of the embryo in the womb – all these the blackness surrounds and protects. – Howard Ehrlich