List of black flags

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This is a list of flags which are entirely or largely black.

In history[edit]

  • A black flag (Black Standard) was used by Muhammad to represent his religion.[1] It was used as the standard of the Abbasid Caliphate. It has also been stated that it will be the flag of the army that will fight the Dajjal.
  • During the "Bauernkriege" in Europe in the 16th century the black flag was used by the revolting farmers.
  • The black flag with the motto Viurem lliures o morirem (We live free or die) was flown by Catalan army and militia corps during the final stages of the War of the Spanish Succession, when the Allies had already abandoned Catalonia that fought alone against the Spanish and French armies during 1713-1714. This black flag was packaged in 2012 with the historical novel Lliures o Morts (Live Free or Die) authored by Jaume Clotet i David de Montserrat.
  • The Black Flag was flown by certain irregular Confederate Army units in the American Civil War of 1861-1865 to symbolize that they would neither give, nor accept quarter; symbolizing the opposite of the white flag of surrender.
Solid black flag; flag of the Emirate of Afghanistan from 1880-1901.

Jihadism in the 20th/21st century[edit]

In Ali Soufan's book "The Black Banners", he explains the title by noting that quotes from various Hadiths regarding "Black Banners" of a "new army" taking over Khorasan have some kind of prophetic significance with many modern adherents of Jihadism. He notes that it is "not a coincidence" that Osama bin Laden made al-Qaeda's flag black. Soufan also notes that there is debate about whether the prophet Mohammed actually spoke some of the quoted Hadiths (such as one attributed to Abu Hurairah). He also notes that Sheikh Salman al-Ouda has said the Black Banner hadiths are not able to be authenticated.[3]

In society[edit]

  • Black flags are often associated with funerals in the West, particularly state funerals and public mourning.
  • In the former Yugoslavia, a plain black flag is the flag of mourning. It is displayed for 40 days after death on the deceased person's house.
  • Black Flag is another name for the Jolly Roger, a skull and crossbones on a black field, and is associated with pirates.
  • The black flag is the symbol of the Jewish ultra-Orthodox, anti-Zionist group, Neturei Karta. It is flown as a sign of mourning over the creation of the State of Israel, most commonly on Israeli Independence Day.
  • The Swedish Pirate Party have a black flag as a symbol, shaped like the letter P.

In competition, as a signal[edit]

  • The black flag is a racing flag used to summon a driver to the pits.
  • In sail racing, when the black flag is displayed with the preparatory signal, a boat that is over the starting line in the minute prior to the starting signal is immediately disqualified without a hearing.
  • In some forms of racing, a black flag is used to disqualify competitors or indicate some other penalty (such as a forced pit stop in NASCAR).

See also[edit]