What is does black American Flag symbolize?

The black American flag has become quite popular in recent years and it seems to be popping up more and more. But most people, even though they’ve seen it, have never been given an explanation for it. In fact, many people displaying the black American flag may not be informed about its history, and simply fly it because it “looks cool”. But don’t worry, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about it here.

History of the Black American Flag

Many people have said that the black American flag was first flown during the Civil War by Confederates. They also claim that it means “no quarter” or “no mercy”. What does that mean? Basically, it means that no prisoners will be taken and that enemies will be killed as opposed to being granted quarters as a prisoner. 


However, it’s not true to say that the black flags first originated during the Civil War. If some Confederates did wave the monochromatic black flag during the Civil War, but that’s not where it originates. But it seems pretty unlikely that this happened. We know because vexillologists (experts on flags) and historians alike have been consulted on the subject. 

Though they weren’t flown during the Civil War, black flags were flown by pirates. It was the exact opposite of the meaning that people now attribute to the black American flag, however. Black pirate flags meant that if you surrendered they’d grant you quarters, but if you didn’t surrender they’d kill you. Red flags meant that they would provide no quarter. 

The most well-recognized of the black pirate flags depicts a white skull and crossbones known as the Jolly Roger. It was flown by a number of famous pirates, including John Taylor, Edward England and Black Sam Bellamy. 

Though black flags have been flown by pirates in antiquity, we can blame people flying them in the modern era on a bit of recent art history. In the 1950’s an artist named Jasper Johns started painting black flags. He said that most American flags were “to be seen and not looked at” so he painted them in different colors and encouraged people to really examine them.

Black American Flag Meaning

Though many people have had different ideas of what the meaning of a black flag is, people in modernity seem to have attached their own meaning to the flags. 

The general consensus is that it means “no quarter” will be given, and that the military, soldiers or whomever is flying the flag won’t give up or give in, and they’ll kill enemies rather than take prisoners or show mercy. It’s meant to be the exact opposite of a white flag being waved in surrender.

It’s also worth noting that both military and some law enforcement officials have used American flags with muted colors in situations where the bright colors of the American flag would have contrasted with the landscape, giving away their position and compromising their safety. 

Many people have started flying them in recent years to protest things like Covid-19 vaccine and mask mandates.

Where Can I Buy Black American Flag Products?

No Quarter Black Flag- No Surrender Flag- Black American Flag


This gorgeous black American flag is 3x5 feet and is double-sided. It’s made from heavy-duty, tough and durable and water-resistant nylon for both indoor and outdoor display purposes, and it has both black stars and stripes embroidered on it. This is one of the best-selling black American flag products sold on the Bound By Honor shop, and it has 5-star ratings and reviews, so check it out today if you’re interested in black American flag merchandise!

Black American Flag- Snake Eating Sword- No Surrender

This stunning version of the black American flag is definitely a sight to behold, and it certainly gets the message across. What message is that? That you care deeply enough about your cause to fight for it, and that you won’t give up or surrender. It’s got a beautiful black background with black stars and stripes embroidered on, and a yellow snake eating a sword that says “No Surrender”. The snake really stands out, so it’s sure to catch the attention of anyone who looks at it and let them know how you feel!

Black American Flag Pewter Snowflake Christmas Ornament

If you’re looking for a truly unique black American flag product to decorate your home, or as a gift, then you need look no further! It’s made of high-quality pewter in the shape of a snowflake with a black American flag plainly displayed in the center and a silver string to hang it. It makes a great addition to any décor scheme, awards displays or celebrations. In particular, it looks amazing on a Christmas tree! It also makes a great gift, and people will surely love receiving a present of this unique and beautiful caliber!

Subdued American Flag- Black American Flag- Subdued Special Operations Flag

This is another 3x5 foot double-sided black American flag with black stars and stripes embroidered on. It’s a great option for anyone on the police force or members of the military. This is because flags with subdued or muted colors have been used by police and military personnel in areas where the bright colors of the American flag would have stuck out like a sore thumb and not only given their position away, but jeopardized their position. It’s also a great way to display the fact that you’re willing to fight for your cause.

Black Flag- No Mercy- Black American Flag Tumbler

Have you ever wished you could take your black American flag with you to display at your office, gym, or throughout your daily activities? Then this is black American flag tumbler is the product for you! It depicts the black American flag on the outside, has a stainless steel interior, and a clear plastic lid soas not to distract away from the black American flag design. It’s a fairly large tumbler, as well, holding up to 20 oz. This means it’s a great tumbler to carry to work, for walks, to the gym, or while running errands!


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