Anarchists are opposed to hierarchy – any system that favors the few at the expense of the many is opposed by default. But what is the central mode of oppression? Different camps make different claims, and they use different flags to show what it is they see as the means of oppression.
Black Flag | Anarchism
“Liberty! Equality! Solidarity!”
While a solid white flag is the universal sign of surrender (to opposition), a solid black flag is the universal symbol of resistance (to oppression). “Anarchy” refers to the absence of RULERS – not the absence of RULES. It is NOT a synonym for “chaos” (the absence of order). To emphasize that, some anarchists add the letter “A” (for anarchy) inside an “O” (for order) to the center of their flag: The resulting “Circle-A” Ⓐ represents “order from anarchy” (and other things).
Red & Black Flag | Anarcho-Syndicalism
“Workers of the world unite!”
Red (for socialism) and black (for anarchism) is the flag of anarcho-syndicalism. Anarcho-syndicalists view revolutionary industrial unionism (or syndicalism) as a method for workers in a capitalist society to gain control of an economy and, with that control, influence broader society. They see capitalism as a system of inequality that exploits both human and natural resources.
Green & Black Flag | Eco-Anarchism
“People and planet before profit!”
Green (for nature) and black (for anarchism) is the flag of eco-anarchism. Eco-anarchists extend anarchist ideology beyond class struggle to include a critique of interactions between humans and the world around them, their goals being not only lasting liberty, equality and solidarity but also long-term environmental sustainability.
Purple & Black Flag | Anarcha-Feminism
“Women’s rights are human rights!”
Purple (for feminism) and black (for anarchism) is the flag of anarcha-feminism. Anarcha-feminists view patriarchy and traditional gender roles as a form of involuntary coercion that should be replaced by decentralized free association. They believe the struggle against patriarchy is an essential part of the struggle against the state and capitalism.
Orange & Black Flag | Mutualism
“The land belongs to those who work it!”
Orange (a blend of red for socialism and gold for markets) and black (for anarchism) is the flag of mutualism. Mutualists believe producers should possess the means of production, either individually or collectively, and seek a liberated market without capitalism wherein private property is abolished and replaced with occupation-and-use ownership.
Pink & Black Flag | Queer Anarchism
“We’re queer and here to fight fear!”
Pink (for LGBTQ) and black (for anarchism) is the flag of queer anarchism. The anarcha-queer advocates anarchism and social revolution as a means of homosexual, bisexual and transsexual liberation and abolition of homophobia, lesbophobia, transmisogyny, biphobia, transphobia, heteronormativity, heterosexism, patriarchy and the gender binary.
White & Black Flag | Anarcho-Pacifism
“Give peace a chance!”
White (for pacifism) and black (for anarchism) is the flag of anarcho-pacifism. Anarcho-pacifists reject the use of violence in the struggle for social change and the abolition of the state. They see all governments as institutions with a legal monopoly on violence, and believe resistance must be nonviolent or else nothing will ever truly change.