Among the Fante people of coastal Ghana, small local militias known as Asafo play an important role in community and political life. Rivalries among the Asafo companies are common, and many flags are specifically designed as challenges or insults to rival companies. Others are based on proverbs, with subtle references to local events or personalities.

This flag presents a frightened looking man, perhaps an intruder, with a hand raised to his open mouth, facing an impressive group of armed women in two lines. The two women closest to the man carry a flag and a drum while the others carry rifles and a machete. The initials of the militia are embroidered along the bottom edge. The design evokes the saying “When even our women have been prepared for war, what are our men capable of?” Before their independence from the United Kingdom in March 1957 many of the flags featured the Union Jack in the upper left corner, much like this example. Later flags can be dated because of the inclusion of the Ghanaian flag. The Fante Asafo flag is part of a unique textile arts tradition, as well as a vibrant form of graphic design.

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