Asafo Flags


      At the height of the slave trade in the eighteenth century, Asafo groups formed and used their flags to send messages of resistance and defiance to slavers, and backed up those flags with their fighting power.

      Who were the Asafo? In the eighteenth century, the Fante states  which were coastal fishing villages, consisted of many small, very independent groups of people. At no point has there ever been a "central state of Fante," so each individual group needed to provide its own protection. The militia groups that defended each state, from threats within and from the outside, are the Asafo.  Asafo groups also participated in cultural events and rituals that reinforced the bonds that held each unique community together. In essence, they were a wide organization of military and community-minded people who kept their state together!  

      The flags generally depict a historical event, an image of power or depict a confrontational proverb to threaten other rival companies. Several flags also include a British flag, Christian themes or mythical creatures not native to Ghana such as fragons and griffons as result of the influence of British colonialism. 

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