Sketches for a New Flag calls for us to reconsider what patriotism can look like for Black Americans, outside of stars and stripes or red, white, and blue. The African American flag by David Hammons is a widely known symbol, and it resonates with me personally. However, adding the Pan-African colors to the American flag isn’t enough for me. In my Sketches for a New Flag, I used The Black American Heritage Flag by Melvin Charles and Gleason T. Jackson and the Harvey African American flag by Tonya and David Harvey as my launching point.
The construction of the flags continues the lineage of Black Americans working in collage and assemblage. Though collage was not coined by Black Americans, it is a form of artistic production that we have truly adopted and made our own. Each flag is an opportunity to rethink the icons and symbols that represent us. Each new flag is a renewed sense of pride.
— Caleb Jamel Brown