Fante flags to stand out in the arena of African art. Their applique designs are simplistic and childlike yet riddled with symbolism and culture.
The Fante people are found on the southern coast of Ghana, scattered between various fishing villages and small towns. Although the precise origin of Fante flags is uncertain, there are reports of their use dating back to at least the early 18th century.
The Fante people were largely influenced by the British and Portuguese, and developed their own Asafo military “companies”, adopting colonial fighting techniques, hierarchy and Euro-inspired regalia, which was adapted to fit into their own context. As a result each company, and eventually each member, designed their own emblematic Fante flag.
Elements displayed on a Fante flag tell a story, often revealing the type of industry and activities the associating company is involved in, from fishing, hunting and farming, to designs asserting wealth and power. You will notice that post 1957, after Ghana received independence, flags sometimes display the Ghanaian flag, rather than the Union Jack.