|AUF FLAGS & EMBLEMS
MAURE with GYE NYAME
The main emblem of the AUF is the Maure consisting of a cartouche enclosing a black head profile turned towards the right with a blindfold and with the knot at the back of the head in the shape of the Adinkra symbol for omnipotence. The cartouche is framed by two olive branches symbolizing peace.
The AUF flag is a modified version of the ancient African flag known variously as U Moru, Moro, Maure, Mohrenkorf, Svartzkorf, Moorshead, Blackamoor etc. The Maure is over 1500 years old. It was so respected that it is still visible in the heraldic traditions around the world. The mystery and significance of Maure symbolism is unparalelled in the history of vexillology. The blindfold signifies the Impartiality of Justice (as in justice is blind), the black color of the head signifies Africa, the head signifies the paramountcy of reason, the stylized knot is a symbol of the eternity and omnipotence of God.
The AUF Maure derives its central imagery from the mythological Goddess of Justice and the proverbial Wise One depicted usually as a blind old person, the symbol of wisdom in African culture. On account of the initial impressions the Maure causes in people who are unaware of its historical significance and origins, the positive message of the Maure is not immediately apparent, and so for them it is meant to reflect the true condition of bondage in which millions of people are living in deprivation and despair. In this last regard, the AUF Maure expresses urgent solidarity with the African displaced, the oppressed and the dispossesed.
Secondary but pertinent imagery derives from the Maure as a modern symbol of struggle against oppression, as well as the ancient African symbol for skill or prowess in battle, represented by a half-blind warrior (usually missing an eye or blindfolded, or with a white band on the forehead). The oldest white band-on-head imagery is found on ancient Egyptian murals.
The emblem is historic, graphic, profound, direct and resonates powerfully with people all over the world. It symbolizes Africa's ancient past, it symbolizes Justice & Impartiality, Self-Awareness, Universal Peace, Valour, Strength and Selflessness, Submission to the Almighty, Trust in the Almighty, Insight and Wisdom (the head). The AUF Maure also symbolizes the Power of the Mind, as well as the triumph of reason over the senses.
The AUF Maure goes on an African shield, flag or other surface. The flag consists of a white rectangular ground. On the main AUF flag's canton (top right - that means the viewer's top left), or in the center of the flag (if it is a verticle flag instead of usual horizontal) is the blackened profile of a head facing the closest edge to the right. The position of the emblem in the canton is understood to be an addition denoting an augmentation - a mark of honour or denoting ancestry or noble connection - which sits on top of the design of the white flag. The reason the Maure faces close to the edge is in order that the Gye Nyame takes a more central location on this particular version of the flag.
In terms of historical heraldry, the black on the flag has multiple meanings. Like the black on the modern Egyptian flag, it symbolizes the end of the oppression of the people of Africa at the hands of the colonialists. Black also represents determination, power, dignity, depth, strength, enduring, and overcoming. The white of the AUF flag represents peace. A more comprehensive explanation of the color symbolism is available under Maure symbolism.
The other version of the flag of the AUF consists of the centered Maure facing away from the Hoist (unless the flag is suspended on a horizontal bar, in which case the Maure faces either left or right). The Maure is offset with the short horizontal bars commonly used on African shields. The bars (12 in groups threes) are colored with all the pan-African colors. Three of the colors (green-yellow-red) were used on many ancient African flags, but most prominently on the 1798 flag of Abyssinia, with the green at the bottom. However, they accidentally were flown upside-down on a state ceremony and the tradition was adopted by the Ethiopian government and by several African states, as well as by Pan Africansist organizations around the world. It is now common to see these flags with green on top (or in front of) of yellow, and red at the bottom (or at the trailing edge) of the flag.
The colors and arrangement of the horizontal sets of bars on the flag also have meaning. Blue represents the sky and water (symbolizing freedom and good fortune), yellow represents the sun (radiance, providence, hope, suffusion), red symbolizes blood (life, valor, belonging, heritage, potency), and green represents the Earth (fertility, renewal, abundance, and the bond with the nature).
The other common African nationalist colors are Black-White-Red used by Africans late in the first millenium AD, and by religious orders affiliated to African pilgrims in Asia and Europe, and in pre-mandate German colonies in Africa, as well as in Sudan and Egypt. Nearly all African states have on their flags a selective combination of the color range on the Abyssinian and Egyptian flags. African blue has symbolic traditions dating back before predynastic Egypt, and generally implies good fortune. Only two flags have the entire range of the African colors, the South African flag and the AUF flag. There are two other popular African colors of political and cultural significance, Orange and Purple.
The original slave insurrectionist Haitian flag carried a truncated purple stripe on the edge of one of the borders of the Maure sans Adinkra. Orange is used on the flags of Niger, Zambia and Cote D'Ivoire. The same Orange is used on colourful designs of the popular Kente cloth, as well as on Kitenge cloth.
Meaning of the Adinkra - Gye Nyame
Gye Nyame (Except God) is the symbol of the omnipotence and immortality of God. Gye Nyame is devived from the Akan aphorism: Abode santann yi firi tete; obi nte ase a onim ne ahyease, na obi ntena ase nkosi ne awie, GYE NYAME. This translates literally 'This great panorama of creation dates back to time immemorial; no one lives who saw its beginning and no one will live to see its end, EXCEPT GOD'. The Gye Nyame reflects the Akan belief of a Supreme Being, the creator.
One of the flags of the AUF has the Maure facing left, closer to the edge of the flag, in order to allow the Gye Nyame prominence on the right. The use of the Gye Nyame as the knot signifies the infinity, immortality, supremacy and eternal potency of justice, reason, and spirit. It means the knot cannot be undone, the blind cannot be untied except by the Almighty Creator. If the blinded African is considered in the context of enslavement and disfrachisement, the knot symbolizes an eternal memory...meaning the memory of injustice lives on forever, it informs our identity for all eternity.
The AUF recognizes that there are members and Africans who may have a cultural taboo, a political concern, or a religious restriction, or some other condition, that prohibits their use of images or flags. The use of AUF flags, or other paraphenalia is not a requirement for membership in the AUF.