Mounted Asafo Flag of Ghana c.1820-1920



An original Asafo flag depicting the Fante people of Ghana, Africa and the Union Jack of the United Kingdom. Mounted on a new wood and fabric frame.

  • DATE OF MANUFACTURE c.1820-1920. Ghana, Africa.
  • MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES Cotton, Wood, Fabric. 
  • CONDITION Good. Wear consistent with age and use. Several small holes, missing fabric on one small area, tear on bottom. Damage depicted in photos.
  • DIMENSIONS Overall: H 31.5 in. W 64.5 in. D 2 in., Flag: H 29.5 in. W 60.5 in.


In most surviving and contemporary examples, the national flags of Ghana or the United Kingdom are present in the flags of military companies, known as asafo, among the Fante people and other Akan-speaking peoples of Ghana, Africa. Each Fante town has anywhere from two to fourteen asafo companies. Historically, asafo companies acted as the militia and police for Fante towns. Through their symbolic colors and imagery, an asafo flag makes a statement about a military company’s identity and history, or about its rivals and enemies.

In the 19th century, asafo companies began to utilize the flag more widely and incorporate the Union Jack into their designs to signify their allegiance to the British. The Fante relied on British support because another rival Akan-speaking people, the Asante, repeatedly attacked the Fante for access to the coast. In the early decades of the 18th century, the Dutch aligned themselves with the Asante, while the British strengthened ties with the Fante. Nevertheless, the British maintained a relationship with the Asante, though it was often strained, as they did not want to lose access to the gold that the Asante provided.
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