Red Star on Black

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Red star in center on a back blackground

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The red star has been among the most widely used symbols throughout history, appearing on medieval coats of arms and modern flags. However, it is most strongly associated with communism and socialism, and in tandem with the hammer and sickle has become a powerful symbol to these ideologies. Originating from the Bolshevik Revolution and the Russian Civil War, the red star is thought to represent the five fingers of a worker’s hand, as well as the five continents, which emphasized communism’s worldwide appeal. Despite the collapse of the USSR, the red star remains a ubiquitous symbol on the coats of arms and flags of former socialist entities. 

The black flag has been historically associated with anarchism since the late 19th century. This black represents the rejection of all flags, and thus the rejection of nationhood. A red star over a black background emphasizes the shared tenets and ancestry between the two ideologies. For example, this combination is seen on the flag of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, a far left anarcho-socialist militant group in Mexico.


Red star. (2022, December 9). In Wikimedia.

Red star. (2023, January 28). In Wikipedia.

Anarchist symbolism (2023, January 27). In Wikipedia.

Catalog ID AR0470