Raising the African Nova Scotian flag on Emancipation Day

- July 29, 2021

Dalhousie plans to raise the African Nova Scotian flag on campus on August 1 in honour of Emancipation Day, a day of recognition that marks the historic abolition of slavery in the British Empire on August 1, 1834.

The flag was unveiled in Nova Scotia earlier this year and this is the first time it is being raised on Dalhousie's campuses.

Designed by Nova Scotian artist Wendie L. Wilson (who, some may recall, had a hand in creating Dal's New Dawn Staff of Place and Belonging), the flag features colours and symbols of significance to members of the African Nova Scotian community — including her unique take on a Sankofa symbol. Sankofa is one of many ancient Adrinka symbols conceived in West Africa and is typically represented either by a bird with its head turned backwards taking an egg off its back or a stylized heart. The word derives from the Akan language of Ghana, meaning "reach back and get it."  

"This flag is an offering to a community I love, a place of creativity, pride and resilience. Its colours and symbols represent the past, present and future and connect us to our origins of greatness," says Wilson.

Proceeds from sales of the flag will go toward creating and supporting Africentric education initiatives in Nova Scotia.  

See also: Ask an expert: Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard on why Emancipation Day is crucial in fighting anti‑Black racism

Learn more about the flag and its various elements below:



All comments require a name and email address. You may also choose to log-in using your preferred social network or register with Disqus, the software we use for our commenting system. Join the conversation, but keep it clean, stay on the topic and be brief. Read comments policy.

comments powered by Disqus