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Last modified: 2013-12-21 by rob raeside
Keywords: rastafarian | ethiopia |
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[Rastafarian Flag] by António Martins-Tuválkin, 17 June 2007
(Also used in reverse arrangement, green-yellow-red.)

See also:


Ras Tafar was the birth name of Emperor Haile Salessi I, the Emperor of Ethiopia, and, in the tenants of the Rastafarian religion, God. That is to say, the Rastafarians see Haile Salessi as the second coming of Christ, and, therefore, the living embodiment of God on Earth. He is also known as "the Lion of Judah" for this reason. In the Bob Marley song, "Get Up Stand Up," are the lines "We know and we understand/ that mighty God is a living man." i.e., the afore-mentioned Salessi.

Religious symbolism is often found in Rasta culture, specifically, the lion and the six pointed star, and reggae itself is very religiously motivated music.
Walter Kawalec, III, 27 July 1998

About the flag

 I found however what may be typical Rastafarian and/or reggae musician [flag] usage of the Ethiopian tricolor with golden lion (patched on clothes): and the Ethiopian tricolor with silver lion (flag, stage background):

[Rastafarian Flag] by António Martins-Tuválkin, 17 June 2007

Also seen is an Ethiopian vertical tricolor with a golden lion (flag, stage background): Most of the lion is solid black, except for the head, crown and vexilloid.

[Rastafarian Flag] by António Martins-Tuválkin, 17 June 2007

The flag is also seen as a plain tricolor (green up) patched on clothes and as a flag in the crowd waving.

I suppose that these two variants of the Rasta/Panafrican flags are meaningless variants of each other. Although most national flags inspired in these, as well as the Ethiopian flag itself, favour red in the upper (or hoist) side, its used in Rasta context may have the same unofficial and "laid back" approach also found in gay pride rainbow flag use which allows for non-strict vertical orientation.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 17 June 2007

Other Rastafarian flags

There is a commonly used flag of the Rastafari, green-yellow-red with marijuana leaves. Sometimes the leaves are in very dark green, sometimes there is an image of Haile Selassie or of Bob Marley on the flag. It is associated with Reggae music and, of course, marijuana is a sacrament of the Rastafari.
Dave Martucci, 27 July 1998

Last night I saw a sticker on a bumper that looked like it might be a flag so I am asking if anyone can identify it. It is vertically divided red-yellow-green with black letters across the center IRIE, with I in the red, RI in the yellow and E in the green.

This sounds like you were driving behind a Rastafarian. This is a display of the Ethiopian colors (used by Rastafarians in Jamaica) with the Jamaican slang word "irie", meaning "feeling good".
Steve "Scooter" Kramer, 9 October 1998