Studio Photos by Pier Nicola D’Amico.

Stand for Racial Unity Symbol and Flag

Standing for a world of racial unity and kinship.

A note on the flag

Race is an illusion. Race is a reality.

In many people’s minds it is simple and fixed, yet genetics and history tell us race is complicated and fluid.

In late 2015, I wanted to have, but couldn’t find, a racial unity flag to fly outside of my home as a response to the hateful and divisive language I was hearing in the political sphere. It seemed to me that various cultural forces, events, and incidents were pushing people apart rather than bringing them together.

The importance of racial harmony is not an abstract notion to me.

I grew up as a minority white boy in a poor and predominantly black neighborhood during times of great social and racial unrest. My neighborhood wasn’t safe and I experienced what it means to feel vulnerable every day because of the color of your skin. Yet I was aware that my black playmates generally had it harder than I did.

childhood And despite the troubles of the adult world, my friends and I, both black and white, found refuge on our little play-block oasis of Trinity Street. There we played sports through the seasons and bonded like brothers when we cut our fingers and mingled our blood in unity. We had a great childhood together.

I wonder what kind of America my daughter will see. She, like so many of her schoolmates at her extraordinarily diverse Philadelphia public school, is biracial (her mother, my wife, is a Japanese national). It seems to me that more people are happily living among people who look different from them than ever before. Perhaps a flag could express this.

After some rudimentary attempts at a circular design, I turned to my father Gerald Nichols, an accomplished fine artist, for help, and he created the pattern of five rings of overlapping colors that you see on this page. I liked the way in which his design for the Racial Unity Symbol expressed movement and displayed various color combinations interacting, like DNA sequences aligning—with each color of the circle sharing at least two segments of the circle with every other color. Later, I adapted the design to an electronic form and rounded the segments, giving the symbol a more natural and holistic feeling. The resulting synergy is meant to express a sentiment and an aspiration—people of different races making a better effort to understand each other and embrace each other.

News

Big Success at Mount Airy’s Village Fair

On a beautiful Sunday afternoon in mid-September, our Racial Unity team set up a booth at the Village Fair in Mount Airy, Philadelphia, displaying the Racial Unity Flag and selling Racial Unity t-shirts, stickers, and car magnets. We also put together a bean-bag toss that was very popular with fairgoers, especially children (and those adults who are still in touch with their inner child). The team was proud to have sold over 20 t-shirts, and a bunch of magnets and stickers, too–altogether, with the help of the bean-bag challenge, we managed to raise $300 for the Southern Poverty Law Center! Thanks so much to Claire, Ameer, Sarah, Lilly, and Bronwyn for doing a great job running the table and encouraging the fairgoers to take part in the fun! Thanks also to everyone who made the fair possible, especially Stephanie Bruneau, Programs Director at Weavers Way Co-op. If anyone has a suggestion for another fair that we can join, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us through the “contact” tab.

Three members of the Racial Unity Team at the Village Fair in West Mount Airy, Philadelphia Claire, Bronwyn, and Ameer of the Racial Unity Team at the Village Fair in Mt. Airy, Philadelphia

 

Racial Unity Tees Popular at Philly High Schools

Sales of Racial Unity tees were brisk at Philadelphia high schools over the last school year and into the summer, with over 300 tee shirts sold. Students and teachers alike warmed to the design and message of the Racial Unity Symbol displayed on the shirts. Many students posted selfies or portraits taken by friends on Instagram, showing support for the cause of racial understanding and kinship. We’ve republished a few of them here. Big thanks to Claire Gunawan for being such a great salesperson.

 

Visit the Shop

Support the Southern Poverty Law Center by making a purchase from the Stand for Racial Unity shop.

Download the Racial Unity Flag

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License by Aron Goldschneider / Gerald Nichols.

This zip file contains the Racial Unity Flag in .eps and .png formats (971KB). A transparent version without the gray background is included.

 

Download the Racial Unity Symbol

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License by Aron Goldschneider / Gerald Nichols.

This zip file contains the Racial Unity Symbol without the text or sidebar in .eps and .png formats. A transparent version without the gray background is included.