The “Black Flag”

Le « Drapeau Noir », Le Drapeau Noir : Organe Anarchiste (Lyons)

12 August 1883

Live by working

or die fighting.

It is not only to throw a new challenge to bourgeois society that we have given this newspaper […] the title of Black Flag […] We also wanted to keep the memory of this glorious workers’ insurrection alive ever more […] we wanted the bourgeoisie to be again well aware that the only flag under which we gather is the one which misery and despair warranted raising in the streets of Groix-Rousse on 21 November 1831 and that until the day of our future victory we shall have no other. […] What we want to wage now […] is the only logical war […] the social war.

We therefore call those who suffer, those who gasp under the every-increasing burden of misery [...] who have had enough of exploitation and slavery, who want to end forever political and economic domination which overwhelms us […] it is a duel to the death with bourgeois society that begins […] and raising the black flag, by waving in the wind the dark folds of the flag of despair is more than a warning, it is better than an appeal, it is the very sign that we sending to the old world of its death that we raise, it is the inescapable promise of its imminent end, and at the same time, for all the poor, for all the wretches, and for all the hungry, the definite announcement of an era of happiness, justice, freedom and peace ANARCHY.