Black Flag magazine

Black Flag cover
Black Flag cover

Online archive of almost 250 issues of Black Flag, a UK-based class struggle anarchist newspaper and magazine founded in 1971.

Author
Submitted by Steven. on May 27, 2011

Libcom also hosts a gallery of Black Flag cover art here.

Chronology

Black Flag began life as the Bulletin of the Anarchist Black Cross in 1968.

The Bulletin was renamed Black Flag at volume 2 issue 1 in January 1971.

The Bulletin was originally intended to note the activities and existence of the Black Cross, but the spread of anarchist activism in the sixties made us the focus. There was a demand for an anarchist newspaper, as Freedom had become increasingly bourgeois pacifist, partly because nobody else would work under the direction of Richards and his little group of self-styled intellectuals. When at a demonstration a policeman was alleged to have been injured falling off the horse on which he was dispersing the crowd, and the suggestion was made in Freedom that anarchists should get up a collection for him, the limit was reached. The former Cuddon’s group constituted itself into a Black Flag collective.

After the Bulletin became Black Flag we had many editors for the next twenty odd years, at one time rotating the editorship per issue. Apart from a few of these issues I remained one of the editors throughout. Stuart [Christie] remained an editor for the first five years, but so far as the press or the know-all academic twits are concerned, he remains so to this day. His brief summer of notoriety had made him a historically referable person in spite of their trying to write him off at the same time.

Albert Meltzer - I Couldn't Paint Golden Angels (1996, chapter 13)

A format/schedule summary

Volume 1: 1968-1970. Bulletin of the Anarchist Black Cross.
Volume 2: January 1971-January 1973. 15 issues. Monthly. Black Flag - Bulletin of the Anarchist Black Cross.
Volume 3: March 1973-April 1975. 19(?) issues. Monthly. Black Flag - Organ of the Anarchist Black Cross.
Volume 4: May 1975-1977 15 issues. Monthly.
Volume 5: July 1977-January 1980. 13 issues. Monthly.
Volume 6: March 1980-June 1982. 12(?) issues.

Volume 7: 1983-1985 Initially monthly and then fortnightly newsletter (Issue 2a, 2b etc). Black Flag: Anarchist Fortnightly. Plus Quarterly Magazine. Black Flag: Journal of Anarchist Ideas, News and Comments.

Numbered issues - #128 1985 onwards. No "Volumes". Black Flag: For Anarchist Resistance.
Issue 201 November 1990.
Issue 202 November 1991.
Issue 203 Autumn 1993. Relaunch as quarterly magazine with glossy two colour cover.
Issue 218 1999. Full colour cover. Annual or biannual from then on.
Issue 226 2007. Relaunch with new collective. Black Flag.

Black Flag was relaunched as an online journal in March 2021: https://www.blackflag.org.uk/

Missing from our archive:
vol 07 2g
vol 07 4f
vol 07 4g
vol 07 6a #112.

Please leave a comment if you are able to help with copies of any of these issues.

We are unclear if any of these were published:
vol4 - anything after #15?
vol5 - anything after #13?
vol6 - anything after #12?
vol 07 1a-g?

With thanks to Sparrows Nest Archive, Splits and Fusions Archive, The Freedom Archive (USA) and Kate Sharpley Library.

Comments

frere

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by frere on November 28, 2013

tried search englines for black flag - took me quite a while to get anything related to anarchism. is there no limit to conspiracy theories?

little_brother

7 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by little_brother on May 29, 2017

For your interest the The Sparrows' Nest Library and Archive has some digitised snippets from 1984-85 due to a visit by a researcher interested in The Miners' Strike and contemporary events. Search on Black Flag in online catalogue for these.
Also we are just about to digitise Vol 1 (then called Bulletin of the Anarchist Black Cross) and 2 (1969-1973).
See our BF page: http://thesparrowsnest.org.uk/index.php/14-news-and-events/103-black-flag-archive where you can see the list of our physical collection. Any gaps you can fill are gratefully received.

Rob Ray

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Rob Ray on March 31, 2018

Quick note: Issues from 2010-2018 were on flag.blackened.net, however that has now gone offline. Fortunately it's still up at archive.org

Fozzie

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Fozzie on April 1, 2018

I had a bit of time tonight and so added issue 210 from the archive.org link.
http://libcom.org/library/black-flag-210

There are a few subsequent edits submitted including a better image. Let me know if there is anything wildly wrong with the edited version (after it's been moderated) :)

Worth bearing in mind that AK has better cover images of the issues at the archive.org link:
https://akuk.com/index.php?_a=category&cat_id=53&page=all

Fozzie

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Fozzie on April 11, 2018

Also covers here: https://libcom.org/gallery/black-flag-magazine-covers

I'm gradually adding the flag.blackened.net ones as text.

there are some PDFs from the 70s here too:
https://search.freedomarchives.org/search.php?s=black+flag

I'll get to them eventually as well.

Rob Ray

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Rob Ray on April 11, 2018

Great stuff! There's a few others at https://archive.org/search.php?query=black%20flag as well I think, and a bunch at the Sparrows' Nest http://thesparrowsnest.org.uk/search.php?query=black+flag&logic=and&digital=0&digital=0&digital=1, mostly mid-80s.

Fozzie

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Fozzie on April 12, 2018

Well if Freedom is going to have a comprehensive online archive, Black Flag needs to have one too right?

Future students of intra-anarchist squabbles of the late 20th Century will thank us all for this! ;-)

Fozzie

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Fozzie on April 17, 2018

OK I'm pretty sure that's everything from archive.org and https://search.freedomarchives.org/search.php?s=black+flag added.

Ed

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Ed on April 17, 2018

Fozzie, this is brilliant and much appreciated, both for the future students of intra-anarchist squabbles and beyond!

Fozzie

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Fozzie on April 17, 2018

I'd forgotten what a great mag it is, so it was a fun thing to go back over old issues... :)

syndicalist

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by syndicalist on August 20, 2018

Not strictly my kind of publication, its revolutionary credentials and dedication to militant, non-passive anarchism and dedication to the most militant elements of anarch-syndiclsim and class struggle are beyond dispute.

A "must read" for those interested in anarchism,anarchist and revolutionary class movements, class war prisoners and anarchist history.

tyneside anarchist

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by tyneside anarchist on August 29, 2018

lots of covers in our sister page...

with thousands more to follow

https://www.facebook.com/Anarcho-Covers-1437009556596154/

Fozzie

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Fozzie on August 29, 2018

That is a very cool page - nice work.

Fozzie

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Fozzie on October 1, 2018

The comdrades at The Sparrows Nest have scanned in most issues from vols 1-4:
http://thesparrowsnest.org.uk/index.php/14-news-and-events/165-new-additions-to-the-digital-library-sep-2018

Fozzie

5 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Fozzie on January 31, 2019

Good progress with this. If anyone can lend me the following issues (or older ones) I will scan them in and return them in good condition:

206*
208*
209*
221

*Parts of these issues are on Libcom in text form, but it would be good to have the whole thing.

Otherwise it'll be a job for other archives like Sparrows Nest...

Fozzie

4 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Fozzie on January 12, 2020

I've added a few issues from Sparrows Nest and there is now a geeky summary of the history of the mag on this page too that people are welcome to correct or add to.

Rob Ray

4 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Rob Ray on January 12, 2020

Nice one! I feel like one of the 1970s issues would be a better illustration of the mag as a whole than my 2010 computer screen from when I was uploading the later versions btw ;).

Fozzie

3 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Fozzie on July 2, 2020

149 issues now, although a handful are partial text only ones.

Edit - July 2021 - 161 issues.

syndicalist

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by syndicalist on August 15, 2020

In memory of Stuart Christie and Albert Meltzer
Two comrades who dedicated their lives in the advancement of a militant, antifash. class struggle anarchism

Fozzie

1 year 6 months ago

Submitted by Fozzie on November 15, 2022

Over 200 issues now...

Steven.

1 year 6 months ago

Submitted by Steven. on November 16, 2022

Amazing stuff!

Fozzie

10 months 2 weeks ago

Submitted by Fozzie on July 15, 2023

Missing from Libcom archive:
Vol. 07 3a, Vol. 07 4a, 134, 145, 174-178, 180-182, 184, 186-188, 190-197, 209*, 211*, 214*, 217*, 221. (*We have parts of these issues).

Please leave a comment if you are able to help with copies of any of these.

Kate Sharpley

10 months ago

Submitted by Kate Sharpley on July 27, 2023

Nice work, Fozzie. Hope to see a full house soon.

Fozzie

6 months 1 week ago

Submitted by Fozzie on November 22, 2023

So that is 241 issues on Libcom now. Or perhaps 231 issues of Black Flag, one unnumbered "Marxism Special" issue and 9 issues of the predecessor Bulletin of the Anarchist Black Cross.

The final issue of Black Flag to be published was number 237.

My contact at Kate Sharpley Library is reasonably confident that the following exist:

vol 07 2g
vol 07 4f
vol 07 4g
vol 07 6a #112

But is not sure that these were ever published:

vol4 - anything after #15?
vol5 - anything after #13?
vol6 - anything after #12?
vol 07 1a-g?

Anyone who can help with confirmation (or not) of that would be welcome to contribute to this thread.