Lighter skinned slave children of mixed race heritage were used as part of a fundraising campaign to help struggling African American schools in 1860s New Orleans. Campaign organizers believed the lighter complexioned children would help boost donations to their cause.
Wow, there’s some creepy propaganda for you. Fits in very well though with Carolyn Marvin’s theory about the role of the American flag as a vengeful boundary-setting totem god. (No, really; read her book and see if you aren’t convinced.)