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South Africa

Trivia

The flags colours reference the previous flag that were flown in the area.

Technical Specifications

Adopted 27th April 1994
Proportion 2:3
Design A red-blue horizontal bicolour with green white-bordered y-shaped band, black gold-bordered isosceles triangle.

 

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Brief History

Before the political unification of South Africa there were many different flags flown in the area.

One of the first in the area was that of the Natalia republic in 1839. The flag was made up of 3 red-white-blue triangles.  In 1852 the South African Republic, an independent country within South Africa, had a red-white-blue horizontal tricolour with vertical green band flag.

In 1954 the Independent Boer Orange Free State flag featuring 4 white stripes, 3 orange stripes and a rectangle made up of a red-white-blue horizontal tricolour in the top right. In 1876 British ruled over the area known as the Cape Colony and the flag flown was the traditional British Blue Ensign.

The Flag of the Orange Free State (1954 – 1902)

The Flag of the Cape Colony (1876 – 1910)

In 1882 flag of the state of Goshen was adopted and features a black-white-red horizontal tricolour with vertical green stripe. A plain green field with white five-pointed star was adopted as the flag of Stellaland. Both of these flags were short-lived as they soon became under British rule.

The Flag of the State of Goshen (1882 -1883)

The Flag of Stellaland (1883 -1885)

From 1884 the flag of the Nieuwe Republiek featured a red-white-green horizontal tricolour with vertical blue flag.

In 1886 the flag of Klein Vrystaat featured a red-white-blue horizontal tricolour with vertical green flag.

The Flag of Nieuwe Republiek (1884 -1888)

The flag of Klein Vrystaat (1886 – 1891)

The British annexed the Orange Free State and flew their own blue British Ensign that featured the Union Jack in the top left hand corner and a springbok antelope in the disc on the right hand side.  The British also took control of Transvaal and created a colony in 1902. The flag adopted was a British Blue Ensign with a lion in the disk.

The Flag of Orange River Colony (1904 – 1910)

The Flag of Transvaal (1904 – 1910)

In 1905 Natal became a British colony and a blue ensign with Natal coat of arms was adopted. In 1910 Britain unified the Natal, Orange, Transvaal and Cape colony, creating the Union of South Africa. The flag was a red ensign with the Union Jack in the top left hand corner and a new shield that featured elements of all the previous coat of arms. This flag was also the Merchant Flag.

The flag of Natal (1905 -1910)

The flag of Natal (1905 -1910)

The State ensign of the Union of South Africa was similar to the Merchant Flag with a blue ensign replacing the red.  In 1912 the Merchant flag was changed slightly to feature a white circle behind the shield.

The State Ensign of the Union of South Africa (1910 – 1928)

The Merchant Flag of the Union of South Africa (1912 -1960)

In 1928 Republic of South Africa was the coming together of major parts of south Africa and to represent that a new flag was chosen. The flag was an orange-white-blue horizontal tricolour with three flags in the centre. The Union Jack at the left, the Orange Free State flag in the centre and the South African Republic flag on the right.

In 1966 The Republic of Transkei was crated in the south-eastern part of South Africa. A brown-white-green horizontal tricolour was adopted.

The Republic of South Africa (1928 – 1994)

The Flag of Transkei (1966 – 1994)

In 1973 the North Western part of South Africa was the Republic of Bophurhatswana. The flag featured a plain blue field with an orange diagonal stripe and a white circle with a leopard’s head in the top left corner. In the same year Ciskei adopted a plain sky blue field with white diagonal strip and local bird in the centre.

The Flag of Bophuthatswana (1973 -1994)

The Flag of Ciskei (1973 – 1994)

Gazankulu was a self-ruling country within in South Africa, it adopted a flag in 1973 that featured a blue-white-blue horizontal tricolour with a black crossed pipe and chain in the centre. Venda adopted a flag in 1973 that featured a green-yellow-brown horizontal tricolour with blue vertical stripe along with a brown V in the centre of the yellow stripe.

The Flag of Gazankulu (1973 – 1994)

The Flag of Venda (1973 – 1994)

In 1974 Lebowa as a self-governed state in the northeast area of South Africa. The flag featured a blue-white-green horizontal tricolour with a golden-bordered white sun and rays in the centre white stripe. In 1977 homeland of the Zulu people became KwaZulu, the flag is a pain white field with red-green-black horizontal stripes, and a larger red vertical stripe with Zulu shield at the centre.

The Flag of Gazankulu (1973 – 1994)

The Flag of Venda (1973 – 1994)

In 1982 KwaNdebele became the homeland for the Ndebele people. The flag adopted was a blue-yellow-green horizontal tricolour with crossed anchors. In 1985 the flag of KwaZulu changed to feature spears.

In 1994 a new flag was chosen to show the unification of South Africa as a new democracy. The flag is a red-blue horizontal bicolour with green white-bordered y-shaped band, black gold-bordered isosceles triangle. The colours represent the banner of African National Congress, Transvall Vierkleur, the Dutch Tricolour and the Union Flag.

The Coat of Arms of South Africa

The Coat of Arms of South Africa as adopted in 2000 and features a red-bordered gold shield with two red human figures. At either side are elephant tusks and ears of wheat; above are spears, a Protea flower, a Secretary bird and a rising sun.

The Military Flags of South Africa

Each area of the military of South Africa has a different flag.

The flag of the Army of south Africa featured a red ensign with the national flag In the top left hand corner and a badge that features a lion in the lower right hand side.

The flag of the South African Air Force features a sky blue ensign with national flag in the top left hand corner and a bad that features a Secretary bird in the lower right hand side.

The flag of South African Navy is a white field with a green cross and the national flag in the top right hand side.

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