Frederick Brownell

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Frederick Gordon (Fred) Brownell OMSS SM MMM JCD, born 1940,[1] is a South African herald, vexillologist, and genealogist.

He designed the flags of Namibia and of South Africa.[1][2]


He joined the Bureau of Heraldry as Assistant State Herald in 1977, and was promoted to State Herald in 1982. He retired in 2002.

Brownell designed many coats of arms and flags, including the arms and flag of Namibia in 1990.[3] In 1994, he designed the new South African flag, with a three-armed converging cross of the sort called a pall in heraldry, to symbolise the convergence of different cultures into one for the future South Africa.[1] He later designed arms for the new provincial governments.[4] He was awarded the Order for Meritorious Service in 2000. He has also published many articles and several books on heraldry and flags.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Fred Brownell: The man who made South Africa's flag". BBC News. 27 April 2014. Retrieved 2014-04-27. 
  2. ^ Faulkner 2014, p. 92.
  3. ^ (reported by) FG Brownell (December 1990), Coats of Arms and Flags in Namibia  (A series of 8 articles.)
  4. ^ Brownell 1993.
Heraldic offices
Preceded by
Norden Hartman
State Herald of South Africa
1982 – 2002
Succeeded by
Themba Mabaso