List of South African flags

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This article lists the flags of the various colonies and states that have existed in South Africa since 1652.

History[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of Natalia Republic.svg 1839-1843 Natalia Republic
Flag of the Orange Free State.svg 1857-1902 Orange Free State
Flag of Transvaal.svg 1857-74,
1875–77,
1881-1902
South African Republic (1) ('Vierkleur')
1870-1905 Natal (1)
South African Burgers Flag.svg 1874-1875 South African Republic (2) ('Burgers Flag'). A red saltire outlined in white on a dark blue field.
Cape Colony flag.png 1876–1910 Flag of the Cape Colony A blue ensign defaced with the shield-of-arms of Cape Colony
Flag of the Republic of Goshen.svg 1883-1885 State of Goshen
Flag of Stellaland.svg 1883-1885 Stellaland
Flag of Nieuwe Republiek.svg 1884-1888 Nieuwe Republiek
Flag of Klein Vrystaat.svg 1886-1891 Klein Vrystaat
Flag of Orange River Colony.svg 1904–1910 Orange River Colony A blue ensign defaced with a springbok antelope in a disc[1]
Transvaal Colony Flag.png 1904–1910 Transvaal A blue ensign defaced with a disc showing a lion lying on an African plain with palm trees.[2]
BlueEnsignNatal.png 1905-1910 Natal (2) A blue ensign defaced with the Natal
Red Ensign of South Africa 1910-1912.svg 1910-1912 Union of South Africa (Merchant flag)
Blue Ensign of South Africa 1910-1912.svg 1910-1912 Union of South Africa (State Ensign)
Red Ensign of South Africa 1912-1928.svg 1912 - 1960 Union of South Africa (Merchant flag)
Blue Ensign of South Africa 1912-1928.svg 1912 - 1928 Union of South Africa (State Ensign)
Flag of South Africa 1928-1994.svg 1928 - 1994 Republic/Union of South Africa
Flag of Transkei.svg 1966-1994 Transkei
Flag of Bophuthatswana.svg 1973-1994 Bophuthatswana
Flag of Ciskei.svg 1973-1994 Ciskei
Flag of Gazankulu.svg 1973-1994 Gazankulu
Flag of Venda.svg 1973-1994 Venda
Flag of Lebowa.svg 1974-1994 Lebowa
Flag of QwaQwa.svg 1975-1994 QwaQwa
KwaZulu flag 1977.svg 1977-1985 KwaZulu (1)
Flag of KwaNdbele.svg 1982-1994 KwaNdebele
KwaZulu flag 1985.svg 1985-1994 KwaZulu (2)
Flag of South Africa.svg 1994 – present Republic of South Africa

Historical flags 1652–1928[edit]

National flag 1928–1994[edit]

  • The flag was introduced by the Hertzog administration, after several years of political controversy. It was approved by Parliament in 1927, and first hoisted on 31 May 1928.
  • The flag reflected the Union's predecessors. The basis was the 17th-century orange-white-blue Dutch flag, with the addition of a Union Jack to represent the Cape and Natal, the former Orange Free state flag, and the former South African Republic flag.
  • Until 1957, the flag was flown subordinate to the British Union Jack.
  • The flag remained unchanged when South Africa became a republic on 31 May 1961. However, there was pressure to change the flag, particularly from Afrikaners who resented the fact that the Union Flag was a part of the flag. The then prime minister, Dr Hendrik Verwoerd, had a "clean" flag, comprising three vertical stripes of orange, white, and blue, with a leaping Springbok over a wreath of six Proteas in the centre, designed, but he was assassinated before he could introduce it, and the project died with him in 1966.

Homeland flags 1966–1994[edit]

  • Nine of the ten Black 'homelands' which were created inside South Africa under the apartheid system, had their own flags, i.e. Transkei (1966–94), Bophuthatswana (1973–94), Ciskei (1973–94), Gazankulu (1973–94), Venda (1973–94), Lebowa (1974–94), QwaQwa (1975–94), KwaZulu (1977–94), and KwaNdebele (1982–94).
  • All these flags became obsolete when the homelands were reincorporated into South Africa on 27 April 1994.

National flag 1994–[edit]

  • South Africa was reconstituted as a democratic state, with equal rights for men and women of all races, in 1994. The old flag's long association with the apartheid era made it unacceptable for the new era, and a new flag was therefore designed by the State Herald, Frederick Brownell. It was approved by the Transitional Executive Council on 20 March 1994, and officially authorised by state president F.W. de Klerk on 20 April 1994. The flag was officially hoisted a week later, on 27 April 1994.
  • The new flag was intended as an interim measure, but it proved so popular that when the final Constitution was prepared in 1996, it became the permanent flag.
Flag Date Description
Red Ensign of South Africa 1910-1912.svg 1910–1912 A British Red Ensign with the shield of the coat of arms of the Union of South Africa.
Blue Ensign of South Africa 1910-1912.svg 1910–1912 A British Blue Ensign with the shield of the coat of arms of the Union of South Africa.
Red Ensign of South Africa 1912-1928.svg 1912–1928 A British Red Ensign with the shield of the coat of arms of the Union of South Africa on a white roundel.
Blue Ensign of South Africa 1912-1928.svg 1912–1928 A British Blue Ensign with the shield of the coat of arms of the Union of South Africa on a white roundel.
Flag of South Africa 1928-1994.svg 1928–1994 Orange, white, and blue horizontal stripes, on the white stripe, a backwards Union Flag towards the hoist, the Orange Free State flag hanging vertically and the Flag of Transvaal, towards the fly.
Flag of South Africa.svg 1994 – present Two horizontal bands of chilli red (top) and blue with a black triangle at the hoist, over all a green horizontal (pall) (Y-shape), fimbriated white against the red and blue and gold against the black.

Military flags[edit]

South African National Defence Force[edit]

1947–1981 
1981–1994 
1994–2003 
South African Department of Military Veterans 

Army[edit]

1973-1994 
2003-present 

Air Force[edit]

1920–1940 
1940–1951 
1951–1958 
1958–1967 
1967–1970 
1970–1981 
1981–1982 
1982–1994 
1994–2003 
2003–present 

Navy[edit]

1922–1946 
1946–1951 
1951–1952 
1952–1981 
1981–1994 
1994–present 

Police[edit]

1973-1994 

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ This replaced the Orange Free State republican flag.
  2. ^ The flag is the colonial flag which replaced the "Vierkleur" of the South African Republic (horizonally red, white and blue with a vertical green stripe at the hoist).

References[edit]

  • Beckett, D. (2002) Flying with Pride.
  • Brownell, F.G. (1993) National and Provincial Symbols.
  • Burgers, A.P. (1997) Sovereign Flags of South Africa.
  • Burgers, A.P. (2008). The South African Flag Book.
  • Pama, C. (1965) Lions and Virgins.
  • Pama, C. (1984) Die Vlae van Suid-Afrika.

External links[edit]