South Africa Flag
What does the flag of South Africa look like? The South African flag is a horizontal bicolor of red and blue with a black triangle on the left side. There is a central green band that splits into a horizontal Y in the middle bordered by white and gold bands. South Africa's flag was adopted on April 27, 1994 as the civil and state flag and ensign.
Meaning of the Flag
The modern design of the South African national flag is designed to represent unity. Three of the flags colors were taken from the flag of the Boer Republics, while the remaining three colors were taken from the flag of the African National Congress. The national flag was designed by Frederick Brownell, former State Herald of South Africa, to represent the country’s democracy following the end of the apartheid.
Colors of the Flag
South Africa’s flag is one of the most colorful, boasting a total of six colors. The red, white and blue were taken from the flag of the Boer Republics. The remaining three colors – green, black and gold – were taken from the flag of the African National Congress. The green is meant to symbolize the fertility of the land, the black is representative of the people of the nation, while the gold represents the nation’s mineral wealth. The flag features a horizontal bicolor of red and blue, a black triangle on the hoist-side, and a central band that splits into a “Y” shape that is green in color. The green band and the arms of the Y are trimmed in white, while the inside of the Y is trimmed in gold.
History of the Flag
The region that is now South Africa was originally under the rule of the British. This and other British colonies used the British colonial flag. In the early 20th century, the colonies of Cape, Natal, Boer Republics and Transvaal united to create the Union of South Africa. It was during this time that South African flags were designed, which included the British ensign. However, these flags failed to catch on in popularity.
It was around this time that it was determined that South Africa needed its own distinctive flag. It was in 1925 when a bill was introduced to create a national flag. However, this led to some controversy over whether the British Union Flag should be used in the new design. A compromise was reached in 1927 and a new design was created the following year. This design was based on the original Dutch flag of orange, white and blue stripes. Three smaller flags were added in the center of the white stripe.
South Africa later became a republic in 1961 but the flag remained the same. However, there were citizens that pushed for the design and adoption of a new flag. It wasn’t until 1994 when a new flag was flown. It was originally designed to be an interim flag and was designed just one week before it was flown, but it was adopted as the new flag in April of 1994. In 1995, it was determined that the flag would remain unchanged and was added to the country’s constitution. Today, the flag remains unchanged.
South Africa does not have a set of official rules for the general public when flying or handling the national flag. However, there are rules for designated flag stations outlined by the South African government.
When South Africa’s flag was first adopted, it was the first in the world to have six colors and be without a brocade and seal.