National Flag of South Africa

The national flag, that was first used on 27 April 1994, was designed by Mr Fred Brownell, a former South African State Herald. The colours and design are an abstract from South Africa’s flag history. 

©Roger de la Harpe
Flag flying on the back of a ferry en route to Robben Island, Cape Town, South Africa.

The different colours and colour combinations have different meanings to particular people, therefore no single symbolism can be attached to them. The pivotal design of the flag starts at the flag post in the form of a ‘V’ which flows into a single horizontal band that leads to the outer edge. This symbolises the convergence of all the diverse people in South African society taking the road ahead to unity. This convergence and unity theme comes from the motto from the previous South African Coat of Arms - Unity is Strength

Flying the Flag

©Roger de la Harpe
Beaded South African Flag in the Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban.

When flying the national flag certain protocols must be adhered to as outlined in the Government Gazette 22356, Notice 510 of 8 June 2001. If you are displaying the South African National Flag horizontally the hoist seam must be on the left with the red band on top.

When displaying the flag vertically against a wall, the red band must be to the left of the viewer with the hoist seam at the top. At a public meeting, with the national flag is shown next to or behind a public speaker, the flag must be placed to the speakers right. If placed elsewhere in a meeting, then is must be to the right of the audience.

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