South Africa Flags
Flag of South Africa
The current South African flag has represented the nation ever since the end of Apartheid, which makes it one of the youngest flags in Africa. It is the successor to a long line of older flags that stretches back for more than a century, but the current South Africa flag is only minimally influenced by the previous designs. The nation of South Africa adopted the current flag when it was experiencing a period of massive political changes, and the nation's flag changed just as much as the nation's laws.
Todays South Africa flag was adopted on April 27, 1994.It was designed by State Herald Frederick Brownell. Although there is speculation as to the meanings behind each color and shape, the only symbolism in the flag is the V or Y shape, which can be interpreted as "the convergence of diverse elements within South African society, taking the road ahead in unity". Most of the elements were pulled from previous South African flags.
- Capital of South Africa: Pretoria (executive), Bloemfontein (judicial), Cape Town (legislative)
- Area of South Africa: 471,443 sq mi
- Languages used in South Africa: South Africa has eleven official languages: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tswana, Tsonga, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu
- Currency used in South Africa: Rand (ZAR)
Colors and Symbolism of the South Africa Flag
The South Africa flag has an unusually complicated design. A black triangle stretches out from the hoist and is followed by a yellow border. A green "Y" wraps around the triangle and stretches out towards the other side of the flag. The green section divides the rest of the flag into two pieces. The upper piece is red, and the lower piece is blue.
The black, green, and yellow portions of the flag represent the nation's citizens of African descent. They come from the Pan-African movement, and they can be found on the flags of many other nations in Africa. The red, white, and blue portions of the flag represent the citizens of European ancestry. They come from the flags of the British Empire and the Netherlands, the nations that played the largest role in the country's colonial history. The "Y" shape on the flag is used to represent the unification of the two groups into a single nation.
History of the South African Flag
The first South African flag flew over the nation in 1910. It was a British blue ensign defaced with the colony's coat of arms, which was the standard pattern for colonial flags in the British Empire. Political pressure led to the adoption of a new flag in 1928. It had three horizontal stripes of orange, white, and blue with miniature versions of the flags of the states that united to form South Africa in the center. That flag remained in use until 1994, when it was adopted immediately before the nation's first elections in the post-apartheid world. The flag was originally intended as an interim design that was destined to be replaced, but it proved to be so popular that it became the permanent symbol of the South African nation.