The flag of South Africa is undoubtedly one of the showiest and colorful, and if you have had the opportunity to live in South Africa, you will also know that it is one of the most respected. Due to the conflicts that this country has gone through throughout its history, the South African flag has been transforming and evolving.
History of the flag of South Africa
The design of the current national flag of the Republic of South Africa is relatively young, since the first time it waved as we know it today was on April 27, 1994. The reason: the first multiracial elections to be held in decades. It was decided to create a new flag after Nelson Mandela was released from prison, so a contest was proclaimed in which more than 7,000 models participated. Despite the variety of designs, none of them completely satisfied the members of the National Symbols Commission, so a design derived from a proposal made by Frederick G. Brownell was finally chosen, who had already made the flag of somebody another African country.
The design of the current flag was a success and provoked unanimous unanimity in the South African country. South Africa already had a flag that did not recall the old regime and avoided any reference to apartheid.
The current flag of the Republic of South Africa has six colors, and its composition is as follows: two horizontal bands, one red (top) and one blue (bottom) that are separated by a central green band in the shape of a horizontal y. The arms of this and end in the corners of the left side. These arms surround a black isosceles triangle, from which they are separated by narrow gold bands. Likewise, the two horizontal red and blue stripes are separated from the green by other white stripes.
Meaning of the South African flag
Following the introduction of the new South African flag, it was declared time and again that its component colors were devoid of any meaning or symbolism. Despite this, an unofficial meaning of the composition of the flag has been established that is quite accepted in today’s society. The red color would mean the blood, while the blue would be the sky, both united by the green that would mean the land of South Africa. For its part, the color black would represent South Africans with that skin color and white the citizens who have the skin tone more typical of the European ethnic group. Finally, the yellow would be for the same gold, the country’s natural resource.
As we have already said, official bodies have flatly denied this meaning. However, many of the colors that appear in the South African flag can also be seen in the flag of the African National Congress and others in the flags of the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, countries closely related to the South African era prior to the current one. Also, being red, green, and yellow the official Pan-African colors.
Current flag in South African law
The law of the Republic of South Africa contains several essential aspects related to the flag of the country. Some of the most prominent are: the South African flag must be treated with respect and dignity, and must always be hoisted correctly and not the other way around; it is strictly forbidden to contain any slogan or phrase inside; the moments in which the flag should be placed at half-mast will always be at the request of the president; among other official personalities.