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LINKS: Worlds Flags UN Flags flags terminology

South Africa Flag

Flag of South Africa
Flag Name(s)The Rainbow Flag, Unity Flag, or Interim Flag [Flag Of South Africa]
Aspect Ratio(2:3)
Color Scheme black,green,red,blue yellow,white
Color and Design

A horizontal bicolour of red and blue with a black isosceles triangle based on the hoist-side and a green pall, a central green band that splits into a horizontal Y, centred over the partition lines and was edged in both white against the red and the blue bands and yellow or gold against the triangle, in which the arms of the Y ends at the corners of the hoist and embraces the triangle on the hoist-side.

Meaning & SymbolismThe 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.
Description and Brief History

The flag of South Africa was designed by Frederick Brownell in March 1994 and adopted on 27 April 1994, at the beginning of South Africa's 1994 general election, to replace the flag that had been used since 1928. The 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 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.


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