National Symbols



National flag
Symbolism

The national flag was designed by a former South African State Herald, Mr Fred Brownell, and was   first used on 27 April 1994. The design and colours are a synopsis of principal elements of the country's flag history. Individual colours, or colour combinations represent different meanings for different people and therefore no universal symbolism should be attached to any of the colours. The central design of the flag, beginning at the flagpost in a 'V' form and flowing into a single horizontal band to the outer edge of the fly, can be interpreted as the convergence of diverse elements within South African society, taking the road ahead in unity. The theme of convergence and unity ties in with the motto Unity is Strength of the previous South African Coat of Arms. Specific instructions with regard to the use of the national flag can be found in the Government Gazette 22356, Notice 510 of 8 June 2001 [PDF]. When the flag is displayed vertically against a wall, the red band should be to the left of the viewer with the hoist or the cord seam at the top. When it is displayed horizontally, the hoist should be to the left of the viewer and the red band at the top. When the flag is displayed next to or behind the speaker at a meeting, it must be placed to the speaker's right. When it is placed elsewhere in the meeting place, it should be to the right of the audience.

 

National Animal
Springbuck/springbok - Antidorcas marsupialis

Typical of this species is the pronk (jumping display), which led to its common name. Both sexes have horns but those of the ram are thicker and rougher. This species has adapted to the dry, barren areas and open grass plains and is thus found especially in the Free State, North West province and in the Karoo up to the west coast. They are herd animals and move in small herds during winter, but often crowd together in bigger herds in summer. They eat both grass and leaves and can go without drinking-water, because they get enough moisture from the succulent leaves. Where drinking-water is available they will use it. Springbuck stand 75 cm high and weigh about 40 kg. They breed throughout the year and lambs are born after a 6-month gestation period.

 

National Bird
Blue crane - Anthropoides paradisia

This elegant crane, that stands about one meter high, is almost entirely restricted to South Africa in its distribution. The blue crane is a light blue-grey, has a long neck supporting a rather bulbous head, long legs and elegant wing plumes which sweep to the ground. It eats seeds, insects and reptiles. Blue cranes lay their eggs in the bare veld, often close to water. They are quite common in the Karoo, but are also seen in the grasslands of KwaZulu-Natal and the highveld, usually in pairs or small family parties.The blue crane has a distinctive rattling croak, fairly high-pitched at call, which can be heard from far away. It is, however, usually quiet. This elegant bird is a light blue-grey in colour, with a long neck supporting a big head, long legs and elegant wing plumes that sweep to the ground. It eats seeds, insects and reptiles.

 
 
 

Profiles

MEC
Hon. Ontlametse Mochware

HOD
Ms Nono Bapela


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