Bokone Bophirima Provincial Coat Of Arms

Arms for the North West Province registered with the Bureau of Heraldry on 7 May 1999. The blazon reads:

Arms: Per saltire Gules and Azure, a saltire quadrate Vert, fimbriated Argent, charged in the centre with a representation of a calabash water container within a leather thong cradle, Or; the shield ensigned of a circlet edged Argent, the centre Or, resting thereupon a pair of horns Argent supporting a sunflower proper.


Two sable antelopes proper, horned and unguled Or.


Kagiso le Tswelelopele.

Arms explained:

These arms constitute the only device among the nine provinces which is explicitly based on the colours and (to some extent) forms of the national flag brought into use on 27 April 1994. This is perhaps because the province is a new creation under a régime unwilling to acknowledge that it is based essentially on the “independent” homeland state the Republic of Bophuthatswana.

The field is divided diagonally into quarters, red above and below, blue left and right. Over the field is superimposed a green saltire or diagonal cross, edged in silver or white. The saltire is quadrate; in other words it has a diagonal trapezium (in heraldic language a lozenge) over the middle, in the same colour as the saltire.

On the lozenge is a calabash, blazoned as gold (Or), but actually drawn in natural colours (proper), which represents the Tswana culture of the indigenous peoples whose tribal lands formed the basis of both Bophuthatswana and North-West.

In the crest the circlet is blazoned as Argent, but is actually drawn in ivory shades. The inner ring is drawn as blazoned, gold. The horns resting on the circlet are not identified, but resemble those of the Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer), although these are often dark in colour, whereas the horns in the crest are white to pale grey.

The sunflower (Helianthus anuus) in the crest represents agriculture in the region, where sunflowers are grown for their nutritious seeds and for the oil they produce. Sunflower oil is used in cooking as well as in soap and paints, and as a lubricant. The seeds are reportedly used to make bread and a coffee-like beverage, although this would appear to be a use uncommon in South Africa. The sunflower is not native to Africa, having been introduced from the Americas, but is a common crop in the summer rainfall region. The flower probably also is symbolic of the bright sunshine needed to produce a sunflower crop.

The supporters are a pair of sable antelope (Hippotragus niger). This species lives in herds in forests in Southern Africa and is a familiar part of the wildlife of at least the eastern half of North-West. It stands up to 137 cm tall at the shoulder. The animals shown are male, and can be identified by their black colouring; females are more reddish brown. The sable antelope is closely related to the roan antelope (H equinus).

The motto translates as “Peace and prosperity.”

With kind permission from Mike Oettle:

Armoria - Heraldry in South Africa


MEC. Ontlametse Mochware

Ms Nono Bapela

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