South Africa Flag

The flag of South Africa was adopted on April 27, 1994, at the beginning of the general election to replace the old flag (which was in use since 1928). The flag was designed by Mr Fred Brownell.


The two equal width horizontal bands of red and blue are separated by a central green band, which splits into a Y. The Y embraces a black triangle, from which the arms are separated by yellow bands. The red and blue bands are separated from the green by white strips.

Although different people may attribute different symbols to the colors of the flag, according to the government information “no universal symbolism should be attached to any of the colours.” The only symbolism is the Y shape which represents the convergence of the different elements in the South African society (unity).





After the Anglo-Boer War (1899 – 1902) and when the Union of South Africa formed in 1910, the British Union Flag was the national flag in South Africa.

In late 1927, a new flag was adopted for the Union and the design was first hoisted in 1928. But the Union Flag continued to fly along side the new South African flag (as a compromise).

The need for a new flag was set in motion when Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990. Three years later a nationwide public competition was held but none of the designs were chosen. It wasn’t until March 1994 that a design was approved, which derived from a design created by Mr Fred Brownell.

Proper display of the flag

The flag must at all times be treated with dignity and respect. It must never be allowed to touch the ground or floor , be used as a table cloth, be used to cover a statue, or be used to start or finish a competition.

Photo credit

Related Content