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South African Army Flags (1951-2002)

Last modified: 2002-09-21 by jarig bakker
Keywords: army | castle | springbok |
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1994 Army flag

[South Africa - Army] by Paige Herring, 12 March 1998 See also:

1994 Army flag

On 11 November 1994 the new South African military flag was adopted. The flag of SANDF, South African National Defense Forces: green with the national flag in the canton, and emblem in the lower fly (two swords, one anchor, and wings). The Army has the same but red (and little different emblem: head of an antilope) The flags of the Army is the same of the old regime with different national flag in the canton.
Jaume Olle, 24 Nov 1996

The flags of the SANDF are as described above but with the following detail: Army - springbok head in emblem
All these flags are based on the designs used by the former SADF, with the naval ensign being modified slightly as indicated above. A history of the Flags of the Union Defence Forces and of the South African Defence Force 1912 - 1993 is available as SAVA JOURNAL 2/93.
Bruce Berry, 26 Nov 1996

1951 Army Flag

[South Africa - Army - 1951] by Paige Herring, 12 March 1998

First Adopted in 1951, there have been 4 version of the South African Army (SAA) flag. The basic design has not changed. The general design is a [sealed permanent force] orange field with the national flag in the canton. Proportions have been 2:3. The first version had a gold springbok head in the lower fly quarter. The size was 1/3 of the width. This version was in effect from 1951-1966.
Paige Herring, 12 March 1998

1966 Army flag

[South Africa - Army - 1966] by Paige Herring, 12 March 1998

From 1966-1973, the second SAA flag was flown. The regulations in 1966 added two crossed silver swords behind the head. This design encountered many drawbacks as there were no design specifications; therefore, the flag was not uniform when manufactured.
Paige Herring, 12 March 1998

1973 Army flag

[South Africa - Army - 1973] by Paige Herring, 12 March 1998

In 1973, the design was altered again. Uniform specifications as to the badge were manifest. The gold springbok head couped at the neck was centered on a gold outlined ground plan of the Castle of Good Hope. The ground plan was the same orange as before. Also, a fimbriation was added around the RSA national flag. This design remained unaltered until 1994.
In 1994, the present design was approved on 11 August 1994 and presented on 11 November 1994. The currrent SAA flag merely substituted the current national flag for the old one.
Sources: SAVA Journal 2/93, "Flags of the Union Defence Forces and of the South African Defence Force, 1912-1993;" SAVA Newsletter, 11/94."
Paige Herring, 12 March 1998

Castle of Good Hope

I have noticed that the Castle of Good Hope is often used on South African military flags. What is its connection to the South African military establishment?
Joshua Fruhlinger, 16 March 1998

As far as I know, the Castle of Good Hope is a fortress in Cape Town. It is of great historical significance to South Africans as both a military institution and as a part of its colonial history (it is the oldest building in South Africa). It was erected by the Dutch East India Company and was completed in 1679. According to the SAVA Journal that I got the information out of, the Castle of Good Hope has and is still used for military administration.
Paige Herring, 16 March 1998

Imperial Light Horse

I believe that a South African cavalry regiment (the Imperial Light Horse?) had a cap badge consisting of a crossed UJ and Royal Standard, all in yellow metal.
Tom Gregg, 19 May 2000

It was the Imperial Light Horse. When SA became a republic in 1964 the badge had to change. The Royal Standard (viewer's left) became the Union flag of RSA. The UJ (viewer's right) became a horizontal bicolour (but in one colour metal), and I can't remember what it is supposed to represent.  This was a Transvaal regiment, but it is not the Transvaal flag. The scroll at the base of the flags until 1965 read "Imperium et Libertas", and this changed to "Patria et Libertas".
There is a picture of the pre-1965 badge at this site.
T.F. Mills, 18 May 2000

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