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Griqualand (South Africa)

Last modified: 2002-05-10 by jarig bakker
Keywords: south africa | griqualand |
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Griqua flag

[Griqua flag] by Jarig Bakker, 14 Dec 2001

The Griqua people have a flag of their own. Do you have information on it?
Mike Oettle, 14 Dec 2001

In "Sovereign Flags of Southern Africa", by A P Burgers, 1997, is an image and info:
In about 1903 a Griqua flag came into existence. Although it never served as a sovereign flag, it serves to this day as the unifying symbol for all the widely scattered Grqua communities. The flag is the inverse of the Transvaal vierkleur, that is: the Dutch tricolor is next to the hoist and the vertical green panel is along the outside edge of the fly.
Griqualand East was a historical division in the eastern Cape province, with 19.000 sq. km, chief town Kokstad. Settled 1862 by Griquas, a people of Bushman and Hottentot descent, under their leader, Adam Kok; annexed to Cape Colony 1879.
Griqualand West in northern Cape Province, north of the Orange River and west of Orange Free State, with 38.000 sq. km, chief town Kimberley; dry desert country, noted for its diamond fields. Following the discovery of diamond (1867), region, earlier settled by Griquas, became subject of dispute between Orange Free State and British, who annexed it in 1871; joined to Cape Colony in 1880.
Jarig Bakker, 14 Dec 2001

Griqualand East

Griqualand East was definitely a Griqua settlement, not a Boer state. The land it occupied was part of the Mpondo chief Faku's treaty state, but was abandoned when Faku proclaimed a depopulated buffer zone between himself and the Republiek Natalia. Faku was the first to call it No Man's Land. The Griqua leader Adam Kok III, who occupied land east of Griqualand West along the north bank of the Orange River, obtained permission from the British to settle his people in No Man's Land and left in 1861, trekking over the Drakensberg and settling first at Mount Currie and later in the nearby town of Kokstad.
You'll find reference to this on this webpage and here.
Much of the land in Griqualand East later fell into the hands of English-speaking traders and farmers from Natal. The area was annexed to the Cape in 1880. It was cut off from the rest of the Cape by Transkeian independence in 1976, and was handed over to Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal) - so fulfilling a long-held Natalian dream.
Mike Oettle, 14 Dec 2001

Griqualand West

Working again from your clickable map, I clicked on Griqualand West and found myself on the page for the Cape Colony.
While this is not entirely incorrect, since the colony of Griqualand West was annexed to the Cape in 1880, it might be more appropriate to link it to the Diggers Republic and the Klipdrift Republic.
While the authority of the OVS was asserted in both these places, leading to the suppression of the flags, both "states" were absorbed into Griqualand West, following the Keate Award (referred to on my OVS page).
Neither of these short-lived and loosely organised republics was in any sense a Boer republic. The diggers who proclaimed them were a motley international grouping, although the leaders in the two proclamations were British, as the appearance of the Union Jack in both flags reveals.
If the map link goes to these two republics, the page can in turn link to the Cape Colony.
Griqualand West, although it took its name from the people under the leadership of Nikolaas Waterboer, was a Crown Colony primarily aimed at ensuring British ownership of the diamond fields. It was by no means a Boer state.
Mike Oettle, 14 Dec 2001

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