South Africa

The Flag of South Africa

The Republic of South Africa is a large country covering the southernmost tip of Africa. It has a long history of colonialization and tension between its major ethnic groups, but major changes led to democratic elections starting in 1994. The current flag was adopted in 1994 to accompany these changes, to signal a new start for South Africa. The central feature of the flag is a sideways Y shape in deep green, with the forks on the mast side and the stem stretching to the end from about halfway across. This leaves a triangle in the center of the mast side and two horizontal stripes above and below the stem of the Y. The outer outline of the Y is white, while the inner outline inside the fork is gold. The triangle against the mast is black, and the bands above and below are red and blue. While the government doesn’t endorse any specific interpretation of the colors, there are some generally held views on the meanings within the flag. Black, green and gold are pan-African colors, and stand for the unity of all Africans. Red, white and blue call the mind the country’s Dutch heritage and European ethnic group. The Y shape stands for the convergence of many disparate elements coming together in unity.