The unique central design of the flag, which begins as a “V” at the flag-post and comes together in the centre of the flag, extending further as a single horizontal band to the outer edge of the fly, can be seen as representing the convergence
of diverse elements in South African society, which then take the road ahead in unison. This idea also links up with the motto of the new National Coat of Arms, namely !ke e: /xarra //ke, in the language of the /Xam San people, which literally means “diverse people unite”.
There is no official symbolism of the colours, except that it depicts unified diversity.
Etiquettes or flag guidelines
- The Flag must not touch the floor or the ground.
- The Flag must be not used as a tablecloth or be draped in front of a platform.
- The Flag must not be used to cover a statue, plaque, cornerstone, etc. at unveiling or similar ceremonies.
- The Flag must not be used to start or finish any competition, race or similar event
- When the flag is hoisted on a flagpole, the red band must be the uppermost and the black triangle must be on the side of the pole or hoist.
- When it is displayed horizontally against a wall, the hoist should be to the left of the spectator and the red band uppermost.
- When the National Flag is displayed vertically against a wall, the red band should be to the left of the spectator with the hoist or the cord seam uppermost.
Flying the flag
When the flag is displayed vertically against a wall, the red band should be to the left of the viewer with the hoist or the cord seam at the top. When it is displayed horizontally, the hoist should be to the left of the viewer and the red band at the top. When the flag is displayed next to or behind the speaker at a meeting, it must be placed to the speaker’s right. When it is placed elsewhere in the meeting place, it should be to the right of the audience.
Times when the National Flag should be flown
- The standard size National Flag should be flown daily from sunrise to sunset on outside flag pole at all flag stations.
- The National flag should be flown at all buildings where head offices of Government Departments and Provincial Legislative Authorities are housed, and it is also flown illuminated at night except where this is impossible like at privately owned buildings which are shared by private bodies;
- All official residences of Members of Cabinet, Premiers and Deputy Ministers; the storm flag measuring 90 cm x 60 cm is flown in stormy weather;
- The flying of the National flag may be limited to the normal office hours at those flag stations where circumstances necessitate such limitations;
- Foreign offices of the Republic may vary the times when the National Flag should be flown in accordance with local practice and circumstances; and
- The National Flag can also be displayed in entrance halls, conference rooms and certain offices at flag stations.
Link to National flag hoisting held in 2015