Australian English is the set of varieties of the English language native to Australia. Although English has no official status in the Constitution, Australian English is the country's national and de facto official language as it is the first language of the majority of the population. Australian English began to diverge from British English after the First Settlers, who set up the Colony of New South Wales, arrived in 1788. By 1820, their speech was recognised as being different from British English. Australian English arose from the intermingling of early settlers, who were from a great variety of mutually intelligible dialectal regions of the British Isles, developed into a distinct variety of English which differs from other varieties of English in vocabulary, pronunciation, register and spelling; the earliest form of Australian English was spoken by the children of the colonists in early New South Wales. This first generation of native-born children created a new dialect, to become the language of the nation.
The Australian-born children in the new colony were exposed to a wide range of dialects from all over the British Isles, in particular from Ireland and South East England. The native-born children in the colony created the new dialect from the speech they heard around them, with it expressed peer solidarity; when new settlers arrived, this new dialect was strong enough to blunt other patterns of speech. A quarter of the convicts were Irish. Many had been arrested in Ireland, some in Great Britain. Many, if not most, of the Irish spoke Irish and either no English at all, or spoke it poorly and rarely. There were other significant populations of convicts from non-English speaking parts of Britain, such as the Scottish Highlands and parts of Cornwall. Records from the early 19th century show this distinct dialect in the colonies after the first settlement in 1788. Peter Miller Cunningham's 1827 book Two Years in New South Wales, described the distinctive accent and vocabulary of the native-born colonists, that differed from that of their parents and with a strong London influence.
Anthony Burgess writes that "Australian English may be thought of as a kind of fossilised Cockney of the Dickensian era." The first of the Australian gold rushes, in the 1850s, began a large wave of immigration, during which about two per cent of the population of the United Kingdom emigrated to the colonies of New South Wales and Victoria. According to linguist Bruce Moore, "the major input of the various sounds that went into constructing the Australian accent was from south-east England"; some elements of Aboriginal languages have been adopted by Australian English—mainly as names for places and fauna and local culture. Many such are localised, do not form part of general Australian use, while others, such as kangaroo, budgerigar, wallaby and so on have become international. Other examples are hard yakka; the former is used for attracting attention, which travels long distances. Cooee is a notional distance: if he's within cooee, we'll spot him. Hard yakka means hard work and is derived from yakka, from the Jagera/Yagara language once spoken in the Brisbane region.
Of Aboriginal origin is the word bung, from the Sydney pidgin English, meaning "dead", with some extension to "broken" or "useless". Many towns or suburbs of Australia have been influenced or named after Aboriginal words; the best-known example is the capital, named after a local language word meaning "meeting place". Among the changes starting in the 19th century were the introduction of words, spellings and usages from North American English; the words imported included some considered to be Australian, such as bushwhacker and squatter. This American influence continued with the popularity of American films and the influx of American military personnel in World War II; the primary way in which Australian English is distinctive from other varieties of English is through its unique pronunciation. It shares most similarity with other Southern Hemisphere accents, in particular New Zealand English. Like most dialects of English it is distinguished by its vowel phonology; the vowels of Australian English can be divided according to length.
The long vowels, which include monophthongs and diphthongs correspond to the tense vowels used in analyses of Received Pronunciation as well as its centring diphthongs. The short vowels, consisting only of monophthongs, correspond to the RP lax vowels. There exist pairs of long and short vowels with overlapping vowel quality giving Australian English phonemic length distinction, unusual amongst the various dialects of English, though not unknown elsewhere, such as in regional south-eastern dialects of the UK and eastern seaboard dialects in the US; as with New Zealand English, the weak-vowel merger is complete in Australian English: unstressed /ɪ/ is merged into /ə/, unless it is followed by a velar consonant. There is little variation in the sets of consonants used in different English dialects but there are variations in how these consonants are used. Australian English is no exception. Australian English is non-rhotic. However, a linking /r/ can occur when a word that has a final <r> in the spelling comes before another word that starts with a vowel.
An intrusive /r/ may be inserted before a vowel in words that do not have <r> in the spelling in certain environments, namely after the long vowel /oː/ and after wor
South African art
South African art is the visual art produced by the people inhabiting the territory occupied by the modern country of South Africa. The oldest art objects in the world were discovered in a South African cave. Archaeologists have discovered two sets of art kits thought to be 100,000 years old at a cave in South Africa; the findings provide a glimpse into how early humans produced and stored ochre – a form of paint – which pushes back our understanding of when evolved complex cognition occurred by around 20,000 – 30,000 years. Dating from 75,000 years ago, they found small drilled snail shells could have no other function than to have been strung on a string as a necklace. South Africa was one of the cradles of the human species; the scattered tribes of Khoisan and San peoples moving into South Africa from around 10000 BC had their own art styles seen today in a multitude of cave paintings. They were superseded by Nguni peoples with their own vocabularies of art forms. In the present era, traditional tribal forms of art were scattered and re-melded by the divisive policies of apartheid.
New forms of art evolved in the mines and townships: a dynamic art using everything from plastic strips to bicycle spokes. In addition to this, there is the Dutch-influenced folk art of the Afrikaner Trek Boers and the urban white artists earnestly following changing European traditions from the 1850s onwards, making for an eclectic mix which continues to evolve today; the pre-Bantu peoples migrating southwards from around the year 30,000 BC were nomadic hunters who favoured caves as dwellings. Before the rise of the Nguni peoples along the east and southern coasts and central areas of Africa these nomadic hunters were distributed, it is thought. They have left lots of signs of life, people toilets and rocks depicting hunting and magic-related art. There is a stylistic unity across the region and with more ancient art in the Tassili n'Ajjer region of northern Africa, in what is now desert Chad but was once a lush landscape; the figures are dynamic and elongate, the colours combine ochreous red, grey and many warm tones ranging from red through to primary yellow.
Common subjects include hunting depicting with great accuracy large animals which no longer inhabit the same region in the modern era, as well as: warfare among humans, domestic scenes, multiple images of various animals, including giraffes, antelope of many kinds, snakes. The last of these works are poignant in their representation of larger, darker people and of white hunters on horseback, both of whom would supplant the'Bushman' peoples. Many of the'dancing' figures are decorated with unusual patterns and may be wearing masks and other festive clothing. Other paintings, depicting patterned quadrilaterals and other symbols, are obscure in their meaning and may be non-representational. Similar symbols are seen in shamanistic art worldwide; this art form is distributed from Angola in the west to Mozambique and Kenya, throughout Zimbabwe and South Africa and throughout Botswana wherever cave conditions have favoured preservation from the elements. The contemporary art scene in South Africa is as diverse and vibrant as the population and cultures in the country.
Contemporary artists in South Africa have adopted new media technologies to produce varied and creative bodies of work, as seen in the work of Dineo Seshee Bopape and CUSS Group. Their art gives insight into the pressing issues of South African society. On a global scale, contemporary South African art is sought-after. A charcoal and oil on canvas work by leading South African contemporary artist William Kentridge was sold on auction for R3,5 million in London in 2012; because Black South African’s were barred from receiving formal art training during the years of apartheid, the artistic movements that had originated from this community have until been distinctly classified as “craft” rather than “art.” The traditional canon of African art, categorized as “fine art” had been formed in the 20th century by European and U. S. art audiences. South Africa’s inequality gap is larger than the majority of countries in the world so the audience for art is the rich and not those who are subject to the artistic expression, giving these higher socio-economic groups a gatekeeper status in deciding what is classified as art.
After the Soweto Riots of 1976, a new social consciousness emerged that retaliated against the government’s policy of segregation and reexamined the classification of certain Black South African artworks. The first artistic style to receive critic attention was Venda sculpting because it aesthetically appealed to white patrons while maintaining its “artistic manifestations of ethnic diversity.” These sculptures would be considered “transitional art” rather than “craft” and would gain access into fine art galleries. Other Black artistic expressions such as beadwork and studio arts have begun to be integrated into canonical South African art forms; the Johannesburg Biennale’s Africus and Trade Routes had a significant impact on the cultural awareness of new South African art. These events were among the first exhibitions that revealed the “new South African art” to the international community, but other local South Africans; this gave Black South African artists a new platform to express the effects to which apartheid had influenced society.
In the post-apartheid regime, it gives artists an apparatus to protest social issues such as inequality, state control over the personal realm, HIV/AIDS. However, the emphasis to embody many of these socia
Sport in South Africa
South Africans have a passionate following of sports. Football and rugby are the most popular sports. Rugby union has traditionally been the most popular sport in South Africa amongst white South Africans; the national rugby team is nicknamed The Springboks. South Africa hosted the 1995 Rugby World Cup, the first one hosted in Africa. Cricket is traditionally the popular sport among the white British diaspora and Indian South African communities, although it is now followed by members of all races; the national cricket team is nicknamed The Proteas. Football has been popular amongst persons of African descent and is South Africa's most popular sport; the South Africa national football team, Bafana Bafana, has not enjoyed considerable success since the early 20th Century. South Africa is one among the only four countries which have played world cups of all three major games - Cricket and rugby. England, New Zealand, Australia are the other three such nations. England plays all three games in the elite level, but along with Australia and New Zealand, South Africa is dominant power in cricket and rugby union only.
Other popular sports include: boxing, tennis, surfing, netball and obstacle course racing. South Africa was absent from international sport for most of the apartheid era due to sanctions, but started competing globally after the end of apartheid. South Africa hosts the Saddle Seat World Cup every four years, which includes the American Saddlebred, Morgan horse, South African Boerperd horse breeds, it is the highest level of competition for Saddle seat Equitation riders. South Africa was banned from the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo due to the apartheid policies; this ban lasted until 1992. During this time, some sports people left for other countries; some athletes continued their sports careers in South Africa in isolation, with some stars like women's 400 metres runner Myrtle Bothma running a world record time at the South African championships. Some sports teams toured South Africa as "Rebel Tours" and played the Springbok rugby and cricket teams in South Africa during the isolation period.
In 1977, Commonwealth Presidents and Prime Ministers agreed, as part of their support for the international campaign against apartheid, to discourage contact and competition between their sportsmen and sporting organisations, teams or individuals from South Africa. Sport in South Africa is still seen as "the domain of men". In 1997, one writer described "massive gender inequalities in the sporting structures of the country, a strong association between sport and masculinity". Silver Falcons Flying Lions Aerobatic Team Major events: Comrades Marathon and Two Oceans MarathonSouth Africa has an active athletics schedule and has produced a number of athletes who compete internationally and qualify for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. At the 2011 World Championships in Athletics in Daegu, South Korea, the relay team of Shane Victor, Ofentse Mogawane, Willem de Beer and Oscar Pistorius set a national record time of 2:59.21 seconds in the heats. South Africa went on to win a silver medal in the finals with the team of Victor, Mogawane, de Beer and L. J. van Zyl.
In 2012 Caster Semenya won a silver medal in the women's 800m of the 2012 Olympic Games in London, with a time of 1:57.23 seconds. In 2012, Oscar Pistorius became the first double amputee sprinter to compete at the Olympic Games, but did not win a medal. Pistorius won a gold medal and a bronze medal in the T44 class at the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens, three gold medals at the 2008 Summer Paralympic Games in Beijing, he won two gold medals at the 2012 Paralympic Games and remained the T43 world record holder for the 200 and 400 metres events. The South African team of Pistorius, Arnu Fourie, Zivan Smith and Samkelo Radebe won a gold medal and set a Paralympic record in the 4 × 100 m relay with a time of 41.78 seconds. Fourie set a world record in the heats of the T44 200m event and won a bronze medal in the 100m event. Basketball is an popular sport in South Africa among the youth; the national federation Basketball South Africa was founded in 1992 and is one of the youngest members of the global basketball governing body FIBA.
The national team competes at the FIBA Africa Championship. So far, no basketball player of South African nationality has made it to the NBA. However, South Africa was the birthplace to Steve Nash, two-time MVP in the NBA, Swiss NBA player Thabo Sefolosha has a South African father; as of March 2012 when Jeffrey Mathebula won the IBF junior featherweight title, South Africa has produced seventy-one world champions since Willie Smith won the British version of the world bantamweight title. In addition to the universally recognised world champion Vic Toweel, the number contains champions recognised by the major and nonmajor sanctioning bodies, seventy-one world champions have won one hundred and fourteen titles including thirty-five titles for the four major sanctioning bodies. South Africa had eight world champions in 1998. However, according to Jeffrey Mathebula's trainer Nick Durandt who has trained world champions such as Thulani Malinga and Phillip N'dou in his 25-year career, South Africa had not been able to host the world title bouts due to lack of funds, boxers had been forced to fight overseas for world titles.
The Gauteng sports department has been cooperative, but sponsorship and television coverage dropped in thirty years. Boxing matches had not been broadcast on the state-owned broadcaster SABC from early 2011, only a few cards had been aired on the satellite pay-T
Religion in South Africa
South Africa is a secular state with a diverse religious population. Its constitution guarantees freedom of religion. Many religions are represented in the regional diversity of the population. Christianity in its Protestant forms, predominates; the African Traditional Religion of the Khoisan and Bantu speakers during apartheid were succeeded in predominance by Christianity forced by the Dutch and British settlers. In 1930 the majority of Afrikaners were Calvinists. Islam was introduced by the Cape Malay slaves of the Dutch settlers, Hinduism was introduced by the indentured labourers imported from the Indian subcontinent, Buddhism was introduced by both Indian and Chinese immigrants. Judaism in South Africa came about some time before the discovery of the Cape of Good Hope, by the participation of Jewish astronomers and cartographers in the Portuguese discovery of the sea-route to India, they assisted Bartolomeu Dias and Vasco da Gama who first sailed around the Cape of Good Hope in 1488 and 1497 respectively.
However, Jewish settlers only began to arrive in numbers from the 1820s. The Bahá'í Faith was introduced in 1911; the Bahá'í community decided to limit membership in its national assembly to black adherents when a mixed-race assembly was prohibited under Apartheid. It has about 250,000 members; the marginalized African Traditional Religion adherents have become more publicly visible and organised in a democratic post-apartheid South Africa and today number over 6 million, or 15 percent of the population. The Census 2001 provided the most recent national statistics for religious denominations; the Census 2011 form did not include any questions about religion due to low priority. The 2016 Community Survey, intercensal survey carried out by Statistics South Africa, reintroduced the religion question, the results were reported in the pie chart. A 2012 Win-Gallup International Religiosity and Atheism poll indicated that the number of South Africans who consider themselves religious decreased from 83% of the population in 2005 to 64% of the population in 2012.
However, an Ipsos Mori Poll of 2017 showed 88% declare that religion was an important part of their lives. A 2015 study estimated some 6,500 believers in Christ from a Muslim background residing in the country; the Association of Religion Data Archives estimated in 2010 that 82.0% of South Africans identified as Christian, 7.1% identified with indigenous religions, 5.4% identified as agnostic, 2.4% identified as Hindu, 1.7% identified as Muslim, 0.5% identified as Bahá'í, 0.3% each identified as Buddhist and atheist, 0.2% identified as Jewish, less than 0.1% identified with each other group. According to the World Values Survey, between 1981 and 2001, South Africa was one of only three societies to see an increase in religious participation, it was the leader among these, with churchgoing increasing by 13% in that period, from 43% of people surveyed to 57% being churchgoers. Christianity is the dominant religion in South Africa, with 80% of the population in 2001 professing to be Christian.
No single denomination predominates, with mainstream Protestant churches, Pentecostal churches, African initiated churches, the Catholic Church all having significant numbers of adherents. There is significant and sustained syncretism with African Traditional Religion among most of the self-professed Christians in South Africa. Of the total national population of 44.8 million, 35.8 million or 79.8% identified as members of a Christian denomination. The history of Protestantism in South Africa dates back to the initial European settlement on the Cape of Good Hope in 1652. Since Protestantism has been the predominant religion of the European settlers and today, of South Africa as a whole; the largest Protestant denomination in the country is Pentecostalism, followed by Methodism, Dutch Reformed and Anglicanism. The Zion Christian Church is the largest African initiated church in Southern Africa; the church's headquarters are at Zion City Moria in South Africa. According to the 1996 South African Census, the church numbered 3.87 million members.
By the 2001 South African Census, its membership had increased to 4.97 million members. The Catholic Church in South Africa is part of the universal Catholic Church composed of the Roman Rite and 22 Eastern Rites, of which the South African church is under the spiritual leadership of the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference and the pope based in Vatican City, it is made up of 26 archdioceses plus an apostolic vicariate. In 1996, there were 3.3 million Catholics in South Africa making up 6% of the total South African population. There are 3.8 million Catholics. 2.7 million are of various black African ethnic groups, such as Zulu and Sotho. Coloured and white South Africans each account for 300,000. Most white Catholics are English speaking; the majority are descended from Italian immigrants. Many others are Portuguese settlers who left Angola and Mozambique after they became independent in the 1970s, or their children; the proportion of Catholics among the predominantly Calvinist white Afrikaans speakers, or South African Asians who are Hindus of Indian descent, is small.
Islam in South Africa is a minority religion, practiced by less than 1.5% of the total population, according to estimates. It has grown in three phases; the first phase brought the earliest Muslims as part of the involuntary migration of slaves, political prisoners and political exiles from Africa and Asia (mainly from the
Afrikaans is a West Germanic language spoken in South Africa, Namibia and, to a lesser extent and Zimbabwe. It evolved from the Dutch vernacular of South Holland spoken by the Dutch settlers of what is now South Africa, where it began to develop distinguishing characteristics in the course of the 18th century. Hence, it is a daughter language of Dutch, was referred to as "Cape Dutch" or "kitchen Dutch". However, it is variously described as a creole or as a creolised language; the term is derived from Dutch Afrikaans-Hollands meaning "African Dutch". Although Afrikaans has adopted words from other languages, including German and the Khoisan languages, an estimated 90 to 95% of the vocabulary of Afrikaans is of Dutch origin. Therefore, differences with Dutch lie in the more analytic-type morphology and grammar of Afrikaans, a spelling that expresses Afrikaans pronunciation rather than standard Dutch. There is a large degree of mutual intelligibility between the two languages—especially in written form.
With about 7 million native speakers in South Africa, or 13.5% of the population, it is the third-most-spoken language in the country. It has the widest geographical and racial distribution of all the 11 official languages of South Africa, is spoken and understood as a second or third language, it is the majority language of the western half of South Africa—the provinces of the Northern Cape and Western Cape—and the first language of 75.8% of Coloured South Africans, 60.8% of White South Africans. In addition, many native speakers of Bantu languages and English speak Afrikaans as a second language, it is taught with about 10.3 million second-language students. One reason for the expansion of Afrikaans is its development in the public realm: it is used in newspapers, radio programs, TV, several translations of the Bible have been published since the first one was completed in 1933. In neighbouring Namibia, Afrikaans is spoken as a second language and used as a lingua franca, while as a native language it is spoken in 10.4% of households concentrated in the capital Windhoek, Walvis Bay and the southern regions of Hardap and ǁKaras.
It, along with German, was among the official languages of Namibia until the country became independent in 1990, 25% of the population of Windhoek spoke Afrikaans at home. Both Afrikaans and German are recognised regional languages in Namibia, although only English has official status within the government. Estimates of the total number of Afrikaans speakers range between 23 million; the term is derived from the Dutch term Afrikaans-Hollands meaning "African Dutch". An estimated 90 to 95% of the Afrikaans lexicon is of Dutch origin, there are few lexical differences between the two languages. Afrikaans has a more regular morphology and spelling. There is a degree of mutual intelligibility between the two languages in written form. Afrikaans acquired some lexical and syntactical borrowings from other languages such as Malay, Khoisan languages and Bantu languages, Afrikaans has been influenced by South African English. Dutch speakers are confronted with fewer non-cognates when listening to Afrikaans than the other way round.
Mutual intelligibility thus tends to be asymmetrical, as it is easier for Dutch speakers to understand Afrikaans than for Afrikaans speakers to understand Dutch. In general, mutual intelligibility between Dutch and Afrikaans is better than between Dutch and Frisian or between Danish and Swedish; the South African poet writer Breyten Breytenbach, attempting to visualize the language distance for anglophones once remarked that the differences between Dutch and Afrikaans are comparable to those between the Received Pronunciation and Southern American English. The Afrikaans language arose in the Dutch Cape Colony, through a gradual divergence from European Dutch dialects, during the course of the 18th century; as early as the mid-18th century and as as the mid-20th century, Afrikaans was known in standard Dutch as a "kitchen language", lacking the prestige accorded, for example by the educational system in Africa, to languages spoken outside Africa. Other early epithets setting apart Kaaps Hollands as putatively beneath official Dutch standards included geradbraakt and onbeschaafd Hollands, as well as verkeerd Nederlands.
Den Besten theorizes that modern Standard Afrikaans derives from two sources: Cape Dutch, a direct transplantation of European Dutch to southern Africa, and'Hottentot Dutch', a pidgin that descended from'Foreigner Talk' and from the Dutch pidgin spoken by slaves, via a hypothetical Dutch creole. Thus in his view Afrikaans is neither a creole nor a direct descendant of Dutch, but a fusion of two transmission pathways. A relative majority of the first settlers whose descendants today are the Afrikaners were from the United Provinces, though up to one-sixth of the community was of French Huguenot origin, a seventh from Germany. African and Asian workers and slaves contributed to the development of Afrikaans; the slave population was made up of people from East Africa, West Africa, India and the Dutch East Indies. A number were indigenous Khoisan people, who were valued as i
Coat of arms of South Africa
The present coat of arms of South Africa was introduced on Freedom Day 27 April 2000. It replaced the earlier national arms, in use since 1910; the motto ǃke e꞉ ǀxarra ǁke is written in the Khoisan language of the ǀXam people and translates to "diverse people unite". The previous motto, in Latin, was Ex Unitate Vires, translated as "From unity, strength"; the design process was initiated when, in 1999, the Department of Arts, Culture and Technology requested ideas for the new coat-of-arms from the public. A brief was prepared based on the ideas received, along with input from the Cabinet; the Government Communication and Information System approached Design South Africa to brief ten of the top designers. Three designers were chosen to present their concepts to the Cabinet. Iaan Bekker's design was chosen; the new arms were introduced on Freedom Day, 27 April 2000. The change reflected the government's aim to highlight the democratic change in South Africa and a new sense of patriotism; the coat of arms is a series of elements organised in distinct symmetric egg-like or oval shapes placed on top of one another.
The completed structure of the coat of arms combines the lower and higher oval shape in a symbol of infinity. The path that connects the lower edge of the scroll, through the lines of the tusks, with the horizon above and the sun rising at the top, forms the shape of the cosmic egg from which the secretary bird rises. In the symbolic sense, this is the implied rebirth of the spirit of the great and heroic nation of South Africa; the coat of arms is a central part of the Seal of the Republic, traditionally considered to be the highest emblem of the State. Absolute authority is given to every document with an impression of the Seal of the Republic on it, as this means that it has been approved by the President of South Africa. Since 1997, the use of the Seal of the Republic has not been required by the Constitution, but it continues to be used; the official blazon of the arms is: Or, representations of two San human figures of red ochre, statant respectant, the hands of the innermost arms clasped, with upper arm, inner wrist and knee bands Argent, a narrow border of red ochre.
Thereabove a demi-secretary bird displayed Or, charged on the breast with a stylised representation of a protea flower with outer petals Vert, inner petals Or and seeded of nine triangles conjoined in three rows, the upper triangle Gules, the second row Vert, Or inverted and Vert, the third row Vert, Or inverted, Sable, Or inverted and Vert. Above the head of the secretary bird an arc of seven rays facetted Or and Orange, the two outer rays conjoined to the elevated wings. Upon a riband Vert, the motto ǃKE E꞉ ǀXARRA ǁKE in letters Argent. Issuant from the ends of the riband two pairs of elephant tusks curving inwards, the tips conjoined to the wings of the secretary bird, Or, therewithin and flanking the shields, two ears of wheat Brunatré; the first element is the motto, in a green semicircle. Completing the semicircle are two symmetrically placed pairs of elephant tusks pointing upwards. Within the oval shape formed by the tusks are two symmetrical ears of wheat, that in turn frame a centrally placed gold shield.
The shape of the shield makes reference to the drum, contains two human figures from Khoisan rock art. The figures are depicted facing one another in unity. Above the shield are a spear and a knobkierie, crossed in a single unit; these elements are arranged harmoniously to give focus to the shield and complete the lower oval shape of foundation. The mottoThe motto is: ǃke e꞉ ǀxarra ǁke, written in the Khoisan language of the ǀXam people meaning "diverse people unite", it addresses each individual effort to harness the unity between action. On a collective scale it calls for the nation to unite in a common sense of belonging and national pride - unity in diversity; the ears of wheatAn emblem of fertility, it symbolises the idea of germination and the feasible development of any potential. It relates to the nourishment of the signifies: the agricultural aspects of the Earth. Elephant tusksElephants symbolise wisdom, strength and eternity; the shieldIt has a dual function of spiritual defence. It contains the primary symbol of our nation.
The human figuresThe figures are depicted in an attitude of symbolising unity. This represents the beginning of the individual’s transformation into the greater sense of:belonging to the nation and by extension, collective humanity; the spear and knobkierieA dual symbol of defence and authority, they in turn represent the powerful legs of the secretary bird. The spear and knobkierie are lying down. Above the oval shape of foundation, is the visual centre of the coat of arms, a protea; the petals of the protea are rendered in a triangular pattern reminiscent of the crafts of Africa. The secretary bird is placed above the protea and the flower forms the chest of the bird; the secretary bird stands with its wings uplifted in a uprising gesture. The distinctive head feathers of the secretary bird crown a vigilant head; the rising sun above the horizon is placed between the wings of the secretary bird and completes the oval shape of ascendance. The combination of the upper and lower oval shapes intersect to form an unbroken infinite course, the great harmony between the basic elements result in a dynamic and distinctive design.
Yet it retains the stability and immediacy that a coat of arms demands. The King proteaThe protea is an emblem of the beauty of our land and the flowering of our potential as a n
Flag of South Africa
The flag of South Africa was designed in March 1994 and adopted on 27 April 1994, at the beginning of South Africa's 1994 general election, to replace the flag, used since 1928. The new national flag, designed by the State Herald of South Africa Frederick Brownell, was chosen to represent the country's new democracy after the end of apartheid; the flag has horizontal bands of red and blue, of equal width, separated by a central green band which splits into a horizontal "Y" shape, the arms of which end at the corners of the hoist side. The "Y" embraces a black isosceles triangle from which the arms are separated by narrow yellow bands; the stripes at the fly end are in the 5:1:3:1:5 ratio. At the time of its adoption, the South African flag was the only national flag in the world to comprise six colours in its primary design and without a seal and brocade; the design and colours are a synopsis of principal elements of the country's flag history. The colours themselves have no essential meaning.
The central design of the flag, beginning at the flagpost in a "V" form and flowing into a single horizontal band to the outer edge of the fly. According to official South African government information, the South African flag is "a synopsis of principal elements of the country's flag history." Although different people may attribute personal symbolism to the individual colours or colour combinations, "no universal symbolism should be attached to any of the colours." The only symbolism in the flag is the V or Y shape, which can be interpreted as "the convergence of diverse elements within South African society, taking the road ahead in unity". From time to time explanations of the meanings or symbolism of the flag's colours are published in various media, including official government publications and speeches by government officials. Three of the colours — black and yellow — are found in the flag of the African National Congress; the other three — red and blue — are used in the modern flag of the Netherlands and the flag of the United Kingdom.
Former South African President F. W. de Klerk, who proclaimed the new flag on 20 April 1994, stated in his autobiography, The Last Trek: a New Beginning, that chilli red was chosen instead of plain red or orange. The Anglo-Boer War between 1899 and 1902 ended with the Treaty of Vereeniging on 31 May 1902 and resulted in what is now South Africa falling under the British Union Flag; the former Boer Republics of the Orange Free State and the Zuid-Afrikaanse Republiek became British colonies along with the existing Cape and Natal colonies. Each was entitled to a colonial flag following in the British tradition. On 31 May 1910 these four colonies came together to form the Union of South Africa and the individual colonial flags were no longer used and new South African flags came into being. Once again, as a British dominion the British Union Flag was to continue as the national flag and the standard British ensign pattern was used as a basis for distinctive South African flags; as was the case throughout the British Empire, the Red and Blue Ensigns were the official flags for merchant and government vessels at sea, the British Admiralty authorised them to be defaced in the fly with the shield from the South African coat of arms.
These ensigns were not intended to be used as the Union's national flag, although they were used by some people as such. Although these ensigns were intended for maritime use, they were flown on land; these flags never enjoyed much popular support due to the animosities lingering after the Anglo-Boer War. The Afrikaner descendants of the Dutch settlers from the former Boer Republics found the prominent position of the British Union Flag to be offensive while the English-speakers saw any move to remove it as an Afrikaner plot to deprive them of their imperial symbol. Due to the lack of popularity of these flags, there were intermittent discussions about the desirability of a more distinctive national flag for South Africa after 1910, it was only after a coalition government took office in 1925 that a bill was introduced in Parliament to introduce a national flag for the Union; this provoked an violent controversy that lasted for three years based on whether the British Union Flag should be included in the new flag design or not.
The Natal Province threatened to secede from the Union should it be decided to remove it. A compromise was reached that resulted in the adoption of a separate flag for the Union in late 1927 and the design was first hoisted on 31 May 1928; the design was based on the so-called Van Riebeeck flag or "Prince's Flag", the Dutch flag. A version of this flag had been used as the flag of the Dutch East India Company at the Cape from 1652 until 1795; the South African addition to the design was the inclusion of three smaller flags centred in the white stripe. The miniature flags were the British Union Flag towards the hoist, the flag of the Orange Free State hanging vertically in the middle and the Transvaal Vierkleur towards the fly; the position of each of the miniature flags is such. However, to ensure that the Dutch flag in the canton of the Orange Free State flag is placed nearest to the upper hoist of the main flag, the Free State flag must be reversed; the British Union Flag, nearest to the hoist and is thus in a