National Symbols

National Animal

After the demise of apartheid, the ANC government decreed that South African sporting teams were to be known as the Proteas, however, the rugby team still maintain the name Springboks after the intervention of then-president Nelson Mandela, who did so as a gesture of goodwill to the mainly white (and largely Afrikaner) rugby supporters.

23 August 2010

National Anthem

It is the only neo-modal national anthem in the world, by virtue of being the only one that starts in one key and finishes in another. The lyrics employ the five most populous of South Africa's eleven official languages - isiXhosa (first stanza, first two lines), isiZulu (first stanza, last two lines), seSotho (second stanza), Afrikaans (third stanza) and English (final stanza).

23 August 2010

National Bird

The Blue Crane is a bird very special to the amaXhosa, who call it indwe. When a man distinguished himself by deeds of valour, or any form of meritorious conduct, he was often decorated by a chief by being presented with the feathers of this bird. After a battle, the chief would organise a ceremony called ukundzabela a ceremony for the heroes, at which feathers would be presented. Men so honoured they wore the feathers sticking out of their hair were known as men of ugaba (trouble) - the implication being that if trouble arose, these men would reinstate peace and order.

23 August 2010

National Coat of Arms

A national Coat of Arms, or state emblem, is the highest visual symbol of the State. The Coat of Arms is also a central part of the Great Seal, traditionally considered to be the highest emblem of the State. Absolute authority is given to every document with an impression of the Great Seal on it, as this means that it has been approved by the President of South Africa.

23 August 2010

National Fish

Near rocks, the colour of the galjoen is almost completely black, while in sandy areas the colour is silver-bronze. It is also known in KwaZulu-Natal as blackfish or black bream. The record size is over 55 cm and 7 kg, however the average is much smaller. The galjoen is a game fighter.

23 August 2010

National Flag

The national flag was designed by a former South African State Herald, Mr Fred Brownell, and was first used on 27 April 1994. The design and colours are a synopsis of principal elements of the country's flag history. Individual colours, or colour combinations represent different meanings for different people and therefore no universal symbolism should be attached to any of the colours.

23 August 2010

National Flower

The King Protea, (Protea cynaroides), is a flowering plant. Its flower head (what the layman will call the 'flower') is the largest in the genus Protea: the species is also known as Giant Protea, Honeypot or King Sugar Bush. It is widely distributed in the south-western and southern parts of South Africa of the fynbos region.

23 August 2010

National Tree

The yellowwood family is primeval and has been present in South Africa for more than 100 million years. The species is widespread and is found from Table Mountain, along the southern and eastern Cape coast, in the ravines of the Drakensberg up to the Soutpansberg and the Blouberg in Limpopo.

23 August 2010

 
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