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African National Congress (South Africa)

Last modified: 2006-12-16 by bruce berry
Keywords: african national congress | anc | south africa | politics |
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[Flag of ANC] image by Pascal Gross, 11 Apr 1999

See also:

African National Congress (ANC) flag

The ANC has been the ruling party in South Africa since 1994.

The African National Congress (ANC) flag is as indicated above - black, green and gold. The ANC badge (adopted on the 75th anniversary of the organisation in 1987) comprises a fist holding a traditional spear superimposed on a traditional shield adjacent to a cogwheel.
Bruce Berry, 25 Apr 1996

The ANC flag was adopted during their party congress in 1925. There is no record on the ANC official website about why they chose the black, green and yellow colours.  I have, however, heard a tale (the source no longer remembered) that a delegation from Jamaica attended this congress as observers that year and that they brought the colours with them as a gift!  If true, this would mean that the ANC received the colours from the Jamaicans and not the other way around. It would also mean that Jamaica's colours date back much further than the 1960s. Was there perhaps an earlier political movement in Jamaica (circa the 1920s) with these colours for a party flag?

It is to be noted that the ANC is one of the oldest black African political movements, having been established as such in 1912, but built upon an even earlier movement.  It was therefore regarded as the senior liberation movement in Africa and at least three of the neighbouring countries adapted the ANC colours for their own use. So we see the flags of Mozambique, Tanzania and Zimbabwe all containing the colours black, green and yellow/gold.
Andre Burgers, 28 Apr 2003


Popular variation :
 

[Popular Flag of ANC] image by Jorge Candeias, 02 July 1998

The flag I've seen very often before the apartheid ended and less frequently these days is a simple black, green and gold tricolour. I presume that the flag depicted above is the official flag and this one I'm posting now is a popular variation.
Jorge Candeias, 2 July 1998

You are partly correct. The original ANC flag was just the plain green, yellow, black horizontal tricolour but in 1993 it was announced that the badge of the organisation would be added to the centre of the flag. The badge had been adopted on the 75th anniversary of the organisation in January 1987.
Both types of flags are in use - the original version being more popular with "the masses" for obvious reasons. I noticed at a recent ANC news conference that a large flag containing the badge was hanging on the wall behind. The badge is also often displayed on T-shirts, peak caps and the like.
Bruce Berry, 2 July 1998

Only the plain black/green/yellow horizontal tricolor was used until 1987. Although the logo has "officially" been added, the plain version is still being used by supporters at rallies and such like. The flag with the logo, and the logo itself, is used by the Party.
Bruce Berry, 10 Nov 1999

I found the website and flag of the African National Congress (South Africa) which is already on the FOTW website but with different dimensions: 3/4 instead of 2/3. Can anyone tell which is the correct size?
M.V. Blanes, 10 Oct 2000

Flags in South Africa are usually made to the proportion 2:3.  Although not registered with the Bureau of Heraldry (which would lay down specific proportions), I would guess that the ANC flag would follow the usual practice of 2:3.
Bruce Berry, 11 Oct 2000


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