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The South African flag was designed by the former State Herald, Mr Frederick Brownell.

The South African flag was officially hoisted for the first time at midnight on 26/27 April 1994. The first democratic elections began on 27 April 1994 and 27 April is now celebrated as Freedom Day in South Africa.

At the time of its adoption, the South African flag was the only flag in the world to comprise 6 colours in its primary design - red, white, blue, green, yellow and black.

The symbolism of the design and colours:

The colours do not really have symbolic meanings in themselves. People do sometimes assign meanings to colours such as green for vegetation, yellow for the mineral resources etc but this is not the case with the current national flag. According to Mr. Frederick Brownell, while the colours of our flag do not have any official symbolism, they do represent a synopsis of the country's flag history. The design in turn, represents a converging of paths, the merging of both the past and the present. Black, gold and green, which were first incorporated into South African national flags in the 19th century, also feature prominently in the flags of the liberation movements, particularly the African National Congress (ANC) and the Pan-African Congress (PAC) and thus can be said to represent the country’s Black population.

Red, white, blue and green reflect the British and Dutch (later Boer) influence, as shown in the earliest flags flown in South Africa, and also featured prominently in the old South African National Flag and thus represent the country’s white population.

The green pall (the Y-shape) is commonly interpreted to mean the unification of the various ethnic groups and their moving forward into a new united South Africa.

The South African flag was initially intended to be an "interim" flag. As it was accepted as the symbol of the "new" South Africa by most South Africans, the design was kept unchanged and it is included as Schedule 1 of the Constitution (Act 108 of 1996).

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