The Department of Sports, Arts and Culture has provided more details about its national monumental flag project.
First announced in February 2022, monumental flags are installed by countries to express their identity and pride. Once constructed, it will become a national landmark and a tourist attraction site that will serve to display the country’s brand image, the department said.
In its annual performance plan for 2022/2023, the department said it had already embarked on a process to conceptualise, design and ultimately install a national monumental flag, with a flagpole that will be more than 100 metres in height.
“A feasibility study on the development of the South African monumental flag was undertaken in 2020/2021. The results of the feasibility study will inform the brief for the South African national monumental flag.
“R5 million is budgeted in 2022/23 for the site-specific geotechnical studies, including the environmental impact assessment and other tests and applications that will be required prior to construction. In 2023/24 R17 million is allocated for the installation of the monumental flag.”
The department noted that the flag is the symbol of ‘nationhood’ and the ‘common identity’ of the people of South Africa.
“The flag, as the brand image of the country, needs to be highly recognised by the citizens. Rendering a national flag as a monument of democracy goes a long way in making it highly recognised by the citizens. This has the potential to unite people as it becomes a symbol of unity and common identity.
“The project is envisaged to contribute towards nation-building and social cohesion. During 2022/23, the project will be tracked in the operational plan and the feasibility study conducted will guide the way forward towards installing a monumental flag.”
South Africa’s national flag was designed by a former state herald, 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, the government says.
The government has subsequently developed a set of specific instructions with regard to the use of the national flag and how it should be flown.
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.