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KwaZulu/Natal (South Africa)

Last modified: 2022-10-22 by bruce berry
Keywords: south africa | kwazulu-natal | zulu | natal | zulu king |
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KwaZulu-Natal - introduction

In southeast South Africa, re-organized from the former Natal province minus local parts of Transkei. Borders Eastern Cape (with exclave), Free State, Mpumalanga, Mozambique, Swaziland and Lesotho.  Includes the former homeland of KwaZulu.
Antonio Martins, 30 May 1999

KwaZulu-Natal flag

Up to September 1995 none of the 9 new South African provinces have adopted their own flags although one or two have proposals in this regard. There is currently a debate in this country as to whether the provinces should have their own flags or not with the ruling ANC holding the view that the provinces should not have individual flags.
Bruce Berry September 1995

There are discussions for a flag for the new province of KwaZulu-Natal. A provincial constitution has been tabled before the Constitutional Court but has been referred back for further amendment. This is the most critical issue and the question of a provincial flag (or Arms) has not received much attention over the past 18 months.
Bruce Berry, 19 February 1998

The South African government page on state symbols (which is mirrored on the ANC-site) lists under "current flags" a KwaZulu-Natal Flag; that flag is nearly identical to the one here. That flag is of the former homeland KwaZulu, which ceased to exist on 27 April 1994. It seems to me that the flag is in use (perhaps unofficially) as the KwaZulu-Natal flag.
Jarig Bakker, April 13, 2001

There is still no new provincial flag, or Arms, for KwaZulu-Natal.  All the other provinces in South Africa have adopted new provincial arms and only one, Mpumalanga, has a provincial flag.  The old KwaZulu homeland flag is not used, even unofficially.
Bruce Berry, 18 Apr 2001

A 'local' or unofficial flag for use in the province been designed, the details of which can be found here.
Bruce Berry, 11 July 2008

KwaZulu-Natal provincial Arms

image by Martin Grieve, 18 April 2005

KwaZulu-Natal is the last of the nine new provinces in South Africa to formally adopt a coat of arms. The new arms were registered at the Bureau of Heraldry on 03 December 2004 with the following blazon:

ARMS: Argent, a fess dancetty Vert, in base, within a bordure dovetailed of the last a Strelitizia flower proper; on a chief dancetty Azure, filled of the first, a mullet Argent.  The shield is ensigned of a heading Or, ther upon a Zulu hut proper.  Behind the shield a spear and knobkerrie in saltire, proper.
SUPPORTERS: On a compartment Vert, the lower edge Or, dexter a lion and sinister a black wildebeest proper.
MOTTO: MASISUKUME SAKHE (Let us Stand Up and Build).

The heraldic components, namely the lion and wildebeest supporters, represent the coming together of the former KwaZulu homeland and the Natal province to form KwaZulu-Natal.  His Majesty, the Zulu King is referred to as the ingonyama  (lion).  The wildebeest has long been associated with the former Natal province and was featured on the previous provincial and colonial Arms.  The shield has a zig-zag partition to represent the Drakensberg Mountains, the crossed assegai and knobkerrie and a Zulu hut to represent the importance of Zulu culture.  The strelitzia flower signifies the natural beauty of the province.
Bruce Berry, 18 April 2005

Flag of Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini

[Flag of Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini] image by Jens Pattke, 20 Feb 2001

Description of the flag of King Goodwill Zwelithini:

Author: Theo Stylianides and Bruce Berry

"A new flag for King Goodwill Zwelithini Kabhekuzulu, the Zulu monarch, was unveiled on 21 December 1999 in Verulam, KwaZulu-Natal. The flag comprises seven horizontal stripes of black, yellow, red, green, white, blue, and maroon with the royal arms in the centre. The colour symbolize social development factors with black representing the soil, yellow wealth, red defence, green vegetation, white purity and peace, blue religion and maroon royalty.
The blazon of the Royal Arms is described as: Arms: Argent, in pale the sceptre of the King between four huts, over all in base a representation of the Royal Hut, proper. Supporters: On a ground sable, two lions Or, armed Argent and langued sable.
Motto: Ilembe Leqa Amanye Ngoku Khalipha (Together we shall surmount - an allusion to the motto on the former South African arms, Unity is Strength).
These arms were registered with the South African Bureau of Heraldry under Certificate number 757 issued on 02 June 1975. The arrns were registered without the Royal Crown that is now placed above the Arms on the flag.
The silver (white) shield is derived from the colour ox-hide of the royal herd and the sceptre of  "Inhlendla” is the symbol of the King's authority. The Royal Hut never stands alone and the King is the "Lion of the Zulu”, hence the choice of supporters.
The new royal flag will be flown at all royal households, on all official royal vehicles and on other buildings conducting royal business.
Source: Article by Theo Stylianides and Bruce Berry in SAVA Newsletter  27/00 (pg 5).
Jens Pattke, 20 Feb 2001

The flag of King Goodwill Zwelithini is a personal royal standard and is flown at all royal households, on official royal vehicles and on other buildings conducting royal business.
Bruce Berry, 18 Apr 2001

The Zulu People

In a TV reportage there was a group of Zulu; they waved their symbol: a black and white shield. It has the same shape of the shield in KwaZulu's flag (KwaZulu was another homeland in South Africa) and it looked like the Emasotsha's shield in Swaziland's flag.
Giuseppe Bottasini

Is there, or was there at a time a flag for the Zulu people?
Philippe Bondurand, 19 Feb 1998

Prior to colonialism the Zulu tribal shields were the main form of symbolic identity. Once subjugated, the flags of Britain, the Boers and finally those of the Union (and later Republic) of South Africa flew over Zululand. As part of the apartheid policy of creating ethnically based Homelands, the KwaZulu homeland was created on 11 March 1970. A KwaZulu flag was adopted on 31 August 1977 and later changed on 14 January 1985. These flags are illustrated on Mark Sensen's Flags of the 19th and 20th Centuries homepage. The KwaZulu flag ceased to be official on the eve of the inauguration of Nelson Mandela and the creation of a united South Africa on 26 April 1994.
Bruce Berry, 19 Feb 1998

Previous Municipal and other local flag descriptions

The following municipal local flags in the former Natal province were registered with the South African Bureau of Heraldry.  These flags are no longer in use following the introduction of a new municipal dispensation in South Africa after 2000.

Kloof Borough municipal flag registered with the South African Bureau of Heraldry on 18 Apr 1975 and described as:
On a rectangular flag Azure, a  leopard  passant proper.

Natal Anti-Shark Measures Board flag registered with the South African Bureau of Heraldry on 17 Oct 1986 and described as:
A rectangular flag, proportion three by two, the hoist third white, charged in the canton with two black wildebeest in pale in full course, the fly blue, charged with a stylised Zambezi shark affronte in white outline.

Colenso Borough municipal flag registered with the South African Bureau of Heraldry on 26 Feb 1990 and described as:
A rectangular flag, proportion 3:2, consisting of a black hoist panel 1/5 the length of the flag and a yellow charged with a blue fess wavy, thereupon another of white.
Source: Data of the Bureau of Heraldry on registered heraldic representations.
Mark Sensen, 19 May 2002

The above flags are illustrated in SAVA Journal 1/91 (ed).