Last modified: 2017-12-22 by bruce berry
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The ANC has been the ruling party in South Africa since 1994. It is a member of the "tripartite alliance" together with the South African Communist Party and the Confederation of South African Trade Unions (COSATU).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.
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
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
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
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