SOUTH AFRICA
 


 
DEFENCE FORCE, ARMY & AIR FORCE FLAGS    1940-94
 
Images Added November 2016

Car Flags  Commanding General of the Army & General with Command Appointment
 

Notes
 

The South African Defence Force (SADF) adopted a flag in 1947: a simple horizontal bicolor of dark blue (for the Navy) dark orange or "chili red" (for the Army) and sky blue (for the Air Force). A new design, similar in pattern to the flags of the individual services, was introduced in 1981, with the national flag as a canton and a tri-service badge in the lower fly. The 1994 SADF Flag follows the same design but with the new national flag as a canton.

The South African Army adopted a distinctive flag in 1951, and its basic design remained unchanged until 1994. The field was chili red, the Army branch color, with the 1928 national flag as a canton. In the lower fly was placed the Army's badge, a springbok's head. This badge was modified in 1966, when the artistic rendition of the springbok was changed and crossed swords were added. In 1973, the national flag canton received a white fimbriation and the badge was changed again to depict the springbok's head within a representation of the Castle of Good Hope. This fortification, constructed by the Dutch in the seventeenth century, is the oldest military installation in South Africa. A range of corps flags was adopted at the same time, with the springbok's head in white on a chile red triangle and stripes in the corps or branch colors. The 1994 SA Army Flag retained the chili red field and badge of the 1973 flag, but with the new South African national flag in the canton. A swallowtailed version of the 1951-66 flag served as the car flag of the commanding general of the Army and was probably updated along with the Army flag. General officers with command appointments had a swallowtailed car flag striped like the 1947 SADF flag.

The South African Air Force used the British RAF Ensign until 1940, when a new ensign with the 1928 national flag as a canton and a blue-white-orange roundel in the fly was adopted. The overall 1:2 proportions of the RAF Ensign were retained, but the national flag in the canton was 2:3. In 1951, a revised SAAF ensign was introduced. Overall proportions were now 2:3 and the new SAAF roundel, depicting an orange leaping springbok on a blue-white roundel, appeared in the fly. In 1958, the SAAF ensign was revised again. The roundel was abolished in favor of a new insignia which depicted the leaping springbok in yellow on a blue and white representation of the Castle of Good Hope. A white fimbriation was also added around the national flag in the canton. This version was to be replaced by a new SAAF ensign in 1967. The design, which featured an eagle with outspread wings in the lower fly, was officially adopted but never actually taken into use. Instead, the pervious ensign was readopted in 1968. The eagle finally appeared on the 1981 SAAF ensign and remained on the 1982 version. The sky blue field and insignia of the 1982 ensign were retained for the 1994 SAAF Ensign, but the new South African national flag was placed in the canton.

In 1979, the South African Medical Service was constituted as a separate branch of the SADF. As such it received its own flag. The 1994 SAMS Flag remained the same except for the substitution of the new national flag in the canton.

Flag Proportions: Most 1940-94 SA Defense Force, Army and Air Force flags and ensigns had 2:3 proportions. An exception was the 1940-51 Air Force ensign, which had 1:2 proportions.
 



 

SOUTH AFRICAN DEFENCE FORCE

 

1947-81

 

1981-94

 

SOUTH AFRICAN ARMY

 

1951-66

 

GENERAL COMMANDING THE ARMY    CIRCA 1960

 

GENERAL WITH COMMAND APPOINTMENT    CIRCA 1960

 

1966-73

 

1973-94

 

CORPS FLAG    INFANTRY BRANCH

 

CORPS FLAG  SOUTH AFRICAN ARTILLERY

 

CORPS FLAG    SOUTH AFRICAN ARMORED CORPS

 

CORPS FLAG    CORPS OF MILITARY POLICE

 

CORPS FLAG    COMMANDO ORGANIZATION

 

SOUTH AFRICAN AIR FORCE

 

1940-51

 

1951-58

 

1958-67 & 1968-81

 

1967-68

 

1981-82

 

1982-94

 

SOUTH AFRICAN MEDICAL SERVICE

 

1979-94
 



BACK to SOUTH AFRICA Page