Last modified: 2009-06-27 by bruce berry
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image from this website, reported by Jarig Bakker, 23 May 2001
I was looking for a flag of the Namibian town of Walvisbaai / Walvis
Bay. This former South African town and seaport (part of Namibia since
1995), has no other flag flying at the municipality other than the Namibian national
flag. (There are other symbols related to Walvisbaai as the logo of the
Port, or the logo of the Economic Exclusive Zone, but these are commercial).
Perhaps, there is no flag of Walvisbaai?
You can find the name of the town written in two different ways: English: Walvis Bay - Afrikaans: Walvisbaai
The most common form is in English. But probably it's only an hybrid, an incorrect way because the name in English should be Whale Bay (never used), as "walvis" is Dutch and not English.
Santiago Tazon, 23 May 2001
Walvis Bay does not fly a distinctive municipal flag. English is now
the official language of Namibia and hence Walvisbaai is no longer used
Walvis Bay is the principle port of Namibia located on the Atlantic Coast. Until March 1994 the town was part of South Africa and administered as part of the former Cape Province of South Africa. Municipal arms were originally granted by the then Administrator of South West Africa on 01 December 1964 and later registered with the South African Bureau of Heraldry on 30 October 1967. The arms are described as:
ARMS: Or, on a fess wavy Azure a barrulet way Argent, in chief a whale and in base a pelican, both proper
CREST: An anchor cabled erect, Sable
WREATH AND MANTLING: Or and Azure
SUPPORTERS: Two flamingos proper
MOTTO: IN UTRUMQUE PARATUS (Prepared for Either).
Bruce Berry, 24 May 2001
I have just read an article on Walvis Bay in Namibia, located
to the west of
Windhoek, that it was a very important navy port in the past. In 1966
it seems to have become part of the UN mandate on South West Africa but in 1977 South Africa incorporated
Walvis Bay into the Cape Province and ignored the UN's resolution.
In my "The Complete World Atlas " published in 2000 by Maes & Zeijlstra
I learned that Walvis Bay is still part of South African territory. Even after independence
of Namibia, does South Africa still control Walvis Bay? And if
so what is the flag of Walvis Bay?
Nozomi Kariyasu, 3 Dec 2001
The situation with Walvis Bay is as follows:
12 Mar 1878 - Walvis Bay becomes a British Protectorate
7 Aug 1885 - Incorporated into the Cape Colony
31 May 1910 - Becomes part of the Union of South Africa (along with Cape Colony)
1922 - Administration of Walvis Bay assigned to South West Africa Mandate by League of Nations
1977 - Walvis Bay re-integrated into South Africa (as part of the Province of the Cape of Good Hope) ignoring the UN mandate
1 Mar 1994 - Walvis Bay ceded to Republic of Namibia by South Africa
South Africa no longer administers Walvis Bay, having ceded it to
in 1994. When administered as part of South Africa, Walvis Bay did not
have its own flag. Walvis Bay is not considered a separate entity by Namibia
and as such does not currently have a flag of its own. The town of Walvis
Bay, however, does have municipal arms which are sometimes displayed on
Bruce Berry, 3 Dec 2001
The town's name is a hybrid, Walvis Bay in English. The Afrikaans name
is Walvisbaai. The bay was named in its first annexation by the Dutch in
the time of Jan van Riebeeck, but the annexation was a dead letter and
the bay was never occupied by the Dutch. The bay quite possibly got its
name from one of the ships in Van Riebeeck’s fleet, which was called Walvis.
The name was also given to one of the four bastions of the Fort de Goede
Hoop which Van Riebeeck built.
The bay was annexed by Britain in 1878 and became part of the Cape Colony in 1884. The extent of the Walvis Bay territory was 1 124 km2 , much of it desert but including an important wetland south of the main bay at Sandwich Bay. It was intended that further territory in the vicinity would be annexed in due course, since the area fell into the British "sphere of influence". However Britain was out maneuvered by Germany, when in 1892 it acknowledged Lüderitz's treaties with local chiefs and made further annexations along the coast. German maps referred to the bay as "Walfischbucht", and since these were often seen in South Africa and South West Africa, it was often imagined that the German name was actually in use at some point in time. There are references to "Walfisch Bay" or even "Wallfish Bay", a totally spurious name.
On 1 October 1922 Walvis Bay was – for all practical purposes – handed over to the administration of the Mandated Territory of South West Africa (formed in January ’21), although in terms of international law it remained part of South Africa and the Cape Province. On 30 August 1977 the Cape Province again became responsible for the administration of Walvis Bay. For parliamentary electoral purposes it was at first part of the constituency of Sea Point (in Cape Town), and later of Namaqualand. (The Sea Point constituency, when it included Walvis, also included the guano islands along the coast. Some of these are still part of South Africa, but several of them were off the coast of South West Africa/Namibia.)
Following Namibian independence in 1990, agitation arose for Walvis Bay to be handed over to that country began. This was finally done by the National Party government in 1993. The guano islands north of the Orange River were handed over at the same time. The Namibian government also demanded that the Orange River boundary be shifted from the north bank to the middle of the river, as is usual in river boundaries. Pretoria made sympathetic noises but did nothing until early 2001, when the Department of Foreign Affairs announced that it would stick to the policy of the Organisation of African Unity and keep the boundary as it was. The unorthodox arrangement regarding the Orange River's north bank was originally made by Sir Harry Smith when he was Governor of the Cape in 1848. It also affects the Free State Province, which has, however, remained silent on the question.
Mike Oettle, 18 Dec 2001