Last modified: 2011-06-10 by bruce berry
Keywords: south africa | stellaland | boer republic |
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Olivier Touzeau refers to the Korana (mis-spelled as Koranna, an old
colonial variation) as being "semi Griqua". They were a distinct horde
or tribe of the Khoikhoi nation, previously referred to as Hottentots,
and quite separate from the Griquas. However, like the Griqua they were
by this time largely Christian, spoke Afrikaans (or kitchen Dutch, as it
was known then), wore similar clothing to the Boer people, and had firearms,
horses and ox-wagons.
The word Khoikhoi (also written as Khoekhoe, Khoekhoen or Kwekwena) is a re-duplication: khoi means "man" or "human"; Khoikhoi means "men of men" or "true human beings". They regarded themselves as being (as Westerners would put it) civilised because they kept cattle, whereas the Bushmen (who sprang from the same ethnic stock as themselves) were hunter-gatherers.
The "-n" at the end of Khoekhoen is an adjective-forming suffix. The "-na" in Korana is a suffix indicating the name of a people, and has the same meaning as the suffix "-qua", as in Griqua and Namaqua (these people are also called Nama).
"Taungs" is a colonial form of the place name: its correct Setswana form is Taung, meaning "lion". During Bophuthatswana's "independence" this town was part of that state; it is now the southernmost settlement in North West Province.
It seems that the variations in the Stellaland flag arose because the president's wife ran off a fresh one on her sewing machine each time one was needed.
Stellaland survives in the form of the district of Vryburg, which was
part of the colony of British Bechuanaland from 1885 to 1895, the Cape
Colony until 1910 and the Cape Province until 1994, and is now part of
North West Province. During Bophuthatswana's "independence",
Vryburg was an island of Cape territory inside the Tswana state, adjoining
Throughout the life of the Cape Province, Vryburg had its own Deeds Registry, a privilege shared within the borders of the Cape Province only by Kimberley and King William's Town, each of which had also been the capital of short-lived state (Kimberley of the colony of Griqualand West, and King Williamís Town of the colony of British Kaffraria). All deeds for property transactions within the Cape outside the areas of Stellaland, Griqualand West and Kaffraria were registered in Cape Town.
Mike Oettle, 14 Dec 2001
site about stamps is the coat of arms of Stellaland, which explains
why a star should be above the Coat of Arms on the 1882 flag of Stellaland. I made
the part of the CoA under the star in white and red, and the motto on gold,
but I may be wrong with this.
Olivier Touzeau, 10 Mar 2001
Flag : Carr [car61] has:
The Stellaland flag has been described thus: "Of green bunting with shield in four compartments, with gold-coloured border. Top left compartment, white ground with hand holding bird by leg; top-right, green with five-pointed star in white; bottom left, blue ground with scales; and bottom right, red ground with two fishes pierced by a sword." The shield was surmounted by a five-pointed star with rays, and the scroll beneath was inscribed with the words "Gewapend en Regtvaarig (armed and just)."
1882-85 - "Apparently the republic was named because of a comet that appeared on the night it was declared, hence the five-pointed star in the Arms. In designing their flag they made use of the insignia of the Bechuana tribes. The bird held by the leg is a Korhaan or Massauw, a South African bustard, the badge of David Massauw; the fish are cognisance of Mankoroare, his rival, chief of the Batlapin tribe; and the sword represents its distinction."
Roy Stilling, 8 Oct 1996
I thought the flag was green-red
vertically divided with an eight-pointed white star referring to the comet.
Carsten Linke, 11 Oct 1996
In 1885, 5000 British troops were sent in, who declared Stellaland (and
the Crown Colony of British Bechuanaland, which was incorporated into the
Colony in 1895.
Roy Stilling, 11 Oct 1996
You show a flag of Stellaland with a green field bearing a shield of
arms. This is from Burgers . There is a flag
in the Vryburg Museum of which I have a picture. The Arms in your
illustration are wrong in form and in colouring. I also challenge
Burgers' allotting definite dates to the three Stellaland flags. In Flagmaster
102 there was an article on the Boer Republic flags, derived
from my own unpublished monograph, Flags in South African History which
provides a more detailed explanation.
Michael Faul, 22 Jul 2002
Nothing to add on Stellaland except that a number of variations did
(and still do) exist!
Bruce Berry, 22 Jul 2002
Regarding Stellaland, I have read that this was a pretty disorganised
"state". In at least one source I have consulted it was stated that there
were no formally legislated flag regulations, and that whenever a new flag
was needed, the President's wife would run off a new one on her sewing
machine. This would account for the three different designs that have been
reported. Quite likely only one copy of each was made, and these were seen at
different times by visitors who arrived in Vryburg.
I cannot vouch for the accuracy of André Burgers's sources, but I have read his manuscript and find it thoroughly researched (from a vexillological point of view). While there are aspects of his work mainly heraldic that I have disagreed with (in private communication with him), he has done valuable work in bringing together knowledge about the history of flags, not only within South Africa but also going right back to classical times.
Mike Oettle, 22 Jul 2002
In 1883 the flag was changed. The green field remained, but the coat
of arms fell away with only a six-pointed star remaining in the center
of the field according to Burgers' Sovereign Flags of Southern Africa,
Jarig Bakker, 8 March 2001
During 1883 the field was changed once more. It now became green and
red, per pale, with an eight-pointed star remaining in the center. So,
in the space of two years of existence this ephemeral republic sported
no less than three different flags! (Burgers' Sovereign Flags of
Jarig Bakker, 08 March 2001