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Ciskei (South African homeland)

Last modified: 2004-04-17 by
Keywords: south africa | homeland | ciskei | bird: crane | indwe |
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[Ciskei] by Mark Sensen

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Ciskei - introduction

Within the "old" South Africa, 10 homelands were created, four of which were granted "independence" by South Africa (not recognised by any other country in the world). These former South African Homelands/bantustans ceased to exist on 27 April 1994. They have all (including the former so called independent Homelands) been reincorporated into South Africa.
The flags of the former Homelands are no longer in use (either officially or unofficially).
Bruce Berry, 25 April 1996

Ciskei was the largest unsegmented bantustan, in south eastern Cape Province (currently Eastern Cape).
Antonio Martins, 30 May 1999

Ciskei flag description

The design of the Ciskei flag was originally set out in section 2 of the Ciskei Flag Act of 1977 which reads as follows:
"The flag of the Ciskei shall be blue with a bend sinister of white, over all a Blue Crane proper edged white (sic).
The width of the flag shall be equal to two-thirds of its length.
The width of the bend sinister shall be one-sixth of the length of the flag.
The height of the Blue Crane shall be one-third of the width of the flag".
The blue in the flag is said to symbolise the infinity of the sky and the striving for progress and development. The white bar refers to the path which must be followed in order to bring this development to fruition. The Blue Crane or "Indwe" is symbolises the desire of the Xhosa people to be courageous and steadfast and to labour with diligence for the future of the country and its people. Traditionally those who distinguished themselves were decorated with feathers of the Blue Crane by the tribal Chief.
Although the official description gives the colours of the "indwe" as proper, that is in its natural colours, in practise the blue crane was depicted on the flag in black outline and with black detail.
This flag was officially taken into use on 22 June 1977 although it had in fact first been hoisted outside the Legislative Assembly building on 15 March 1974.
Ciskei was granted internal self-government on 1 August 1972 and achieved full "independence" from South Africa on 4 December 1981. A description of this flag was incorporated into Schedule 3 of the Republic of Ciskei Constitution Act.
Ciskei was re-incorporated into South Africa on 27 April 1994 and ceased to exist as a separate political entity and the flag is no longer in use.
Bruce Berry, 1 December 1998

Flag of Ciskei seems to be according official description, never used. The bird must be a bit in the blue parts.
Jaume Ollé, 12 Apr 2001

Ciskei's Coat of Arms can be seen on Mike Oettle's pages. (ed.)

Ciskei variant flag

[Ciskei - alternate] by Mark Sensen, 1 December 1998

I made the GIF according to this description, and what I got was different from what is depicted in the following books:

In these books the white stripe is much wider, so the crane fits in it.
OTOH, in this way the description makes sense when it says "...edged white." and "...over all...", which doesn't make sense when the crane fits in the stripe.
Mark Sensen, 1 December 1998