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Orange River Colony (South Africa)

1902 - 1910

Last modified: 2007-06-16 by bruce berry
Keywords: saldanha bay |
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image by Clay Moss, 05 Apr 2007

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Orange River Colony flag (1904-1910)

The Republic of the Orange Free State came to an end with the signing of the Treaty of Vereeniging on 31 May 1902 which marked the end of the Anglo-Boer War.  In its place the British authorities who now controlled the whole of what was to become South Africa, created the Orange River Colony, and once again the Union Jack became the official flag. 

Following in the British colonial pattern, a flag for the Orange River Colony was approved following the Grant of Arms to the Colony on 10 December 1904.  These were blazoned in the Royal Warrant as:
"Argent on a Mound a Springbuck and on a Chief Azure the Imperial Crown all proper".

Accordingly a colonial ensign bearing the principal charge from the Arms was approved for the Orange River Colony.  This flag was used until the Colony was incorporated into the Union of South Africa on 31 May 1910 and became the Province of the Orange Free State.  Brownell (1994) [brl94] indicates that there does not seem to have been a red ensign version as the colony had neither a coastline nor shipping.
Bruce Berry, 17 Feb 2000

Were any British Ensigns in use in South Africa pre-1910? What were the flags of the Cape Colony and Natal? Did the Boer states retain their "native" flags under British control?
Josh Fruhlinger, 01 Oct 1996

Yes - SAVA published a Journal entitled "The Union Jack over Southern and Central Africa, 1795 - 1994" in 1994 [brl94] which covers all these flags (and those used in what is now Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Botswana, Malawi etc).
Orange River Colony flew a Blue Ensign with badge in the fly between 1904 - 1910.
Bruce Berry, 07 Oct 1996

Notes from the Public Records Office (Kew):
Regarding draft of Seal of the Orange River Colony (on which the flag badge was based) - A distinctive stripe does not appear on the flank of the springbok and in view of the importance attached in the Colony to correct representation of the animal I am to request that the picture of it in Mr G.Millais' book "A Breath from the Veldt" may be closely followed.
David Prothero, 21 Mar 2005

image by Clay Moss, 05 Apr 2007

Here's my attempt at an image of the Administrator's flag for the Orange River Colony. It's not perfect, but I have given up trying to get it there. The imperfection is very minor, and I'm reckoning that most of you won't be able to tell what's wrong. This should suffice for FOTW.

I am assuming that such a flag was at least drawn up on paper for the Orange River Colony, whether it was actually used or not.
Clay Moss, 05 Apr 2007