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No need to get in a flap over flag etiquette

Published Sep 12, 2002


The national flag - the most visible symbol of South Africa's democracy - was not always displayed and flown correctly, the Southern African Vexillological Association (Sava) said on Thursday.

Sava spokesperson Mike Clingman said in a statement that with numerous high profile events being held in South Africa, such as the launch of the African Union, the World Summit on Sustainable Development and the forthcoming Cricket World Cup, it was important that the public be educated on the correct etiquette regarding the use of the flag.

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To this end - and to popularise the use of the flag - Sava is launching Flag Week to coincide with Proudly South African Day and Heritage Day.

Proudly South African Day - an initiative to encourage people to buy locally manufactured goods - will be marked on September 23.

Flag Week, which Sava hopes to make an annual event, will commence on September 18 and culminate on Heritage Day, September 24.

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Despite having been adopted over eight years ago, the South African flag is often flown upside down or displayed incorrectly on flagpoles, inside offices, at sports meetings and even on official occasions. Sava has produced an easy-to-read pamphlet on flag etiquette based on the regulations regarding the flying of the national flag, which were published in the Government Gazette in April 1994.

Sava has initiated Flag Week to encourage the public to take pride in the flag and to fly or display it wherever possible. As such, it welcomes the Flying with Pride initiative.

A short history of flags in South Africa and the evolution of the current flag has also been prepared which is targeted at school children.

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Vexillology is the study of flags, their symbolism, history and design. - Sapa

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