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Right Wing Afrikaner flags (South Africa)

Last modified: 2015-05-26 by bruce berry
Keywords: south africa | boere weerstandsbeweging | bwb | awb | afrikaner weerstandsbeweging | sevens: 3 | swastika: three legged | neonazi | nazi | boer | african student federation |
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Modern use of “old Boer republic” flags

Right-wing organisations in South Africa use the flags of the “old Boer republics” (Transvaal and Orange Free State) quite extensively.
Theo Stylianides, Nov 1996

Afrikaner Resistance Movement / Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB)

[A.W.B. flag] image by António Martins, 27 May 1998

The three black 7s (arranged in a fashion similar to the Three Legs of Man but rotated so that the top seven is upright) is the emblem of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) (Afrikaner Resistance Movement in English) which is a right-wing, neo-Nazi organisation) which appears on its flag (on a white disc at the centre of a red field).
Theo Stylianides, Nov 1996

The flag with three 7's was the original flag of the movement; although it was replaced with the flag charged with the stars and letters AW (shown below) in 1979, it was reintroduced in same year and used ever since. The flag was designed by Jan Groenewald, one of the founders of the movement, and slightly modified by Dries Albert, who was in charge of the movement's propaganda.  According to Groenewald himself, the inspiration for the design did come from the Nazi flag.  However, the three digits were always described as a Christian symbol, the number 777 having been described as the biblical symbol of perfection and of God himself, as opposed to the number 666 which symbolizes the Antichrist. The symbolic meaning of colours has varied over time. 

In 1979, red was officially described as “the colour of the blood which the Christian Afrikaner had to sacrifice as a guarantee for his self preservation”, white symbolized “the White race and the purity of our ideal” and black was “symbol of division and racial authenticity”.  In 1988, the official descriptions were changed: red symbolized “blood of Christ shed on the cross for our sins" and also "the blood of the Christians shed as a result of persecution for our faith and the blood of the Boer people shed in their quest for freedom", white now stood only for “the purity of our ideal”, and black was "the heraldic symbol for bravery”. This description has remained in use ever since (Sources: Boerevolkstaat website; Boerevolkstaat website and AWB website).
Tomislav Todorovic, 06 Sept 2013

Notice the white disk is closer to the hoist (like the national flag of Nazi Germany and unlike most modern neonazi flags, which have centered discs). I would have expected this flag to be orange, not red.
António Martins, 18 Apr 1998

[This flag and its symbol are] now also being used by European Nazis as they have volunteered to fight in a race war in South Africa.
António Martins, 27 May 1998, quoting Nazism Exposed | Flags and Symbols (Pål’s site)

Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) former flag

image by Tomislav Todorovic, 06 Sept 2013

This flag was introduced in 1979, but was withdrawn from official use after a short time and replaced with the already well-established flag with three 7's described above.  The original flag of the AWB  had a red field and star with the letters A and W in black on a white disc with a black fimbriation. The star was said to have represented the Star of Bethlehem, and the Christianity in general  (Source: Boerevolkstaat website).
Tomislav Todorovic, 06 Sept 2013

The AWB had an earlier flag which was similar except that the emblem was a 4-pointed star with a stylised AW running through it (probably in black).
Theo Stylianides, Nov 1996

Illustrations of the two AWB flags can be found in my article "Flags of Political Organisations in South Africa" SAVA Newsletter 2/91, Nov. 1991, p. 7.
Theo Stylianides, Nov 1996

Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) alternative flag (for use in the Transvaal)

[AWB’s alternative flag (in Transvaal)] image by António Martins, 27 Oct 1999

The Transvaal vierkleur with 3 black sevens on the white stripe seems to be a once-off flag used on some or other occasion by followers of the AWB.
Theo Stylianides, Nov 1996

The "777" might be like this or in one of the AWB's usual arrangements: swastika or 1+2.
António Martins, 29 Apr 1999

The three "7" are arranged horizontally in your image while in the image that I have the 7s are arranged in form of "Trinacria" (i.e. emblem of Isle of Man or Sicily).
I found the following note:
"In 1970, Eugene Terre'Blanche with 6 other kindred souls founded the Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB). From this committee of seven, the AWB emblem, "Three Sevens", was created in contrast with the number 666 of the satanic forces".
Jaume Ollé, 14 Mar 1999

This symbol is clearly a variation of the Nazi swastika, just one leg less -- regardless of any other "symbolism" provided for it. 
António Martins, 16 Apr 1999

Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) alternative flag (based on the former national flag)


            images by Tomislav Todorovic, 06 Sept 2013


The previous national flag of the South Africa was not used much by the AWB, as it was generally considered to be a symbol of subjugation of Boer independence by the British Empire, so the flags of former Boer republics were usually used instead.  As the national flag was then accepted as a national symbol by most Afrikaner people, the AWB sometimes used a flag derived from it on which the Union Jack was replaced with the
AWB flag. The reverse of this flag was not identical to the mirror-image of the obverse, because three 7's were not mirrored, although the position of the whole AWB flag was (flags of the Boer republics were mirrored completely)  (Source: Boerevolkstaat website).
Tomislav Todorovic, 06 Sept 2013


Boer Resistance Movement / Boere Weerstandsbeweging (BWB)


[BWB’s first flag] image by António Martins, 04 Oct 1998

Initial flag

This was the flag of Boere Weersdandsbeweging (BWB) (Boer Resistance Movement in English) which was black with white cross fimbrated red; in the center of the cross is a white circle fimbrated red with three black "7"s. The BWB was initially led by Eddie von Maltitz and subsequently by Andrew Ford. 
Theo Stylianides, Nov 1996

The flag described above (black field with a white cross fimbriated red (George, not Scandinavian); three black upright sevens, one above and two below, on a white disc fimbriated red at the centre) was the original flag of the BWB.  A colour photograph of a crowd waving this flag appeared in the Sunday Times, Johannesburg during 1990 (unfortunately I don’t have the exact date).
Theo Stylianides, Nov 1996

Second flag

[BWB’s second flag] image by António Martins, 04 Oct 1998

When Andrew Ford took over the leadership the flag was replaced by a similar one instead of having the three 7s, bears the letters BWB  in white arranged in a triangular fashion (pointing downwards) on a similarly directed black triangle. 
Theo Stylianides, Nov 1996

Illustrations of the two BWB flags can be found in my article "Flags of Political Organisations in South Africa" SAVA Newsletter 2/91, Nov. 1991, p. 7.
Theo Stylianides, Nov 1996

Third flag

image by Tomislav Todorovic, 06 Sept 2013

The current BWB flag has a cross composed of five black letters, four B's and one W, arranged on the white disc so as to give the abbreviation BWB both horizontally and vertically. On the movement's website the white cross is described as the symbol of faith and purity, its red borders as the symbol of both the blood Christ shed on the cross and the blood Boer people shed in struggle for freedom, and the black field as the symbol of courage and determination of Boer people.
Tomislav Todorovic, 06 Sept 2013

Afrikaner Student Federation / Afrikaner Studentebond

[African Student Federation flag] image by António Martins, 18 Apr 1998

The odal rune is used the by the Afrikaner Student Federation.
António Martins, 18 Apr 1998

Details about the odal rune can be found at
Santiago Dotor, 04 Feb 2005

An odal rune is a "runic letter, (usu. traslit. "ö"), cognate to Greek omega a.k.a. _ethel_ and _othalan_.  .  
The rune for odal, i.e. real estate, non-movable property. The odal rune was the last letter of the runic alphabet, and (here runic letter "ᚠ", usu. traslit. "f") for fä (cattle), i.e. movable or personal property, was is the first.

This seems too focused in Viking book keeping; runes were letters, as such with a lot of usages apart from plain writing down of sound utterances.

This rune, turned upside down, is the symbol of the Scottish Independence Party and was used at the elections in Great Britain in 1992.

I wonder weather this is more than a coincidence. The saltire-like part of this letter, BTW, is subjected to such a variation that it appears much less evident in some instances.

It is also a Swedish twentieth-century graffiti sign conveying a nationalistic message.

Not only Swedish, and not even primarily so: the Nazi usage of runes as symbols is known - our site covers it well at this page.  From there to neo-Nazi symbolism it's a quick jump. (The referred Swedish usage was reported to the list and appears in se}naz.html).
António Martins-Tuválkin, 05 Feb 2005

image by Clive Nel, 12 June 2006

The flag shown for the Afrikaans Student Federation differs from that shown in the Illustrated Encyclopedia World Flags Identifier, by Alfred Znamierowski (Lorenz Books 2000, 2001). The Afrikaans Student Federation flag is shown in colour on page 118.  The flag differs from that shown here in that the Odal-Rune lacks the 'feet-like' bits sticking out at the bottom.  The type of Odal-Rune shown in the book was also widely used by right-wing nationalist youth groups like the Wiking Jugend in Germany and other counties but was banned in Germany in 1994.  The flag used by the Wiking Jugend was black with a red Odal-Rune in its centre.
Arthur Read, 16 May 2006

Boere Youth / Boerejeug

image sent by Tomislav Todorovic, 01 Oct 2013

The Boere Youth (Boerejeug in Afrikaans) is the youth wing of Afrikaner Resistance Movement.  Its flag is green with a large white disc, upon which is a black torch with tricolor red-white-blue flame; beneath the disc is a white ribbon with black inscription VIR GOD, VOLK EN VADERLAND ("For God, People and Fatherland"). The flame symbolises life, hope, freedom and faith, while its colours stand for patriotism and the shape of the torch, resembling two hands around the flame, symbolizes God's protection of the people. The white disc stands for honesty, humility and purity and green field symbolizes youth, growth and new life (Source: Afrikaner Resistance Movement website).
Tomislav Todorovic, 01 Oct 2013