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National and New National Party (South Africa)

NP and NNP

Last modified: 2015-05-26 by bruce berry
Keywords: national party | new national party |
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[Flag of the New National Party] image by Ivan Sarajcic, 23 Mar 1999

See also:

New National Party (NNP) flag (1998-2006)

According to its website, the New National Party (NNP) logo represents a renewed vigour, and the dynamism and energy of the Party with its new message. It is a modern design which enhances the strong symbol of the sun and intensifies our colours of gold, blue and green. Its design reflects and indigenous quality and the broad based membership of our party. It takes the main elements of our old logo and moulds them into a single and powerful emblem, which together with our new slogan, strengthens our image and drives home our message in the lead up to the 1999 elections and beyond...
Info from the nnp-website.
Dov Gutterman, 22 Mar 1999

The NNP announced a merger with the ruling ANC in 2004.  The parties agreed to fight the 2006 general election under the banner of the ANC.  The NNP has effectively disbanded following the elections with many of its members joining other political parties.
Bruce Berry, 29 Apr 2006

 National Party (NP) (1939-1998)

The National Party (NP) was the ruling party in South Africa from 1948 until 26 April 1994 when the ANC came to power.  The NP was formed in 1912 and was committed to the defence of Afrikaner interests, the abandonment of South Africa's ties with Britain and pursuing a policy of "separate development" between the races - later institutionalized as apartheid.  According to Philip Rault's paper on Afrikaner Political Flags presented at the XVII International Congress of Vexillology in Cape Town (1997), the NP initially had no particular emblem or flag.  A flag using the then national colours was finally adopted in 1939 comprising a blue gunpowder horn, fimbriated in white, in the centre of an orange field. In 1937 orange was adopted as the official party colour.

 image by Martin Grieve, 23 Apr 2005

The powder-horn (kruithoring) was symbolic of the Great Trek of 1836 - 1852 when a number of Afrikaners (known as the Voortrekkers) left the Cape Colony to settle in the interior and in the process established a number of Afrikaner republics. Rault comments that the power-horn was borrowed from the arms of the Orange Free State, which were a gift of the Dutch King William III to the Orange Free State government in 1856.  Its three horns were taken from the arms of the House of Orange - a hunting horn azure enguichee gules.  The House of Orange has used a hunting horn symbol since the middle ages and a horn still features in the arms of the Dutch Royal House as well as in those of the French city of Orange. 
Bruce Berry, 25 April 2005

I am writing a thesis on Marlene van Niekerk's novel in Afrikaans 'Triomf'. I have been trying to research the NP flag as the writer relies heavily on symbolism of the party. I found your page of South African political flags very useful as the flag with the sun links very nicely with my studies. However, there is also heavy referencing to moons as well as suns and I was wondering if you have any knowledge about the moons on their flag or any other sources that might
enlighten me?
Jessica Griffiths,
12 Mar 2006

The National Party apparently had no particular emblem during the first 25 years of its existence. In 1934 at the Junior National Party conference, orange was adopted as the junior party's official colour.  In 1937, the Federal Council of the Gesuiwerde Nasionale Party recommended that orange would be the party's official colour in all four provinces and in 1939 a flag was also adopted consisting of an orange field charged with a blue powder horn (kruithoring) outlined in white.  These were in fact the colours of the then national flag of South Africa. The powder horn was supposedly symbolic of the Great Trek and is certainly
borrowed from the Arms of the Orange Free State (OFS). However, the three horns on the OFS coat of arms had their origin in the horn which was a traditional emblem of the House of Orange of the Netherlands and that was originally a bugle horn. Regarding it as a powder horn was therefore a mistake. As the party emblem, the powder horn appeared mainly on posters and as lapel badges.

At the beginning of the 1980s, the powder horn was progressively replaced by a new logo consisting of the letters 'NP' with an arrow pointing upwards, in the colours blue, white and orange. This logo was first used during the general election campaign in 1981. Although the logo did not appear on flags it was used on white vertical banners.

sent by Andre Burgers, 14 Mar 2006

On 29 April 1993 the NP did away with the powder horn and the orange, white and blue as its official emblem and colours and adopted a new flag  (shown above). This flag consists of diagonal bars of blue, white, yellow and green. The centre of the white bar is charged with a stylized sun which symbolized life, light, warmth and growth. Just as the sun stabilizes the entire solar system, so does the NP stabilize South African politics said the then South African President and NP leader, F.W. de Klerk.

Another change occurred later in the 1990s when along with its name change to the New National Party (NNP). The NNP adopted a new emblem and flag. According to the announcement "...the new NNP logo represented a renewed vigour and the dynamism and energy of the New National Party with its new message. It is a modern design which enhances the strong symbol of the sun and intensifies our colours of gold, blue and green. Its design reflects the indigenous quality and broad based membership of our party".
Andre Burgers, 14 Mar 2006

[National Party] image by Bruce Berry, 25 April 1996

The party changed its flag and colours from the former South African national colours of orange, white and blue as well as its kruithoring symbol on 29 April 1993 (see SAVA Newsletter 05/93). The new sun logo symbolizes :

  • red sunbeams - warmth
  • blue - sky and water
  • green - nature and the prosperity it brings
  • white - peace and unity
  • gold/yellow - mineral wealth
The flag comprises a blue diagonal panel near the hoist with a white fimbriation and yellow narrow stripe. In the centre is a white diagonal panel in the centre of which is a yellow sun with red beams radiating outwards. the third panel with inner white.
Bruce Berry, 25 April 2005