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Free State Province, South Africa

Last modified: 2022-02-12 by bruce berry
Keywords: free state | orange |
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image by Olivier Touzeau, 01 Jan 2022

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Free State Province - Overview

A province in central eastern South Africa which coincides with the old province of Orange Free State. Borders Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, North-West, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and Lesotho. It includes the former homeland of Qwaqwa.   The capital is located in Bloemfontein, in the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality.
Antonio Martins, 30 May 1999

The province has (following the re-absorption of Qwaqwa and Thaba 'Nchu) the same area that its predecessors had in 1910 and in 1890. Incidentally, Thaba 'Nchu is now part of the Mangaung Municipality which includes Bloemfontein.
Mike Oettle, 19 Dec 2001

Up to September 1995 none of the nine new South African provinces have adopted their own flags although one or two have proposals in this regard. There is currently a debate in this country as to whether the provinces should have their own flags or not with the ruling ANC holding the view that the provinces should not have individual flags.  The Orange Free State is now simply called the Free State.
Bruce Berry, September 1995

Flag of the Free State

There is no official provincial flag for the Free State.  However, a flag with a white field containing the provincial arms in the centre can be seen flying at the provincial legislature and at various public events where the province is represented.
Bruce Berry, 02 Jan 2022

Coat of Arms of the Free State

[Coat of Arms of the Free State] image from this site, reported by JJ Andersson, 05 May 2002

ARMS: Per chevron inverted, Or and Vert, the head of an Orange River Lily (Crinum bulbispermum) with three blossoms and four buds slipped proper and a chief dancetty, the peaks terminating in merlons, Azure; the shield ensigned of a circlet Or, embellished with representations of cut diamonds Argent, enamelled Azure against the upper and Vert against the lower facets, heightened of four heads of maize Argent, leaved Or, alternating with as many ears of wheat of the last.
SUPPORTERS: Two cheetahs proper.
SPECIAL COMPARTMENT: A representation of the Free State plains proper.
Registered with the South African Bureau of Heraldry on 7 May 1999.
JJ Andersson, 05 May 2002

Previous Municipal Flag registrations

The following municipal flags in the former Orange Free State province were registered with the South African Bureau of Heraldry.  These flags are no longer in use following the introduction of a new municipal dispensation in South Africa after 2000.

Bethlehem municipality: flag registered with the South African Bureau of Heraldry on 11 Oct 1974 with the following description:
Three horizontal stripes, blue, yellow, red, in the centre the shield of the arms of Bethlehem (to wit: "Party per chevron Azure and Gules, a chevron Or, in chief between two Springboks couped at the neck respecting each other, proper, a mullet of the third, and in base three maize cobs, the outer ones pilewise, all proper", as  published on p. 1124: OFSOG  41, 1958-10-10).

Bloemfontein municipality: flag registered with the South African Bureau of Heraldry on 16 June 1972 with the following description: 
Azure,  two cornucopias confronte Or, the dexter diffusing flowers, the sinister water, proper.

Bothaville Town Council: flag registered with the South African Bureau of Heraldry on 19 Oct 1990 and described as:
A rectangular flag, proportion 3:2, consisting of two horizontal bands, top to bottom green and blue, and a yellow equilateral hoist triangle charged with a black phoenix langued and rising from flames, all red.

Parys municipality flag registered with the South African Bureau of Heraldry on 18 Apr 1975 and described as:
A rectangular flag per pale red, white and blue, the middle stripe charged  with  the shield of the Municipal arms.

Vrede municipality: flag registered with the South African Bureau of Heraldry on 21 Oct 1988 and described as:
A rectangular yellow flag, proportion 3:2, charged in the middle with four horizontal green bars each 1/10 the width of the flag, placed the same distance from each other; a blue equilateral triangle charged with a dove volant holding in its beak a sprig of olive, both white.
(Vrede is Afrikaans for Peace)

Source: Data of the Bureau of Heraldry on registered heraldic representations.
Mark Sensen, 19 May 2002

These flags are illustrated in SAVA Journal 1/92 (April 1992) [brl92] (ed).