In Brief

South Africans call for apartheid flag ban

Critics say it is a painful reminder of white minority rule, but some argue it's a symbol of Afrikaner heritage

The display of apartheid-era flags at recent protests in South Africa has led to fresh calls for the symbol to banned.

The old flag, officially retired when white minority rule ended and the first democratic elections were held in 1994, was brandished by some protesters at a march against farm murders on Monday.

The controversial demonstration was called after the murder last week of a white farmer in Klapmuts, a town in the Western Cape, Al Jazeera reports.

Hundreds of mostly white protesters took to the streets in a campaign dubbed Black Monday, blocking a major highway to Johannesburg.

Many on social media found the protest offensive, “not least because the flag is widely considered a painful symbol of apartheid”, Garreth Van Niekerk argues in Huffington Post South Africa.

“Comparisons have been drawn between the orange, white and blue one and the Nazi flag, and there have been calls that displaying it should be made illegal,” he adds.

Van Niekerk points out that the flag has been adopted by white supremacist groups around the world and was worn by Dylann Roof, a white man who killed nine black churchgoers in South Carolina in 2015.

However, some South Africans argue that the flag is an important symbol of Afrikaner heritage and history, he says.

In a statement, the ruling African National Congress condemned the “despicable” and “racist” behaviour displayed at this week’s protest.

“The racial characterisation of crime and the stoking of racial hatred by some elements in the campaign through, among others, the arrogant and offensive display of apartheid South Africa’s flag, are indicative of an unrelenting yearning for apartheid fascism and while supremacy,” it said.

Recommended

The history of Pride
People celebrating Pride in London
In Depth

The history of Pride

The countries that have banned conversion therapy
Conversion therapy protest
Why we’re talking about . . .

The countries that have banned conversion therapy

‘Playground insults’: what world leaders have said about Vladimir Putin
G7 leaders
Getting to grips with . . .

‘Playground insults’: what world leaders have said about Vladimir Putin

Quiz of The Week
Protesters outside US Supreme Court
Quizzes and puzzles

Quiz of The Week

Popular articles

Are we heading for World War Three?
Ukrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine
In Depth

Are we heading for World War Three?

Nato vs. Russia: who would win in a war?
Nato troops
Today’s big question

Nato vs. Russia: who would win in a war?

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 2 July 2022
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 2 July 2022

The Week Footer Banner