July 31, 2008

The First Boer Republican Tri Colour.

The Orange White & Blue horizontal tri colour flag was not a Boer flag as it was the flag adopted by the National Party government in 1927 which represented the macro state as created by the British & in which the Boers were marginalized & outnumbered within the White population. The orange white & blue tri colour was initially the flag of the united Netherlands & was used in the Cape by the Dutch East India Co. The Dutch elites who ran the Dutch East India Co. took the ancestors of the Boers & the macro White Afrikaans people out of Europe during the mid 1600s who were mostly of German or Frisian ethnic origin with very little actual Dutch roots. Numerous French Huguenots refugees escaping political & religious persecution from France were later sent to the Cape from 1671 to 1726 who amalgamated with the other groups creating home grown Afrikaans speaking cultures of which French first names & surnames are still quite common. Therefore contrary to popular Western presumption: the White Afrikaans speaking peoples - particularly the Boer people- are not of Dutch descent - but are in fact a combination & amalgamation of German / Frisian / Danish & French origins. The Orange White & Blue tri colour therefore originally represented the flag of the oppressors of the Boer people. While this flag could be considered to represent those White Afrikaans speaking people who coalesced into a group in the south western Cape - this flag can not be considered to represent the Boer people who were formed on the frontier as their ancestors began to trek away from the Western Cape beginning in the late 1600s & all throughout the 1700s due in large part to the autocratic rule of the Dutch East India Co. & the fact that they were too poor to cope within Colonial society & would -by virtue of trekking inland- shape a new homegrown identity on the Cape frontier.

The Boers adopted their first flag when they declared their first Boer Republics at Swellendam & Graaff-Reinet in 1795 whereupon they adopted the Red White & Blue horizontal tri colour which was then being used as the flag of the Batavian Republic. This red white & blue horizontal tri colour motif was later used in numerous other Boer Republic flags such as: the Natalia Republic flag / the Lydenburg Republic flag / the Orange Free State Republic flag / the Transvaal Republic (ZAR) flag / & the Utrecht Republic flag. The red white & blue colour motif was also used for the Saltire flags of the Potchefstroom Republic / the Winburg Republic / & the Zoutpansberg Republic.

The Orange White & Blue horizontal tri colour flag made a comeback in 1927 when the Cape based Afrikaners inherited the macro state of South Africa - but not as a Boer flag as the Boers were conquered & marginalized due to being lumped in with the macro White population & being outnumbered by the Afrikaans speakers of the Western Cape. The flag was adopted by the Cape Dutch / Afrikaner JBM Hertzog & the National Party after a unanimous vote in Parliament. The flag was modified with a small British flag & small ZAR & OVS flags in the center of the White band. Future Prime Minister D F Malan - a Cape Dutch / Afrikaner - wanted to adopt the Orange White & Blue tri Colour as is without the 3 flag replicas at the center of the flag. Afrikaner Nationalists during the 1960s tried once again to adopt the plain Orange White & Blue horizontal tri Colour without the flag replicas at the center.