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Namibia - political parties

Last modified: 2005-10-08 by bruce berry
Keywords: namibia | turnhalle | swapo | swanu | cod |
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SWAPO (South West African People's Organization)

  image by Jorge Candeias, 12 Dec 1999

In Dorling Kindersley's 'Flags of the World', it says that the Namibian flag combines the colours of the SWAPO flag with that of the second largest party, the DTA.
I know that SWAPO used a blue-red-green horizontal tricolour during the independence struggle, but what was the DTA flag?
Vincent Morley, 19 Feb 1998

The flag with blue red green horizontal stripes on the Namibia page is the flag of SWAPO (one of Namibia's main political parties) as illustrated on p. 20 of the book "Collins Eyewitness Guides FLAG" written by William Crampton published 1989 and in 1990 by Dorling Kindersley in the UK [cra90n] and by "Collins" in
Australia where I live.
Gilbert Read, 02 Sept 2005

SWANU (South West Africa National Union)

[South West Africa National Union (SWANU) flag] image by Jarig Bakker, 2 Apr 2001

There was another liberation movement called SWANU, with a similar flag. Does anyone know about this flag?
Mark Sensen, 10 Aug 1999

I think it was dissolved in the early '80s. According to a Danish encyclopedia, SWANU was established in 1959 and SWAPO in 1960.
Ole Andersen, 14 Aug 1999

The flag of SWANU (South West Africa National Union) was very similar to that of SWAPO (South West Africa People's Organisation) in that it also comprised the three horizontal stripes of blue, red and green.  In the case of SWANU, two narrow gold stripes separated the blue, red and green from one another. The SWANU flag was thus blue, gold, red, gold and green  stripes in the same construction format as the current flag of Gambia.
Bruce Berry, 18 Aug 1999

SWANU (South West African National Union) at first joined hands with SWAPO. Later this Hereo-supported group joined with the Damara Council and other smaller groups to form a multiracial coalition.
Source: Political Handbook of the World, 1997.
SWAPO in Namibia represents the major Ovambo group (47% of the Namibian population), while SWANU (is that now Congress of Democrats?) represents the Herero (7%) and Damara (7%).
Jarig Bakker, 2 Apr 2001

Congress of Democrats (COD)

[Congress of Democrats flag] image by Antonio Martins, 24 May 2000, after image from this site, reported by Dov Gutterman, 14 Apr 2000

There is a new party, the Congress Of Democrats. Its flag has a blue field. There are two white lines that form a cross divided in four equals parts with a big yellow five pointed star in the center fimbriated in white. The fimbriation joins with the two lines (same width). The flag is printed in colorful leaflets of the party. They have T-shirts with the flag too. And in the central of the party in Windhoek, their flag is flying from a pole painted with blue and yellow stripes; on another higher pole the national flag is flying.
Santiago Tazón, 25 Oct 1999

Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA)

[DTA logo]  image from this site, reported by Gary Selikow, 2 Dec 2001

At a simplistic level Dorling Kindersley is probably true. The flag of the Democratic Turnahalle Alliance (DTA) is equal horizontal stripes of blue over red, charged in the centre with a white roundel bearing a hand couped at the wrist, giving the "Victory" sign, in blue outline, above the letters D.T.A. in red. This was the flag in use at the time of the 1989 elections.
Previously the DTA used a flag which was vertically divided in the centre, with light blue at the hoist and white in the fly. There were eleven gold stars forming a circle, one for each of the ethnic groups in the territory.
Bruce Berry, 20 Feb 1998

Turnhalle (literally : Gymnastics Hall in German, ed.) is the name of the sports house in Windhoek where the constitutional conference about Namibia was held in September 1975. The Hall was built in 1913 by the Germans. At the conference there were 134 delegates from 11 organizations present:

  • South West African Labour Party.
  • Bushman Alliance (BA).
  • Caprivi delegation.
  • Namibia Democratic Turnhalle Party (NDTP, Nama).
  • National Democratic Party (NDP, Ovambo).
  • National United Democratic Organization (NUDO, herero).
  • Rehoboth DTA party (RDTAP), formerly the Rehoboth Baster Association.
  • Republican Party (white people).
  • Seoposengwe Party (Tswana).
  • South West Africa People's Democratic United Front (SWAP-DUF, Damara).
  • National Democratic Unity Party (NDUP, Kavango).
  • Christian Democrat Union (CDU, coloured)
The President of the National Party, A.H. Du Plessis and the president of the Constitutional Comitee Dirk Mudge quarreled and Mr. Mudge created a new party called the Republican Party. The Democratic Alliance of Turnhalle was created on 5 Nov 1977 and in the elections of 4 Dec 1978 took 41 seats. Mudge took charge of the provisional government on 14 Dec 1980, but this was not recognizhed by the United Nations and it was dissolved in January 1983.
Around 1977 the DTA adopted a flag vertical light blue and white with eleven golden stars in circle in the centre. The 11 stars are for the 11 delegations in the Constitutional conference, but the DTA in 1977 comprised a total of 13 parties or groups. I don't know about the last two: perhaps the republican and another.
Jaume Ollé, 2 Sept 1998

On the occasion of the funeral for murdered Herero-chief and president of the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance, Chief Clemens Kapuno, the tribal flag was also displayed.
Source: Deutsche Zeitung 16 of 14.4.1978, via O. Neubecker

In documents about DTA, I have seen photos of big meetings of the alliance, plenty of flags. But not only the usual DTA flag but a version with the same colors (blue, white and red) but in three horizontal stripes, really they are Dutch flags. Mixed with usual DTA flags they got the effect.
Santiago Tazón, 25 Oct 1999

The flag of the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA) of Namibia has the logo on this website in the middle : ie the circle with the hand and the lettering with the colours as described by Bruce Berry. It can be found on the left hand top corner at this website
Gary Selikow, 2 Dec 2001

Caprivi Liberation Army

In today's paper was a story about a declaration of war by some Caprivi Liberation Army to the Namibian government. They declare that they want an independent Caprivi, but, giving the history of the area, this might be closely connected with the conflict in Angola, as they seem to be friends with UNITA in neighbouring Angola. Obvious question: what flag would they choose, given the several different ones used in Caprivi in the past?
Jorge Candeias, 5 Aug 1999

Rehoboth Liberated Democratic Party

  image by Mason Kaye, 14 June 2004

From the of maps on flags provided by Mason Kaye, we have a blue map of Namibia on a white background. 
Rob Raeside, 14 June 2004

The blue flag (blue as in image, not black as in description) is the flag of Baster Party (Rehoboth Liberated Democratic Party).
Jaume Ollé, 14 June 2004

   image by Anto'nio Martins-Tuva'lkin, 14 June 2004

This is quite different from the traditional Rehoboth flags previously referred to as being:
" In 1872 a national flag of German influence was adopted: it was black over white over red. Another, more distinctive variant comprised concentric squares of, from the inside, white, red, black".

However, we have only the 'variant' depicted. Above is the 1872 Rehoboth flag, with assumed ratio 3:5.
Anto'nio Martins-Tuva'lkin, 14 June 2004

Labour Front

image by Mason Kaye, 14 June 2004

The red flag is the flag of the Labour Front (represents merged people).
Jaume Ollé, 14 June 2004