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White supremacist flags in South Africa

Last modified: 2006-06-17 by bruce berry
Keywords: south africa | boere weerstandsbeweging | bwb | awb | afrikaner weerstandsbeweging | sevens: 3 | swastika: three legged | neonazi | nazi | boer | african student federation |
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Modern use of old republic flags

Right-wing organisations in South Africa use the flags of the old republics (Transvaal and Orange Free State) quite extensively.
Theo Stylianides, Nov 1996


Afrikaner Resistance Movement / Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB)

[A.W.B. flag] image by António Martins, 27 May 1998

The three black 7s (arranged in a fashion similar to the Three Legs of Man but rotated so that the top seven is upright) is the emblem of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) (Afrikaner Resistance Movement in English) which is a right-wing, neo-Nazi organisation) which appears on its flag (on a white disc at the centre of a red field).
Theo Stylianides, Nov 1996

Notice the white disk is closer to the hoist (like the national flag of Nazi Germany and unlike most modern neonazi flags, which have centered discs). I would have expected this flag to be orange, not red.
António Martins, 18 Apr 1998

[This flag and its symbol are] now also being used by European Nazis as they have volunteered to fight in a race war in South Africa.
António Martins, 27 May 1998, quoting Nazism Exposed | Flags and Symbols (Påls site)


AWBs former flag

The AWB had an earlier flag which was similar except that the emblem was a 4-pointed star with a stylised AW running through it (probably in black).
Theo Stylianides, Nov 1996

Illustrations of the two AWB flags can be found in my article "Flags of Political Organisations in South Africa" SAVA Newsletter 2/91, Nov. 1991, p. 7.
Theo Stylianides, Nov 1996


AWBs alternative flag (in Transvaal)

[AWBs alternative flag (in Transvaal)] image by António Martins, 27 Oct 1999

The Transvaal vierkleur with 3 black sevens on the white stripe seems to be a once-off flag used on some or other occasion by followers of the AWB.
Theo Stylianides, Nov 1996

The "777" might be like this or in one of the AWB's usual arrangements: swastika or 1+2.
António Martins, 29 Apr 1999

The three "7" are arranged horizontally in your image while in the image that I have the 7s are arranged in form of "Trinacria" (i.e. emblem of Isle of Man or Sicily).
I found the following note:
"In 1970, Eugene Terre'Blanche with 6 other kindred souls founded the Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB). From this committee of seven, the AWB emblem, "Three Sevens", was created in contrast with the number 666 of the satanic forces".
Jaume Ollé, 14 Mar 1999

This symbol is clearly a variation of the Nazi swastika, just one leg less -- regardless of any other "symbolism" provided for it. 
António Martins, 16 Apr 1999


Boer Resistance Movement / Boere Weerstandsbeweging (BWB)

 

[BWBs first flag] image by António Martins, 04 Oct 1998

BWBs first flag

This was the flag of Boere Weersdandsbeweging (BWB) (Boer Resistance Movement in English) which was black with white cross fimbrated red; in the center of the cross is a white circle fimbrated red with three black "7"s. The BWB was initially led by Eddie von Maltitz and subsequently by Andrew Ford. (I dont know if this organisation still exists).
Theo Stylianides, Nov 1996

The flag described above (black field with a white cross fimbriated red (George, not Scandinavian); three black upright sevens, one above and two below, on a white disc fimbriated red at the centre) was the original flag of the BWB.  A colour photograph of a crowd waving this flag appeared in the Sunday Times, Johannesburg during 1990 (unfortunately I dont have the exact date).
Theo Stylianides, Nov 1996
 


BWBs second flag

[BWBs second flag] image by António Martins, 04 Oct 1998

When Andrew Ford took over the leadership the flag was replaced by a similar one instead of having the three 7s, bears the letters BWB  in white arranged in a triangular fashion (pointing downwards) on a similarly directed black triangle. 
Theo Stylianides, Nov 1996

Illustrations of the two BWB flags can be found in my article "Flags of Political Organisations in South Africa" SAVA Newsletter 2/91, Nov. 1991, p. 7.
Theo Stylianides, Nov 1996


Afrikaner Student Federation / Afrikaner Studentebond

[African Student Federation flag] image by António Martins, 18 Apr 1998

The odal rune is used the by the Afrikaner Student Federation.
António Martins, 18 Apr 1998

Details about the odal rune can be found at http://www.symbols.com/encyclopedia/39/3922.html
Santiago Dotor, 04 Feb 2005

An odal rune is a "runic letter, (usu. traslit. ""), cognate to Greek omega a.k.a. _ethel_ and _othalan_.  As a flag-related symbol on FOTW-ws in page section naz_symb.html#odal.  

Where it says, and I comment:
39:22 The rune for odal, i.e. real estate, non-movable property. The odal rune was the last letter of the runic alphabet, and (here runic letter "ᚠ", usu. traslit. "f") for f (cattle), i.e. movable or personal property, was is the first.

This seems too focused in Viking book keeping; runes were letters, as such with a lot of usages apart from plain writing down of sound utterances.

This rune, turned upside down, is the symbol of the Scottish Independence Party and was used at the elections in Great Britain in 1992.

I wonder weather this is more than a coincidence. The saltire-like part of this letter, BTW, is subjected to such a variation that it appears much less evident in some instances.

It is also a Swedish twentieth-century graffiti sign conveying a nationalistic message.

Not only Swedish, and not even primarily so: the Nazi usage of runes as symbols is known - our site covers it well at naz_symb.html#odal.  From there to neo-Nazi symbolism it's a quick jump. (The referred Swedish usage was reported to the list and appears in se}naz.html.)
Antnio Martins-Tuvlkin, 05 Feb 2005

image by Clive Nel, 12 June 2006

I contacted you a few weeks ago to point out that the flag shown on your website for the Afrikaans Student Federation differed from the one shown in a book about flags that I had borrowed from the public library. I've just borrowed the book again so can give you more information. The title of the book is Illustrated Encyclopedia World Flags Identifier, by Alfred Znamierowski (Lorenz Books 2000,2001). The Afrikaans Student Federation flag is shown in colour
on page 118.  The flag differs from that shown on your website in that the Odal-Rune lacks the 'feet-like' bits sticking out at the bottom.  The type of Odal-Rune shown in the book was also widely used by right-wing nationalist youth groups like the Wiking Jugend in Germany and other counties but
was banned in Germany in 1994.  The flag used by the Wiking Jugend was black with a red Odal-Rune in it's centre.
Arthur Read, 16 May 2006