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Pretoria (South Africa)

Gauteng province

Last modified: 2006-03-04 by bruce berry
Keywords: south africa | pretoria | university |
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Pretoria city flag (to 2000)

[Pretoria (South Africa)] image by Bruce Berry and Dov Gutterman, 28 Sept 1998

Pretoria is the administrative capital of South Africa.  The legislative capital is Cape Town and the judicial capital is Bloemfontein.

The municipal flag of Pretoria is a simple red over yellow horizontal bi-colour. It is the inverse of the flags of Prague (Praha), capital of the Czech Republic, and Warsaw (Warszawa), capital of Poland. Red and yellow are the official colours of the city, taken from the municipal arms.  There is also an example of a city flag featuring the municipal arms in the centre.  However, the unembellished flag is official.

The municipal arms of Pretoria were officially taken into use on 24 October 1989, although a previous version has been in use for decades.  When Pretoria acquired municipal status in 1903, plans were made to adopt a crest for the town.  The most suitable escutcheon design was submitted to the College of Arms in London and was formally awarded on 7 February 1907.  The supporters were granted by the Garter Principal of Arms under separate Letters Patent dated 11 February 1907.  The two versions should have been combined later but were not.  It was not until 1989 that the arms were corrected to include the missing helmet and mantling and were adapted slightly to conform to a more modern heraldic style.  The official blazon is described as:

            ARMS: Gules (red), on a mimosa tree eradicated proper, within an orle of eight bees volant, Or (gold), an inescutcheon Or (smaller shield, gold) and thereon a Roman Praetor seated, proper

            CREST: A triple-towered castle Or

            WREATH AND MANTLING: Or and Gules

            SUPPORTERS: Dexter (right) an eland and sinister (left) a kudu, both proper

                             MOTTO: PRAESTANTIA PRAEVALEAT PRAETORIA (May Pretoria be pre-eminent in excellence).
 An example of the arms can be seen on Mike Oettle's South African heraldry site.
 Bruce Berry, 05 Sept 1997

South Africa has changed the name of its capital city to Tshwane
Zachary Harden, 08 Mar 2005    


                [The new municipal flag of Tshwane can be seen here -Ed]