The designer of South Africa’s flag, Fred Brownell, has died

south africa flag human rights day chris eason flickr

The designer of South Africa’s democratic-era flag, Fred Brownell, has died age 79.

Arts & Culture minister Nathi Mthethwa broke the news on Sunday on Twitter, and provided his followers with a mini-story about the creation of the flag.

“Two days ago, our country lost one of its greatest patriots & national heroes, former South African State Herald & the designer of our South African flag, Mr Fred Brownell. In his lifetime Fred Brownell designed many coats of arms & flags including the flag for Namibia,” he tweeted.

Mthethwa added that the flag design was initially a “doodle” and was accepted after three years of other submissions and “failed attempts”. More than 7000 flag designs were submitted, but none were deemed suitable. That is until Brownell was approached.

Under a tight deadline, “the commission eventually approached Fred Brownell, not knowing he already had a design,” Mthethwa added.

“Fred Brownell submitted his design to Roelf Meyer, the government’s Chief Negotiator who took it to his then ANC counterpart & the now current president, President Cyril Ramaphosa who then consulted late President uTata Madiba for his approval of the flag.”

“When Roelf Meyer & President Cyril Ramaphosa presented the flag to the council, there was a long silence until all at once clapping broke out, the flag was a winner! & so this is the story of our national pride & the man who created the flag with 6 colours that united our nation,” Mthethwa concluded.

Feature image: Chris Eason via Flickr (CC 2.0 BY)

Andy Walker
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