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R22m SA flag? It's a 'monument to democracy', explains Dept of Arts and Culture

12 May 2022 6:30 AM
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Arts and Culture Department
SA flag
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Thembinkosi Mabaso, National Herald of South Africa, director of The SA Bureau of Heraldry explains the project to John Maytham.
  • The Planned R22 million flag monument has been met with consternation by the public dubbing it a waste of mooney
  • The 100-metre flag is to be erected in Freedom Park heritage site in Pretoria
  • The Department of Arts and Culture defended the project explaining it was part of the renewal of the heritage landscape and a symbol of unity and democracy

When there are so many more pressing needs in SA why spend R22 million on a flag?

John Maytham, Presenter - CapeTalk

Mabaso says their mandate has always been to popularise the flag adopted in 1994.

A lot of work has been done to promote it because it is no use to have a flag and then people do not love it, resonate with it or understand its particular role.

Thembinkosi Mabaso, Director of The SA Bureau of Heraldry and National Herald of South Africa

The Department of Arts and Culture, therefore, embarked on what he calls "a popularisation strategy" to promote the flag.

How have they done so? He says "through writing about it, studying and also making sure we make information accessible to people about the flag".

Another aspect of the strategy has been to ensure the SA flag is erected at all schools, including in rural areas, he explains.

In a campaign launched in 2018 #Iamtheflag, the aim was to have people identify their aspirations and identity with the flag.

He describes the flag as the one symbol with which all South Africans can identify.

It's a common identity... It is a symbol of democracy.

Thembinkosi Mabaso, Director of The SA Bureau of Heraldry and National Herald of South Africa

He describes the latest project to erect a 100m tall flag as being part of a monument celebrating this democracy.

Spending R22 million on a monumental flag is a waste of money, replies John.

I love the flag. I have loved the flag from the very first time I saw it when I was sitting a the Union Buildings on the day that Nelson Mandela was inaugurated in 1994, and I still love the flag, and so do most of the people I know.

John Maytham, Presenter - CapeTalk

Rather spend R22m in providing education and facilities to children in the arts and sports, he suggests.

You are probably going to turn sentiment against the flag when people look at a flag that cost R22m... in a poor country with our inequalities.

John Maytham, Presenter - CapeTalk

Mabaso insists that the flag monument to be erected in the Freedom Park heritage site will align with the government plans to "renew the heritage landscape".

There is currently no monument to the flag.

Thembinkosi Mabaso, Director of The SA Bureau of Heraldry and National Herald of South Africa

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : R22m SA flag? It's a 'monument to democracy', explains Dept of Arts and Culture




12 May 2022 6:30 AM
Tags:
Arts and Culture Department
SA flag
Flag

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