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South African Police Service

(SAPS)

Last modified: 2015-07-25 by bruce berry
Keywords: police | south african police service |
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[South African Police Service flag] image by Martin Grieve, 09 Oct 2002 See also:

South African Police Service (SAPS)

[South African Police Service badge] image by Jarig Bakker, 14 May 2002

The South African Police Service (SAPS) recently adopted a new flag to reflect the changes which the old South Africa Police (SAP) has undergone and to promote the new identity of the SAPS.

The flag follows the basic design of its predecessor, and indeed those of the SA Armed Forces and the Correctional Services department.
The flag has the South African national flag in the canton fimbriated in white at the fly. The field of the flag is dark blue with the new badge of the SAPS in the lower fly. Dividing the flag into two halves is a gold horizontal stripe (one-seventh the width of the flag). The new flag was officially adopted in October 1997 and replaces the flag of the former SAP, which followed the same basic design but with the old flag and old police badge, which was adopted in 1983.
Only the national flag has been flown at police stations between April 1994 and October 1997.
Bruce Berry, 12 Aug 1998

The new South African Police Service (SAPS) flag was registered with the South African Bureau of Heraldry on 17 Oct 1997 with the following description:
A rectangular blue flag, proportions two by three, with a single yellow horizontal stripe one-seventh the width of the flag, across the centre, in the canton the national flag of the Republic of  South Africa as registered under Government Notice No. 645 of 5 May 1995, and in the lower fly the badge of  the South African Police Service as registered under Government Notice No. 1548 of 6 October 1995.
Source: Data of the Bureau of Heraldry on registered heraldic representations.
Mark Sensen, 19 May 2002

The flag of the SA Police Service is very similar to the flag of its predecessor, the South African Police (also called South African Police Force). The SAP flag was the same blue, has the same yellow bar, and has the 1928 national flag in the same position as the 1994 version in the current flag. The police badge is in the same position, and the sunburst is identical.

The difference, aside from the 1928 national flag, is that in place of the Aloe in the centre of the badge, there is a representation of the 1930 version of the Union of South Africa coat of arms. You will find this at my website. The switch from the arms to the aloe was a very good one, from both a political and an aesthetic point of view. The use of the complete achievement made the badge very hard to recognise, and is on a par with similar heraldic misuses still traditional in South African traffic police forces (provincial and municipal). 
Mike Oettle, 14 Oct 2002

Although this flag was registered in 1997, it was not officially taken into use until 1998. It was introduced at a parade at the police college in Pretoria on 20 November 1998 (Reference : M. du Preez, 'Three in One' in Servamus (January/February 1999).
Arthur Radburn, 04 June 2015


South African Police (1981 - 1994)

  image by Martin Grieve, 16 Aug 2005

The former South African Police (SAP) flag was registered with the South African Bureau of Heraldry on 14 October 1983 with the following description:
"A rectangular blue flag,  proportions  three  by two, with a single yellow horizontal stripe one-seventh the width of  the  flag, across the centre, in the canton the National Flag and in the lower fly the badge of the South African Police".
Source: Data of the Bureau of Heraldry on registered heraldic representations.
Mark Sensen, 19 May 2002

This flag was presented by the then State President, Marais Viljoen, in a ceremony at the police college in Pretoria on 26 June 1981.  According to the SAP's Annual Report, the flag was designed by Lt. Col. J. Venter, in collaboration with the State Herald. The flag was duly registered at the Bureau of Heraldry on 24 July 1981, but the certificate was not issued until 14 October 1983.
References :
Q. Papenfus: ' 'n Eie vlag vir SAP' in Servamus (August 1981) and 'South African Police Flag' in NAVA News Vol. 14 No. 4 (Fall 1981).
Arthur Radburn, 04 June 2015

  image by Martin Grieve, 16 Aug 2005


National Colour (1989 - 1994)

image sent by Bruce Berry, 17 July 2015

The South African Police also had a National Colour, i.e. the then National Flag (1928-1994) in Colour format. It was presented by the then State President, F.W. de Klerk, at the Police College in Pretoria on 28 November 1989. The Colour was laid up at the College on 15 April 1994, just prior to the adoption of the current South African national flag.

The introduction of the National Colour by the South African Defence Force was approved on 08 March 1988.  The South African National Colour was the National Flag with the following characteristics:
- it was manufactured from silk;
- it was fimbrated with a gold frill; and
- it had two gold cords with tassels hanging from the bottom of the cords.

A total of 128 Colours were awarded between April 1988 until December 1993, of which the South African Police was one.
Reference :
http://152.111.1.87/argief/berigte/dieburger/1989/11/29/2/3.html ; http://152.111.1.87/argief/berigte/dieburger/1994/04/16/5/17.html.
Arthur Radburn, 04 June 2015


South African Railways Police

 image by Martin Grieve, 17 Aug 2005

The flag of the South African Railways Police was registered with the South African Bureau of Heraldry on 07 Feb 1986 with the following description:
"A rectangular flag, proportions three by two, in the canton the National Flag of the Republic of South Africa occupying the full first quarter, the lower hoist gold, and the fly black, charged in the lower fly with the badge of the South  African Railways Police, proper (to wit: On a circular field Sable with a concentric bordure of the same, Or, a representation of the embellished coat of arms of the Republic of South Africa in original colours within the shield. On the bordure in the upper half in letters Or: SUID-AFRIKA, and in the lower half in letters of the same: SOUTH AFRICA. The whole is encircled by a laurel wreath containing at the top a representation of the Voortrekker Monument, all Or, and set off below by a scroll Sable lined Or, on which appear in letters Or: S.A.S. - S.A.R. Below the whole on a scroll Sable lined Or  in  letters of the same: POLISIE - POLICE)".
Source: Data of the Bureau of Heraldry on registered heraldic representations.
Mark Sensen, 19 May 2002

The SA Railway Police was a division of the South African Railways and Harbours Administration. It was originally purely a transport policing section, but ended up with wide powers because of its jurisdiction in SAR&H hostels in the black townships. They used to spend a lot of time raiding these hostels for dagga (cannabis/marijuana - or, as they seem to call it in Amsterdam, tee). The SARP was also responsible for airport and harbour security, and had its own launches. Sadly, the only flag I recall seeing on their launches was the national flag. The SARP was merged with the SAP in the mid-1980s and accordingly, the flag is no longer used.
Mike Oettle, 14 Oct 2002

  image by Martin Grieve, 17 Aug 2005

Although the official description of the South African Railways Police (SARP) flag does not mention a fimbriation around the national flag or badge, I have a table flag in my possession which does have these fimbriations as shown in the illustration below.  However, the full size flag which I have manufactured by Flagcraft in Johannesburg does not have any fimbriations!
Bruce Berry, 19 Aug 2005

  image by Martin Grieve, 17 Aug 2005
 
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