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Harare (Zimbabwe)

Last modified: 2011-06-11 by bruce berry
Keywords: harare | salisbury |
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[Harare city flag] image by Arnaud Leroy, 2 Dec 2000

See also:


Harare city flag

On the second anniversary of Zimbabwe's independence in April 1982, Salisbury was renamed Harare and later adopted new municipal arms and a flag. As in the case of its predecessor, the design of the flag once again followed the adoption of the new municipal arms.

The new municipal flag is an extension of the new shield in the proportion 1:2.  Some license has been used as there are seven golden sun rays on the shield of the arms but only six on the flag.  On the flag these are off-set as the Zimbabwe Bird and tobacco leaves are placed on the centre line.
Bruce Berry, 4 Dec 2000

Description of the flag
Five stripes as follows:
First stripe: combination as sun rays (like the Macedonian flag) but blue and yellow.
Second stripe: plain yellow thinner stripe
The central stripe is red with two yellow leafs in a symmetric layout.
Four stripe: plain yellow thinner stripe
Five stripe: plain blue with a yellow Zimbabwean bird in the center.

You can find the inspiration of this flag in the Coat of Arms of Harare (see below), the traditional shield guarded by two sables (antelopes) is decorated in the same way than the flag.
Santiago Tazon, 10 May 2001

The new municipal flag is an extension of the new shield in the proportion 1:2.  Some license has been used as there are seven golden sun rays on the shield of the arms but only six on the flag.  On the flag these are off-set as the Zimbabwe Bird and tobacco leaves are placed on the centre line. This armorial flag or heraldic banner, argues Michael Faul, provides a good example of the pathological condition known as "dysproportionality" which William Crampton referred to in his lecture at the XVI  ICV in Warsaw.

Source:  Municipal Flags in Zimbabwe, lecture by Bruce Berry presented at XVII ICV, Cape Town 1997) [brr99] published in Flags in South Africa and the World [edited by Peter Martinez), Proceedings of the XVII International Congress of Vexillology,  1999).  Colour illustrations of the Arms and flag appear in the book.
Bruce Berry, 11 May 2001


Salisbury (Harare old flag)

[Harare old flag] image by Martin Grieve, 27 Aug 2002

Following the decision of Cecil John Rhodes' British South Africa Company (BSAC) to colonise the area now known as Zimbabwe, the first group of White settlers arrived at Mount Hampden, about 12 miles from where Fort Salisbury was eventually sited, with the Pioneer Column on 12 September 1890.  A Board of Management for the town was established in 1891 and a municipality was established in 1897.  Salisbury became capital of Southern Rhodesia in 1923 and was made a city in 1935.

A flag was only chosen for the city after 1939 when the City Council, by then aware that the municipal arms were not in accordance with heraldic custom, again approached the College of Arms (London) and reached agreement on a new design for the municipal arms. The new design retained the three roundels with fleur-de-lis from the Cape Colony Arms and included a simple charge to represent agriculture.  The supporters were two Sable antelopes and the lion in the crest was adopted from the Arms of Cecil John Rhodes.

The blazon of the actual grant is as follows:

ARMS: Vert on a Fesse between three Garbs Or as many Hurts each charged with a Fleur-de-lis of the second and for the Crest on a wreath of the Colours: A demi lion Or gorged with a collar of the last thereon three Hurts  each charged with a Fleur-de-lis Gold.
SUPPORTERS: On either side a Sable Antelope proper Gorged  with a collar Or pendant therefrom an Escutcheon Gules charged with a rifle  and an Axe in Saltire Gold.
MOTTO: Discrimine Salus

scan by Bruce Berry, 10 Oct 2006

The motto can be translated as "In Discrimination is Safety" and was not, as has been occasionally suggested, a reference to discrimination between the races, but was originally the motto of the Traill family from whom William Fairbridge, an early mayor, was descended and was chosen as a reference to the careful choice of the site for the city.

The approach followed with regard to the municipal flag, as is the case in many British and American examples of municipal vexillology, was simply to place the shield from these municipal arms in the centre of a plain white field.

Salisbury was renamed Harare on the second anniversary of Zimbabwe's independence on 18 April 1982.
Bruce Berry, 04 Dec 2000
 


Harare city Coat of Arms

[Harare Coat of Arms] image from Ralf Hartemink's website.

The heraldic description of the arms is as follows:

ARMS:  On an African war shield, Azure, seven piles conjoined at the fess point Or, overall a fess Gules fimbriated on the second charged with two tobacco leaves in bend and bend sinister respectively and in base a representation of the Zimbabwe Bird gold; behind the escutcheon a long hunting spear in Dexter and an oval headed war spear in sinister in saltire proper.
SUPPORTERS: On a mound Vert on either side a sable antelope proper and in base two flame lilies in saltire proper
MOTTO: PAMBERI NEKUSHANDIRA VAHU (Forward with Service to the People).

Source:  Municipal Flags in Zimbabwe, lecture by Bruce Berry presented at XVII ICV, Cape Town 1997) [brr99], published in Flags in South Africa and the World [edited by Peter Martinez), Proceedings of the XVII International Congress of Vexillology,  1999).  Colour illustrations of the Arms and flag appear in the book.
Bruce Berry, 11 May 2001



 
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