First printed edition, SAVA, 1996
© Richard Allport
BRUCE BERRY of the SOUTHERN AFRICAN VEXILLOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION
LIEUTENANT COLONEL IAN BUTTENSHAW (RLI flags)
CAPTAIN SEAN WYATT (RLI flags)
LIEUTENANT COLONEL RON REID-DALY (Selous Scouts flag and Standard)
ROBIN MOORE (Crippled Eagles flag)
MAJOR PETER COOPER (RLI Training Troop flag)
MICHAEL FAUL and WILLIAM CRAMPTON of THE FLAG INSTITUTE, UK
IAN DIXON (ills. of national flags)
CHRIS WHITEHEAD (Guard Force flag & photos)
WING COMMANDER PETER COOKE (Air Force flags & pennants)
JOHN HOPKINS -(RAR flags)
GERRY HAYTER (Air Force flags)
EUGENE POMEROY (SAS flags & photos)
JURGEN RIMANN (Photos various Rhodesian flags)
JAMES HUGGINS (Car flag of Sir Godfrey Huggins)
ALEX BUNDOCK (IntAf flags)
LT.COL. MTOMBENI (retíd) of the GWERU MILITARY MUSEUM, Zimbabwe
R.M. MALES of the HERALDRY & GENEALOGY SOCIETY OF ZIMBABWE
An extra word of thanks goes to both MIKE KAPLAN, the militaria dealer in South Africa, and BRUCE BERRY, both of whom were instrumental in assisting the author to obtain many of the original Rhodesian and South African flags in the author's collection!
Finally, my thanks again to BRUCE BERRY for checking through the manuscript for errors and making suggestions to improve the text.
Some of the official military flags used during the 1970s with the lion and tusk badge above the unit emblem may have had similar flags with a Royal Crown above the unit emblem prior to 1970 (when all symbols of allegiance to the British Monarch were removed), but these have been mentioned and illustrated only where I know for a fact that such flags actually existed.
The book does, nevertheless, give an account of all the major flags used in Rhodesia, and contains a great deal of information that has not previously been published. As such it will hopefully provide a useful basis for further research on individual flags or groups of flags.
Readers who can provide additional information on Rhodesian flags, in particular those which have not been covered in this book, are invited to contact the author with details and, if possible, illustrations or photographs of the flags concerned.
9695 AN Bellingwolde
E-mail: Richard Allport
Web site: Rhodesia and South Africa: Military History
One of the first Union Flags to appear in Rhodesia was the flag which Frank Johnson took with him when he joined the syndicate formed to explore the territory for gold. In his memoirs he wrote the following, referring to 24 May, 1887:
"This was the Queen's birthday, but I dared not fly our Union Jack, as the Matabeles believed that a flag prevented rain from falling!"2In his memoirs Johnson includes photos of the raising of the Union Flag at Fort Charter and at Salisbury.
During the British-Portuguese conflicts regarding the establishing of exact boundaries between their respective territories, Portuguese flags were flown at a number of kraals in the Northern and Eastern parts of Mashonaland. These had been distributed, along with guns, to various chiefs by the famous Portuguese explorer and adventurer, Colonel Paiva d'Andrade.
At the kraal of Umtasa, paramount chief of Manicaland, a patrol of the BSAC Police under Captain Patrick Forbes arrived to settle the dispute about sovereignty over Manicaland. The chief, according to the Portuguese, had ceded Manicaland to them some twenty years before, and only a month earlier this had been ratified by a British-Portuguese agreement. On 14 September, 1890, however, Umtasa had granted all mineral rights in his territory to the British South Africa Company, so confusion reigned supreme.
Rhodes had decided to occupy the territory to forestall any further Portuguese claims and Captain Forbes and his men arrived as the Portuguese were absorbed in the ceremony of raising their flag. Colonel d'Andrade was in the middle of an impassioned speech when Forbes placed him and two other Portuguese leaders under arrest. The flag was cut down by a trooper and d'Andrade burst into tears at the sight of this cavalier treatment of his flag. For a while it seemed as if the Portuguese would fight, but the arrest of their leader deterred them.
In order to safeguard the BSA Company's interests in Manicaland Forbes' next step was to attack and occupy the Portuguese fort at Macequece. After three days of marching they found that the fort which had been considered such a threat was only occupied by one corporal and a private soldier! Again the Portuguese flag was hauled down to make way for the BSAC flag.3
The Portuguese flag was given to Cecil Rhodes who had it displayed
on the wall of his library at Groote Schuur, together with the battered
Union flag that had been carried by Jameson into Matabeleland in 1893.
In another room of the house, known as the "billiard room", two more flags
were displayed - a small Union Flag with the Moslem crescent and star which
had been carried by General Gordon on the Nile, and a large Union flag
which had accompanied E.S. Grogan on his walking trip from Cape Town to
Cairo, a feat that had taken 2 years.
Cecil John Rhodes
When Rhodes died on 26 March, 1902, it was this large Union flag that was used to cover the coffin, along with the Chartered Company's flag and a British white Ensign.4 The Chartered Company's flag was buried with the coffin, along with a number of wreaths.5
The Portuguese flag which had been captured at Macequece returned to Portugal just before World War II, when General Hertzog, Prime Minister and living at Groote Schuur at that time, presented it as a gift to President Carmona of Portugal during his visit to South Africa.
The BSAC flag which had been raised in its place was later presented to the National Museum in Bulawayo by J.W.M. Bellasis, grandson of the man who had raised it at the fort.
Cecil Rhodes himself had designed a flag to symbolise his dream
of a united Africa under British rule, using a combination of the Egyptian
flag (white crescent and star on a red field) and the symbol of the Cape
(a gold anchor). Linking the two in the centre was the Union flag, symbolising
British rulefrom the Cape to Cairo. Rhodesí dream was never realised, of
course, and the flag was never officially used. It is now preserved at
Groote Schuur in South Africa.6
* Vierkleur = Afrikaans for "Four Colour", the popular
name given to the green, red, white and blue flag of the Transvaal.
1. Gustav Preller - "Lobengula" pp 51-52.
2. Frank Johnson - "Great Days" pp 41.
3. Gustav Preller - "Lobengula" pp 96-97, and T.V. Bulpin - "To the Banks of the Zambezi" pp 286.
4. Le Sueur - "Cecil Rhodes" pp 329.
5. Le Sueur - "Cecil Rhodes" pp 257-260, and "Rhodesiana" no. 27, pp 85.
6. Although the flag was designed by Rhodes, the actual idea of extending British rule from the Cape to Cairo originated from Harry Johnston, then employed in the British consular service, and an old Africa hand. Rhodes came into contact with him in London in 1889 and adopted his grand vision.
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