Gestbook Riseingsouthernstar-Africa AWB Weskaap

Boere Staan Saam

Boere vlags


The course of southern Africa's history was profoundly affected by the establishment of a permanent settlement at the Cape of Good Hope by the Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie or VOC) in 1652. The Dutch were not interested in colonization; they wished merely to establish a way station on the spice route to the East Indies. At the Cape the VOC’s ships could shelter and replenish their supplies. In the course of time a number of company employees were released from their contracts to establish farms that could produce grain, vegetables, fruit and meat for the VOC settlement. From this handful of farmers sprang the “white tribe”—the Boers or Afrikaners of South Africa. 
Besides the Dutch, the proto-Boer population was made up of some Germans, Scandinavians, and a few Huguenots fleeing from religious persecution in France. Gradually, the early Boers expanded into the southern African interior, establishing farms and villages as they advanced. At the Cape, where the VOC had begun to import slaves from Madagascar and Indonesia, many of the offspring of white and slave liaisons were also incorporated into the growing Boer population. The intermingling of the native population of the region, the Dutch and the imported slaves eventually produced South Africa’s Coloured population, as these people of mixed race are known today. 
The expansion of the Cape Colony and the migrations of the Boers led inevitably to conflicts with the native peoples of the interior. Another source of friction was the annexation of the Cape Colony by Great Britain in 1806. As English-speaking whites poured into the colony, the Boers grew increasingly disaffected. Though British rule in fact perpetuated the white supremacy to which the Boers had grown accustomed, the 1834 abolition of slavery throughout the British Empire came as a shock. Soon thereafter began the epic of Boer history, the Great Trek and the Zulu wars. Beginning in 1836-37, some 12,000 Boers (the Voortrekkers or pioneers) set out on a great migration intended to carry them beyond British control. As fate would have it, the Great Trek coincided with Zulu expansion from the north, setting the stage of a series of conflicts that would lead to the creation of independent Boer republics, the rise of Boer nationalism, war with Britain and, eventually, the establishment of the Boer-dominated, apartheid Republic of South Africa that lasted until 1994.
horizontal rule
The flags of the Netherlands had a great influence on those later used by the Boers. Though by 1660 the orange-white-blue Princevlag (Prince's Flag) was beginning to give way to the red-white-blue Driekleur Vlag (Three-Color Flag), its memory influenced the design of the 1928 South African national flag. (Evidently, red replaced orange because the dyestuffs used to make Dutch flags in the late seventeenth century produced a color closer to red than orange.) Dutch maritime flags of the period were often made with the basic three-stripe pattern repeated, as in the example above (the tricolor pattern repeated twice, separated by a white stripe).  Besides the plain Dutch tricolor, a variant with the monogram of the Dutch East Indies Company may also have been used at the Cape of Good Hope settlement. The small 'C" was for the Cape of Good Hope.

Driekleur Vlag
Driekleur Vlag  •  Variant
Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie  Vlag
The Voortrekker Boers established a number of settlements and republics in the years following their migration out of the Cape Colony. The first flag that can be characterized as the banner of a Boer republic is the Voortrekker Vlag, blue with a red saltire cross. Also known as the Potgieter Vlag after General A.H. Potgieter, a leader of the migration, it is known to have been used from the early 1830s to about 1840, and in a slightly modified form it was the flag of Potchefstroom (founded 1838), the town that later became the first capital of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (South African Republic, also known as the Transvaal Republic). The Dutch colors (red, white and blue) figured in most of these flags. From the late 1830s to the 1880s, a spate of Boer mini-republics sprang into being. Some, like Natalia, were annexed by Britain; others. like the Klein Vrystaat  (Little Free State) were eventually incorporated into the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek.

Voortrekker  Vlag
Potchefstroom  •  1838-52
Natalia  •  1838-43
Nieuwe  Republiek  •  1881-84
Goshen  •  1884-85
Klein Vrystaat   •  1886-91
When the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (South African Republic) was formed in 1852 it had no official national flag, though probably the Voortrekker Vlag and its variant, the flag of the town of Potchefstroom, were in common use. Finally, in 1858, the Volksraad (Parliament) passed a law establishing a national flag. Designed by Reverend Dirk van der Hoff, it combined the horizontal red, white and blue stripes of the Dutch flag with a vertical green stripe at the hoist, thus symbolizing the Republic's African locale and its fraternal ties to the Netherlands. This flag, called the Vierkleur ("four colors") remained in use (with one brief intermission) until 1902, when defeat in the Anglo-Boer War brought an end to the Republic. In 1874, on the initiative of President Burgers, the old flag of Potchefstroom was made the national flag. Burgers disliked the Vierkleur and felt that the Potchefstroom flag, which was based on the Voortrekker Vlag, was a more appropriate banner for a Boer republic. Few people shared his opinion, however, and the Volksraad restored the Vierkleur in 1875—reportedly while President Burgers was absent on a visit to Europe! Perhaps as a sop to Burgers, the Potchefstroom flag was made the presidential flag. But it remained unpopular and soon fell into disuse.


 Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek  •  National Flags  •  1858-1902
Like the South African Republic, the  Oranje Vrijstaat (Orange Free State, established in 1854) at first had no official national flag. To remedy this situation, the Free State government petitioned King William III of the Netherlands for a grant of arms and a flag. The King agreed to this request and in 1856 his envoy arrived in the Free State's capital, Bloemfontein, to make the official presentation. The flag consisted of seven horizontal stripes, white and orange, with the Dutch flag as a canton. This design symbolized the Free State's name, its fraternal ties to the Netherlands, and the monarch of the House of Orange in whose name the flag was granted. It remained unchanged until 1902 when defeat in the Anglo-Boer War brought an end to the Free State.

Oranje Vrijstaat  •  National Flag  •  1856-1902
Though the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek and the Oranje Vrijstaat had not always enjoyed amicable relations, they made common cause against the British during the Anglo-Boer War (1898-1902). Their alliance was symbolically expressed by the various flags that were used by the Boer forces during the war. Most were variants of the Vierkleur Vlag with orange added, thus combining the colors of both Boer republics.

Boer "Unity" Flags  •  1898-1902
When the various British colonies in southern Africa were united in 1910 to form the Union of South Africa, its official national flag was the Union Jack and the de facto national flag was the South African Red Ensign. This situation did not suit the Boers and in 1928 South Africa adopted as its national flag a horizontal tricolor of orange, white and blue—a variant of the old Dutch Princevlag (Prince's Flag). On the white stripe was a badge combining the Union Jack and the flags of the former Boer republics. The design was in fact a compromise that did not entirely satisfy anyone. South Africans of British origin opposed the abandonment of the Union Jack, while the Boers wanted to expunge all reminders of the hated British connection. Though there were various proposals to replace it in later years the 1928 flag was not changed, even when South Africa became a republic in 1962. It was abolished in 1994 when the apartheid regime came to an end.

National Flag  •  1928-94
With the end of the apartheid regime in 1994, the "white tribe" lost its dominant political and social position. This was reflected in the replacement of traditional national symbols, including flags and coats of arms, with new ones that did not recall the dark days of apartheid. The Boers, however, continue to display their traditional flags, particularly those of the former republics and variants thereof. A typical example of a variant flag is that of the Afrikaner Volksfront (Afrikaner People's Front), which is similar to the Vierkleur but with orange in place of red. Other contemporary Boer flags are frankly fascist in inspiration, such as those of the Boere Weerstandsbeweging (Boer Resistance Movement) and the Afrikaner Studentebond (Afrikaner Student Federation). Many of these Afrikaner political organizations advocate the creation of a separate homeland for the Boers.

Afrikaner Volksfront
Boere Weerstandsbeweging
Afrikaner Studentebond


Oranje-blanje-blou (Afrikaans for Orange, white and blue) refers, of course, to the old South African flag used between 1928 and 1994. This song was popular especially among Afrikaners when this flag flew over South Africa. The tune is by Henry Hugh Pierson (they don't say whether it was borrowed from this composer), and the lyrics are by an Afrikaans poet who wrote under the name Eitemal.  The attribution for the text reads: "EITEMAL na: ,,O.D., hoch in Ehren''.
(There is a commonly used style of quotation marks, primarily German but often used in Afrikaans, that opens a quote with commas rather than the more familiar  "inverted commas").

The title simply gives the colours of the 1928 South African flag, or, more strictly, the Dutch Princenvlag: orange, white and blue. (I am not  certain of the derivation of "blanje", since it is not used in ordinary spoken Afrikaans, but I would guess that it is a form of the French "blanc", white).

The text reads:

Die Hoogland is ons woning,
die land van son en veld,

waar woeste vryheidswinde
waai oor graf van meenge held.
Die ruimtes het ons siel gevoed,
ons kan g'n slawe wees,
want vryer as die arendsvlug,
die vlugte van ons gees.


Dis die tyd, (repeated)
dis die dag, (repeated)
om te handhaaf en te bou.
Hoog die hart, (repeated)
hoog die vlag, (repeated)
hoog Oranje-blanje-blou!
Ons gaan saam die donker toekoms in
om as een te sneuwel of oorwin,
met ons oog gerig op jou,
ons Oranje-blanje-blou!

(Note: In the sixth line [hoog Oranje-blanje-blou], there is an echo of  "blou, blanje-blou!")

Die ruwe berge-reekse
staan hoog teen awendlug,
soos gryse ewighede daar
versteen, verstyf in vlug.
En stewig soos die grou graniet
ons Boeretrots en -trou,
die fondament warop ond hier
'n nuwe nasie bou.


Die God van onse vaders
het ons hierheen gelei
ons dien sy grootse skeppings-plan,
solank ons Boere bly.
Ons buig ons hoof
voor Hom alleen;
en as Hy ons verhoor
omgord ons bly die lendene:
Die toekoms wink daar voor.

Translation (off the cuff - any improvements welcome).
Note: the reference to Hoogland (translated here as highlands) is probably poetic licence for Highveld (Afrikaans Hoe"veld), a region which includes large parts of both the former Transvaal Province (Zuid- Afrikaansche Republiek) and the current Free State Province (the old Oranje Vrij Staat).

The highlands are our home,
the land of sun and veld,
where wild winds of freedom
blow over [the] grave of many a hero.
The open spaces have fed our souls,
we cannot be slaves [literaaly "we can be no slaves"]
as freer than the eagle's flight,
the flights of our spirit.


It's the time, it's the day,
to maintain and to build.
High the heart,
high the flag,
high Orange-white-blue!

We go together into the dark future
together to die or win,
with our eye fixed on you,
our Orange-white-blue!

(Sneuwel means literally to die in warfare; oorwin means to win in battle.)

The rugged mountain ranges
stand high against the evening light
like petrified grey eternities there,
stiffened in flight.
And firmly like the grey granite
our Boer pride and loyalty,
the foundation upon which we here
are building a new nation.

(The word awendlug [evening air] seems to be an error; it seems more logical to say awendlig [evening light]; awend is a poetic form [harking back to Dutch] for the more usual Afrikaans "aand").

The God of our fathers
led us here,
we serve his mighty creation plan,
as long as we Boers remain.
Webend our heads before Him alone;
and if He hears us
we gird our loins joyfully:
The future waves us on.

(Source: The FAK [Federasie van Afrikaanse Kultuurvereninge] Sangbunde).
Mike Oettle, 06 Feb 2004.


Ons Vlag

Nou waai ons Vlag en wapper fier!
Sy kleure is ons vreugde;
hul skoonheid spoor ons harte aan
tot ware, ed'le deugde.

Oranje dui op heldemoed
wat krag vind by die Here;
die Blanje eis 'n rein gemoed;
die Blou verg trou en ere.

Ons Vlag bly steeds ons eenheidsband.
Al kom ook sware tye;
dis God wat waak oor Volk en Land,
Suid-Afrika ons eie.


Now our flag waves and flaps bravely!
Its colours are our joy;
their beauty encourages our hearts
to true, noble virtues.

Orange stands for heroic courage
which draws strength from the Lord;
the White demands a pure attitude;
the Blue wants loyalty and honour.

Our flag remains our bond of unity.
Even if times get hard;
it's God who watches over Nation and Land,
South Africa our own.

The forms "sware" (where "swaar" would be the usual way of speaking), "ed'le" (for "edele") and "ere" (for "eer") are poetic forms,  adaptations to the scansion. The same goes for the word "meen'ge" in Oranje-blanje-blou, which would normally be "menige".

(Source: The FAK [ Federasie van Afrikaanse Kultuurvereninge] Sangbunde).
Mike Oettle, 10 Feb 2004


De Vlaamse Leeuw 

This song is an odd one to find in the FAK Sangbundel, since its title translates as "The Flemish Lion" and the language is Dutch, definitely not Afrikaans. Clearly, it was included because, centuries after the Eighty Years
War, the symbol of Flanders still finds a resonance with Afrikaner descendants of  those Protestant Flemings who fled Spanish rule and went to live in the Seven Provinces. 

The words are credited to T H van Peene, and the tune to K Mirij, arrangement by Dirkie de Villiers (son of M L de Villiers, the composer of  the music to Die Stem van Suid-Afrika, the former South African national anthem).

There are two verses and a refrain:

Zij zullen hem niet temmen,
de fiere Vlaamse Leeuw,
al dreigen zij zijn vrijheid
met kluisters en geschreeuw.
Zij zullen hem niet temmen,
zolang e'e'n Vlaming leeft,
zolang de Leeuw kan klauwen,
zolang hij tanden heeft.


Zij zullen him niet temmen
zolang e'e'n Vlaming leeft,
zolang de Leeuw kan klauwen,
zolang hij tanden heeft,
zolang de Leeuw kan klauwen,
zolang hij tanden heeft.

De tijd verslindt de steden,
geen tronen blijven staan,
de legerbenden sneven,
een volk zal niet vergaan.
De vijand trekt te velde,
omringd van doodsgevaar.
Wij lachen met zijn woede,
die Vlaamse Leeuw is daar.

Here's an attempt at a translation:

They won't tame him,
the proud Flemish Lion,
even if they threaten his freedom
with chains and shouting.
They will not be able to tame him
as long as even one Fleming lives,
as long as the Lion can claw,
as long as he has teeth.


They will not tame him,
the proud Flemish Lion,
as long as one Fleming lives,
as long as the Lion has claws,
as long as he has teeth,
as long as the Lion has claws,
as long as he has teeth.

Time eats up the cities,
no thrones last forever,
the armed companies die in battle,
a people will not disappear.
The enemy goes out to war,
surrounded by deadly danger.
We laugh at his anger,
the Flemish Lion is there.

I have written the word een as e'e'n - each 'e' carries an acute accent. This emphasises the word, giving the meaning "even if only one Fleming is left  alive". The word verslindt means to destroy by eating - this verb is used literally only of animals (never humans) and, poetically, of things that destroy in like manner. I am not certain that I have the right word for "kluisters" - I don't  have a dictionary at hand as I write this - and would be grateful if some Dutch correspondent would check that. "Geschreeuw" can  mean either shouting or screaming, but shouting seems more appropriate. In the second verse, "de legerbenden sneven" - "leger" means army, but "armed companies" seems to fit better with "benden" or bands. "Sneven" (in Afrikaans "sneuwel") means to die in war or in battle (rather than dying of disease, another common way in which soldiers have traditionally lost their lives). I have rendered "een volk" as "a people", but "a nation" could also be  appropriate. "Trekt te velde" means literally to go out into the fields, but its application to an enemy means that it is out on campaign (after all,  campaign comes from a word meaning "fields", also).
Mike Oettle, 02 Mar 2004


Transvaalse Volkslied

The Transvaalse Volkslied, although the official anthem of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek and when the territory was officially called Transvaal (1879-81and 1901 onwards), it was not well thought of by the authorities.

The words and music of the Transvaalse Volkslied are by Catharina F van Rees, and it is dated 1875 - surprisingly it dates to the period before the annexation of 1879, since the emotions seem to blend well with those of the victorious rebels of 1881. Possibly this date accounts for the song's non-avoidance of the word Transvaal, which was the name of the state so strongly rejected in the uprising of 1880-81. The arrangement is by G G Cillie'. (There is an acute accent on the final letter in this surname; it is pronounced "Sil-yee". The surname is French, although its spelling is no longer authentically French; other members of this family spell it as Cilliers or Celliers.) The language is Dutch. (As mentioned previously, Afrikaans was the spoken language of all the 19th-century Boer republics, but was hardly ever written, and was not generally well thought of by
those who had been educated in either English or Dutch.)

Kent gij dat volk vol heldenmoed
en toch zo lang geknecht?
Het heeft geofferd goed en bloed
voor vryheid en voor recht.
Komt burgers! laat de vlaggen wapp'ren,
ons lijden is voorbij;
roemt in die zege onzer dapp'ren:
Dat vrije volk zijn wij!
Dat vrije volk, dat vrije volk, dat vrije, vrije volk zijn wij!

Kent gij dat land, zo schaars bezocht
en toch zo heerlik schoon;
waar de natuur haar wond'ren wrocht,
en kwistig stelt ten toon?
Transvalers! laat ons feestlied schallen!
Daar waar ons volk hield stand,
waar onze vreugdeschoten knallen,
daar is ons vaderland!
Dat heerlik land, dat heerlik land, dat is, dat is ons vaderland!

Kent gij die Staat, nog maar een kind
in's werelds Statenrij,
maar tog door 't machtig Brits bewind
weleer verklaard voor vrij?
Transvalers! edel was uw streven,
en pijnlik onze smaad,
maar God die uitkomst heeft gegeven,
zij lof voor d'eigen Staat!
Looft onze God! Looft onze God! Looft onze God voor land en Staat!

Now for a translation (again lease excuse and correct! any errors):

Do you know the people full of heroic courage
and yet so long servants?
It has offered possessions and blood
for freedom and for justice.
Come, citizens, let the flags wave,
our suffering is past;
be joyous in the victory of our brave ones;
We are the free people!
The free people, the free people, the free, free people are we!

Do you know the land,
so seldom visited,
and yet so wonderfully beautiful;
where nature has wrought her wonders,
and profligately puts them on display?
Transvalers! let our festival song resound!
There were our people stood fast,
where our gunshots of joy resound,
there is our fatherland,
That wonderful land, that wonderful land, that is, that is our

Do you know the State,
yet still a child among the States of the world,
but nontheless by the mighty British power
truly declared as free?
Transvalers! Noble was your struggle,
and painful our suffering,
but God has given the outcome,
and praise for our own State!
Praise our God! Praise our God! Praise our God! Praise our God for land
and State!

In the first verse, "wapp'ren" and "dapp'ren" are poetic forms that omit the  middle vowel. The same goes for "wond'ren" in the second verse. "Geknecht" means "reduced to the state of servants" (not quite slaves).
In the third verse the word Statenrij has no exact equivalent in English, although English occasionally uses the same construction of ending a word with -ry to form a noun from a shorter one, as in "heraldry". 
"Statenrij" is perhaps best rendered as "the multitude of States" or "the  variety of States" (independent states, that is). "Door't" is a typically Dutch construction which has disappeared from Afrikaans, except in one or two idioms, where the definite object "het" is  reduced to its final letter and (sometimes) tagged onto the previous
word. (North country English has a comparable usage, although this is a shortening  of "the".)
Mike Oettle, 04 Mar 2004



On flipping through the FAK book I came across a song. The title is Vryheidslied. The lyrics are by Jan F E Celliers, and the music by Emiel Hullebroeck. The words are:

Vrome vad're, fier en groot
Deur vervolging, ramp en nood,
was hul leuse, tot die dood:
Vryheid! Vryheid!

Erf'nis van hul moed en trou
is die grond waar ons op bou.
Juigend tot die hemel-blou:
Vryheid! Vryheid!

Ere wie die dood mag lei
om te rus aan hulle sy,
met die sterwenswoord te skei:
Vryheid! Vryheid!

Op dan, broers, en druk hul spoor,
voorwaarts, broers, die vaandel voor,
laat die veld ons krygsroep hoor:
Vryheid! Vryheid!

Woes geweld mag hoogty hou,
kettings mag ons lede knou,
maar die leuse bly ons trou:
Vryheid! Vryheid!

Jukke mag vir slawe wees,
manneharte ken geen vrees,
duld geen boei vir lyf of gees:
Vryheid! Vryheid!

Now the English translation:

Pious fathers (ancestors), proud and brave
Through persecution, disaster and need
their motto, to the death, was:
Freedom! Freedom!

The heritage of their courage and faith
is the land we build on.
Joyful to the blue heavens:
Freedom! Freedom!

Honours to those led by death
to rest at its side,
uttering their final word:
Freedom! Freedom!

Up, then, brothers, and follow their tracks,
forwards, brothers, the banner in front,
may the veld hear our battle cry:
Freedom! Freedom!

Brutal force might with the day,
chains may chafe our limbs,
but to this motto we are faithful:
Freedom! Freedom!

Yokes may be for slaves,
the hearts of men know no fear,
tolerating no shackles for body or soul:
Freedom! Freedom!

Notes: The word "vader" translates as "father", and its usual plural is "vaders" ("fathers"). The plural form "vadere" (here poetically shortened to "vad're") means "ancestors".  The word "lede" means "members", but is here an abbreviation of  "ledemate" ("body parts" or "limbs"). "Ledemate" is used also of members of a church community, a reference to St Paul's description of the Church as being the Body of Christ, made up of people with different functions. The ordinary translation of "vaandel" is "ensign" (a naval ensign is a vlootvaandel), but in the poetic context, "banner" seems more appropriate.
Mike Oettle, 14 April 2004


Vaarwel aan die Vierkleur

Here are the lyrics of Vaarwel aan die Vierkleur, as they appear in the FAK-Sangbundel (Fourth Edition 1979, sixth printing of 2002) published by Protea Boekhuis for the Federasie van Afrikaanse Kultuurvereniginge (FAK).

I don't know if I've managed to turn out an acceptable rendition in English. The original is rather tearful I'm afraid. The word 'Vierkleur' I kept, 'Fourhue' rather sounds like a steed ridden by a LOTR character. To 
pronounce 'Vierkleur', say "veerckler" with -er as in 'her'. One strong image gets lost in translation, the word 'vlag' is feminine you see. Here goes:

No longer may the Vierkleur wave, 
in tears we gave it up, 
it has been buried with our braves 
sunk into an honourable grave 
it has been buried with our braves 
sunk into an honourable grave. 

Happier those who fell 
when still the Flag was borne, 
than us who had to see and mourn 
it dragged into the dust 
than us who had to see and mourn 
it dragged into the dust. 

No happy morning for it there, 
we part from it forever 
now resting in the Nation's heart 
and dedicated to the Past 
now resting in the Nation's heart 
and dedicated to the Past. 

Blessed to those who bore it boldly 
to brave the prideful foe 
whose feeble arms to it did cling 
as they went to their death 

whose feeble arms to it did cling 
as they went to their death. 

Let Future Ages never forget them 
as long as men endure 
till even Heaven is outworn 
and Earth reels before its fall, 
till even Heaven is outworn 
and Earth reels before its fall.
Jan Mertens, 30 Apr 2004


Die Vlaglied / The Song of the Flag

Another flag song, this time abut the former South African flag called "Die Vlaglied" / "The Song of the Flag" which was composed by CJ Langenhoven, the composer of the former South African National Anthem "Die Stem van Suid-Afrika" / "The Call of South Africa".

This song was sung by a Children's Choir at the dedication ceremony marking the establishment of the Republic of South Africa held at the Cape Show Grounds in Cape Town on 31 May 1961.

The English and Afrikaans versions are as follows:

"The Song of the Flag"
Cradled in beauty forever shall fly
In the gold of her sunshine the blue of her sky,
South Africa's pledge of her freedom and pride
In their home by sacrifice glorified.
By righteousness armed, we'll defend in our might
The sign and the seal of our freedom and right,
The emblem and loyalty, service and love;
To our own selves true and to God above,
Our faith shall keep what our hearts enthrone -
The flag of the land that is all our own.

"Die Vlaglied"
Nooit hoef jou kinders wat trou is te vra:
"Wat beteken jou vlag dan, Suid-Afrika?"
On sweet hy's die seel van ons vryheid en reg
Vir naaste en vreemde, vir oorman en kneg;
Die pand van ons erf'nis, geslag op geslag,
Om te hou vir ons kinders se kinder swat wag;
Ons nasie se grondbrief van eiendomsland,
Uitgegee op gesag van die Hoogste se hand.
Oor ons hoof sal ons hys, in ons hart sal ons dra,
Die vlag van ons eie Suid-Afrika.
Bruce Berry, 31 Aug 2007

Die betekenis van 'n eie nasionale vlag word nêrens mooier en treffender besing as in die woorde van C.J. Langenhoven se Vlaglied nie. Die Vlaglied is slegs die laaste strofe van die gedig “Ons eie vlag”. Dit is deur F.J. Joubert getoonset.

Nooit hoef jou kinders wat trou is te vra:
Wat beteken jou vlag dan, Suid-Afrika?
Ons weet hy's die seël van ons vryheid en reg
Vir naaste en vreemde,vir oorman en kneg;
Die pand van ons erf'nis,geslag op geslag,
Om te hou vir ons kinders se kinders wat wag;
Ons nasie se grondbrief van eiendomsland,
Uitgegee op gesag van die Hoogste se hand.
Oor ons hoof sal ons hys, in ons hart sal ons dra,
Die vlag van ons eie Suid-Afrika.

Which I translate as follows:
Nowhere the meaning of an own national flag is expressed more beautifully and fittingly than in the words of C.J. Langenhoven's Flag Song. This is the last stanza of the poem “Ons eie vlag” (Our own
flag). It was set to music by F.J. Joubert.

Never your children so faithful need ask:
What does you flag mean then, South Africa?
We know it's the seal of our freedom and rights
For neighbour and stranger, for servant and boss;
The pledge of our heritage, from parent to child
To keep for our children's children to be
The writ of our nation of the right to the land.
That was written on authority of the Highest own hand
We'll hoist ov'r our heads, and we'll hold in our heart
The flag of our dearest South Africa
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 31 Aug 2007

The Fallen Flag

While this is not a song about a flag (it has no tune that I am aware of), it is very much a poem about the vierkleur of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek, and to my mind belongs with the South African flag songs which have already been posted to FOTW.  This poem was published in England in 1902 as part of a collection entitled "Songs of the Veld".  The book was banned in South Africa by the British
military authorities at that time.   A new edition of "Songs of the Veld" has just been published in Cape Town, with the addition of commentary and historical notes in both Afrikaans and English.  The ISBN is 978-0-620-39432-1

Inscribed to Albert Cartwright – The African Bonivard

Furl the fourfold banner,
Lay that flag to rest;
In the roll of honour –
The brightest, bravest, best.
Now no hand may wave it,
O'er valley, pass or hill;
Where thousands died to save it –
The patriot hearts are still.

It flew o'er proud Majuba,
Where the victor farmers stood:
O'er the tide of the Tugela –
Dark-dyed with hostile blood.
On Stormberg passes glorious –
And o'er Ma'rsfontein* height, –
Wher Cronje's host victorious
Withstood the British might.

But a prouder grander story
Is the record of the band,
Which surpassed all former glory,
In the latest greatest stand.
When ten to one outnumbered –
Of hope and help bereft,
On ground with graves encumbered,
Defenders still were left.

There were hero hearts to lead them,
On the path where death was won;
To float the flag of Freedom
Where the eagle sees the sun.
To keep the Vierkleur flying
On every fortress hill;
From the cold clasp of the dying
There were hands to sieze it still.

O Land, so fondly cherished –
Endeared by patriot graves, –
The soil where such have perished
Is not the soil for slaves.
From age to age your story
Shall sound to other days:
You leave your sons the glory
That fallen flag to raise.

O sacred smitten Nation,
Crowned on thy Calvary,
There's a day of restoration –
An Easter Morn for Thee.
Vierkleur, young hands shall grab thee –
New armies round thee stand;
Men whose fathers died shall clasp thee
On the blood-bought Burghers' Land.

This website was created for free with Would you also like to have your own website?
Sign up for free