By The Flagboys
In 2012 S. Africa became the first country on earth where the government registered a gay flag (GFSA). Even though it is protected and registered by the government such as other symbols (partly due to the community work we have done), it does not yet stand equal against other symbols such as the SA flag, the protea etc.and is thus not yet a NATIONAL symbol. We are now in the process of making this happen – making the GFSA a NATIONAL symbol for all LGBTI’s. WISH US LUCK!!
It was the impression of the Gay Flag of South Africa non-profit organization that by registering with the Department of Arts and Culture, Bureau of Heraldry that the Gay Flag of South Africa would have recognition as a national symbol, since the Bureau of Heraldry registered the National Flag, Coat of Arms and several other national symbols.
On the application for registration of the GFSA with the Department of Heraldry, we were applying under section C
(c) “Other emblem” means any flag, pennant, gonfalon, decoration, medal, seal, insignia of rank, any office or order or other kindred symbolic representation, but does not include a coat of arms or badge.
The design of the Gay Flag of SA was judged by a Heraldic Council and was approved of "unreservedly" on the following:
· purpose of the flag
· constitution of the Gay Flag of South Africa non-profit
· symbolism of the flag
· colours and meaning of colours
After which it was published twice in the official Government Gazette without any objection.
For the flag (or any other symbol) to become a fully fledged NATIONAL symbol (such as the many symbols we see in government halls, tourism etc.) - it will need to go through many higher channels.
The above said being true, does not diminish the fact that the registration of the Gay Flag of South Africa with the Bureau of Heraldry holds the following importance, as verified again in subsequent communication with the Bureau of Heraldry:
· the design of the Gay Flag of South Africa is still the first gay emblem to be officially recognized by a governmental body in the world (regardless of it not yet standing equal to the SA national flag, the protea, springbok and other symbols and being registered only for the use of the Gay Flag of SA non profit and Eugene Brockman)
· the design of the Gay Flag of South Africa carries all the protections of the Bureau of Heraldry and can be used by Eugene Brockman and subsequently the Gay Flag of South Africa Non-profit and any parties they grant access to. Likewise the Gay Flag of South Africa has the protection of the Bureau of Heraldry in case of misuse or misrepresentation of the symbol by unauthorized parties.
We are glad to say that we are on course and have a strategy in place to indeed get the Gay Flag of South Africa complete national symbol stage (even though it already is protected by government).
However, the vast range of achievements of the Gay Flag of South Africa organization is only set to grow even larger and we thank you for your interest in our activism. It is our determination and belief that official national symbol status being granted would be an irrevocable gesture of acceptance and equality to LGBTI South Africans and our track record of making the flag available to Johannesburg Pride, PE Pride and other non-profits and individuals has seen a vast segment of LGBTI South Africa make the Gay Flag of South Africa their own.
Many thanks for your support.