Last modified: 2006-01-28 by bruce berry
Keywords: south africa | griqualand |
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In Sovereign Flags of Southern Africa, by A P
Burgers (1997) [bur97], mentions the following:
In about 1903 a Griqua flag came into existence. Although it never served as a sovereign flag, it serves to this day as the unifying symbol for all the widely scattered Griqua communities. The flag is the inverse of the Transvaal vierkleur, that is: the Dutch tricolour is next to the hoist and the vertical green panel is along the outside edge of the fly".
Griqualand East was a historical division in the Eastern Cape province of
approximately 19 000 sq. km. The main town is Kokstad. It was settled 1862 by Griquas, a people
of Bushman and Hottentot descent. Under their leader, Adam Kok, the area annexed
to the Cape Colony in 1879.
Griqualand West is in the Northern Cape Province (north of the Orange River and west of Orange Free State) of about 38 000 sq. km with Kimberley being the main town. It is dry semi-desert country, noted for its diamond fields. Following the discovery of diamonds in the region in 1867, the area earlier settled by the Griquas became subject of dispute between the Orange Free State and the British. The latter annexed it in 1871 and the area became part of the Cape Colony in 1880.
Jarig Bakker, 14 Dec 2001
The Griqua nation is not known to have made use of flags before 1902 when
they adopted a flag similar to the Zuid-Afikaansche
Republiek (ZAR) vierkleur but inverted, i.e. with the Dutch tricolour against the hoist and the vertical green bar at the fly.
Before 1848 no organised state existed north of the Orange River and the concept of a
Griqualand West did not exist either. The Griquas living in this area were under the Chieftainship of Andries Waterboer but they are not
known to have used flags. In 1848 the British annexed the territory between the Orange and Vaal Rivers and called it the Orange River Sovereignty with a
Magistrate at Bloemfontein who flew the Union Jack. In 1854 the Orange Free
State (OFS) Republic was established in this territory when the British withdrew
in accordance with the Bloemfontein Convention of that year. The flag of the OFS therefore flew over that part of
Griqualand West between the rivers until 1871 when the territory was annexed by Britain after the Keats Award
and incorporated into the Cape Colony. So the Union Jack once more flew
over the territory from then on until 1928. The so-called Cape Government flag was taken into use in 1876 (British Blue Ensign with the Cape colonial
Arms in the fly) and was also presumably used in the territory until the establishment of the Union of South Africa in 1910.
Before the British annexation of Griqualand West, there was a miner's rebellion along the Vaal River against the authority of the OFS. They called themselves the Griqualand Republic and it was also known as the Diggers' Republic. This so-called republic ceased to exist after the British annexation.
Philippolis is a town just north of the Orange River in the central Free State. It started life as a mission station of the London Missionary Society established by Dr John Philip. It was in the territory of Adam Kok III, the chief of the Eastern Griquas. It was never a state and as far as is known aware no flags except that of the OFS ever flew there.
Griqualand East came into being when Adam Kok trekked with his people through Basutoland over the Drakensberg range in 1861 after their territory was incorporated into the OFS. They settled on a piece of unclaimed territory between Pondoland and Natal around the town of Kokstad which subsequently became known as Griqualand East. Here they enjoyed independence for a few short years before the territory was also annexed by Britain and it was incorporated into the Cape Colony. They made no use of flags as far as can be established.
André Burgers, 06 Dec 2004
While the authority of the OFS was asserted in both these places, leading to the suppression of the flags, both "states" were absorbed into Griqualand West, following the Keate Award.
Neither of these short-lived and loosely organised republics was in
any sense a Boer republic. The diggers who proclaimed them were a motley
international grouping, although the leaders in the two proclamations were
British, as the appearance of the Union Jack in both flags reveals.
If the map link goes to these two republics, the page can in turn link to the Cape Colony.
Griqualand West, although it took its name from the people under the
leadership of Nikolaas Waterboer, was a Crown Colony primarily aimed at
ensuring British ownership of the diamond fields. It was by no means a "Boer" state.
Mike Oettle, 14 Dec 2001
Griqualand West was surrendered to Britain in 1871, the governor of Cape Colony was made
its governor in 1872, with a nominated executive council, and a partly elective
legislative council. These were abolished when the territory was annexed to Cape Colony
I think it very unlikely that there was ever a British flag that was specifically associated with Griqualand West.
David Prothero, 08 Dec 2004.