oa South African Journal of Cultural History - Persoonlike wapens in Suid-Afrika: ontwikkeling van 'n eie heraldiese styl

Volume 10, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-3053



The Bureau for Heraldry was established in 1963 to regulate heraldic matters in South Africa. Initially coats of arms in South Africa were designed according to various European styles, but gradually the Bureau for Heraldry developed an own style. This distinctive heraldic style has an authentic South African character as reflected inter alia, in the use of Cape Dutch and Karoo gabled partition lines in shields, gabled and fir-twigged crosses and crowns, as well as indigenous flora and fauna, including the aloe, baobab, hornbill and sable antelope as charges. The typically South African character in our heraldry is also evident in a number of armigers' use of inter alia indigenous Nguni and Sotho shields instead of the familiar gothic form. Moreover mottoes in indigenous languages, such as Zulu and Afrikaans are used, and a characteristic heraldic terminology has been developed to blazon arms in Afrikaans.

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