South Africa's new flag was adopted on April 27, 1994. When the new SA flag was chosen it was regarded as an "interim" flag in line with the "interim" constitution through which South Africa achieved full democracy in 1994. Subsequently, a Constitutional Assembly has drawn up a new Constitution (adopted on May 8, 1996 and amended on October 11, 1996) which was enacted by Parliament as Act 108 of 1996.
As part of the process in drawing up the new Constitution, the question was asked whether the flag should be retained or a new one designed. The overwhelming response was that the new flag should be retained and is now described in Schedule 1 of the Constitution.
The flag was designed by Mr Fred Brownell, the State Herald. It was specifically stated that the colors had no official meaning or symbolism, other their use in the past in flags in this country – red, white and blue from the Dutch and English (British) communities; and black, green and gold from the flags of the liberation movements (ANC, Inkhatha, PAC, etc).
The "pall" (Y) does symbolise the convergence and going forward as one unified nation of previously disparate groups in South Africa.
The South African flag is one of the most recognisable in the world – but does not yet have a name (like the Union Jack). Any name must be decided by the custodians of the country's national symbols – the Bureau of Heraldry.
South Africa's national anthem
Translation: The isiXhosa and isiZulu of the first stanza, the Sesotho of the second stanza and the Afrikaans of the third stanza translate into English as follows:
Lord, bless Africa
May her spirit rise high up
Hear thou our prayers
Lord bless us.
Lord, bless Africa
Banish wars and strife
Lord, bless our nation
Of South Africa.
Ringing out from our blue heavens
From our deep seas breaking round
Over everlasting mountains
Where the echoing crags resound ...