JOHANNESBURG - Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa said Frederick Brownell, the man who designed and produced the South African flag, gave post-apartheid South Africa an identity.
Brownell died in his Pretoria home on Friday at the age of 79.
2 days ago, our country lost one of its greatest patriots & national heroes, former South African State Herald & the designer of our South African flag, Mr Fred Brownell. In his lifetime Fred Brownell designed many coats of arms & flags including the flag for Namibia. pic.twitter.com/MASO906Hwv— Min. Nathi Mthethwa (@NathiMthethwaSA) May 12, 2019
His flag was adopted in April 1994, replacing the old apartheid flag that had been used since 1928.
The minister said Brownell’s name was synonymous with the country’s journey to democracy.
In a tweet, Mthethwa recalled the day Brownell presented the flag. Mthethwa said over 7,000 flag designs were submitted, but none made the cut. He said a commission then approached Brownell, who presented his design.
After 3 years of failed attempts, on the night of 25 August 1993 Fred Brownell doodled an idea on the back of a congress program based on the idea of the convergence of South Africa’s peoples into one nation. This idea is what was to become the 1st flag of democratic South Africa pic.twitter.com/k73mYU1Vbd— Min. Nathi Mthethwa (@NathiMthethwaSA) May 12, 2019
The commission received over 7 000 flag designs, but none of them made the cut. Under a very tight deadline, professional graphic designers were approached, but they all failed to execute. The commission eventually approached Fred Brownell, not knowing he already had a design.— Min. Nathi Mthethwa (@NathiMthethwaSA) May 12, 2019
When Roelf Meyer & President @CyrilRamaphosa presented the flag to the council, there was a long silence until all at once clapping broke out, the flag was a winner! & so this is the story of our national pride & the man who created the flag with 6 colours that united our nation pic.twitter.com/MelV8XJ0US— Min. Nathi Mthethwa (@NathiMthethwaSA) May 12, 2019
This article first appeared on EWN : Mthethwa remembers SA national flag designer as ‘national hero’