Fred Brownell is known as one of South Africa’s most influential and talented graphic designers. He was chosen to design the current South African flag, which was adopted in 1994.
Brownell was inspired by a variety of elements when it came to designing the new flag. He wanted the flag to evoke a feeling of hope, unity and progress in all the people who viewed it. He drew on the country’s history and culture, as well as its constitutional values, to craft an image that represented the nation’s newfound freedom.
The flag follows a specific colour pattern, which starts with a diagonal line of green, followed by yellow, white, and ending with red. This colour combination was chosen to symbolize the country’s diverse people, coming together in unity. The ‘Y' shape of the diagonal is meant to represent a convergence of different cultures.
The symbolism doesn’t stop there. Inside the ‘Y’ shape is a black, green and blue triangles. This reflects South Africa’s main races, with the blue representing the Afrikaner, black representing the people of the Khoisan Descent, and green representing the people of African descent.
African Protea flower, another South African symbol, is printed in the centre of the flag. The flower is the nation’s national flower, representing its beauty and strength.
Brownell’s design effectively showcased the various cultures, values and heritages of South Africa. To this day, it stands as an important symbol of unity, progress and a better future.