In November 2017 an old South African flag was offered for sale in a Facebook group for second-hand goods. This was shortly after the use of this flag created an outrage when it was displayed at the “Black Monday” protests which were held in the wake of the murder of a farmer from Klapmuts. The admin of the group or the advertiser herself removed the Facebook post after objections was raised by members on the group.
It further highlighted a disconnect prevalent in the white community about the deep symbolism this flag is imbued with. It is the symbol of a crime against humanity perpetrated in the name of white South Africa. Its display, and those who protect it in the name of tradition and sentimentality, engages in apartheid-pornography of the most brutal kind.
This is why I bought the flag and took measures to properly contextualise it with the names of the people who were and are empowered by the symbolism of the apartheid-flag.
At school we were forced to attend a flag raising ceremony every week and sing the National Anthem or Vlaglied (Song of the Flag). We had no choice. Laying down a properly contextualised flag is an act allowing those present to consider their relationship to the flag. It is a chance for them to express their feelings towards this flag. Laying down the flag in itself requires no permission. Much as raising the flag and displaying it requires no permission either.
The flag will be laid down at The Woordfees in Stellenboach at the following public spaces and times:
Sasol Art Museum – University of Stellenbosch Museum – US Woordfees
Monday 5 March – Thursday 8 March 2017 7:30 – 8:30
Bloekomhoek – US Woordfees
Monday 5 March – Thursday 8 March 2017 9:30 – 10:30