Flag of the Orange Free State

The flag of the Orange Free State was officially used from 1857 to 1902. It was superseded by the flag of the Orange River Colony.

FIAV historical.svg Flag of the Orange Free State
Incorrect version with five stripes shown in The Flags of the World (1896)


When the Orange Free State became an independent republic in February 1854, the government hoisted a red, white and blue flag. Details of the exact design have been lost, but it was presumably similar to the contemporary flag of the Netherlands. It was evidently intended as a temporary flag, as the first State President, Josias Philip Hoffman asked King Willem III of the Netherlands (r. 1849–1890) to give the new state which bore the Dutch royal family's name a flag and coat of arms. The king graciously agreed.

A flag and coat of arms were designed by the Hoge Raad van Adel. They duly arrived in the Orange Free State in January 1856, and the Volksraad (legislature) resolved on 28 February 1856 that "the design of the flag sent by the King of the Netherlands shall be adopted".[1] It was officially taken into use a year later, on 23 February 1857, the third anniversary of the republic.[2][3]

It was used until the republic came to an end on 31 May 1902.

The flag was later incorporated into the design of the national flag of South Africa (from 1928 to 1994) and used by the Anglo-Boer War Museum and the Voortrekker Monument.

The flag also appears in the music video of the Afrikaans song De la Rey by Bok van Blerk.


The flag consisted of seven horizontal bands of white (4) and orange (3), with the Dutch flag in the canton.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Notulen vande Volksraad van de Oranje Vrijstaat (1856)
  2. ^ Pama, C. (1965). Lions and Virgins.
  3. ^ Brownell, F.G. (1993). National and Provincial Symbols.


  • Brownell, F.G. (1993). National and Provincial Symbols.
  • Burgers, A.P. (1997). Sovereign Flags over Southern Africa.
  • Burgers, A.P. (2008). The South African Flag Book.
  • Pama, C. (1965). Lions and Virgins.