South Africa became a republic* exactly 50 years ago on May 31, 1961. But that ended in 1994 when on the last South African Republic Day, the country rejoined the Commonwealth of Nations. The USA is a republic, and its constitution actually guarantees that each state in the union is a republic as well. China is officially the People’s Republic of China, all of which illustrates that ‘republic’ is probably as political a word as ‘democracy’. Then there is the Democratic Republic of Congo – not to be confused with its western neighbor the Republic of the Congo!
So below I show the old South African flag and the new (post 1994) South African flag. The new flag is simpler and has typical African flag colors (green, gold and black). Easier to draw, too! I hated drawing those tiny little flags in the middle of the old flag! (They are the Union Jack, the old Free State Republic flag and the old Transvaal Republic flag).
*From Wikipedia : A republic is a form of government in which the people – or some significant portion of them – retain supreme control over the government. The term is generally also understood to describe a government where most decisions are made with reference to established laws, rather than the discretion of a head of state, and therefore monarchy is today generally considered to be incompatible with being a republic. One common modern definition of a republic is a government having a head of state who is not a monarch. The word “republic” is derived from the Latin phrase res publica, which can be translated as “a public affair”, and often used to describe a state using this form of government.
The old South African flag
The new South African flag (after 1994)