South Africa is a country filled with plenty of natural beauty, so it is not surprising that South Africa’s national emblems are often based on the beautiful countryside that surrounds us and the animals that live within it. Here is a quick round up of our favourite national emblems
National symbols of South Africa
South Africa’s National Flower: The King Protea
South Africa’s beautiful national flower is the King Protea, which has the largest flowering head of all the proteas. It is found in the south western and southern parts of South Africa in the fynbos region. As the national flower, the King Protea lends its name to the national cricket team, whose nickname is “The Proteas”
South Africa’s National Animal: The Springbok
The Springbok is South Africa’s national animal and the emblem of South Africa’s national rugby team, who are also proudly called The Springboks. The Springbok is a slender antelope with long legs and neck.
South Africa’s National Tree: Real Yellowwood
The Real Yellowwood is a large evergreen tree that grows up to 30 meters in height. It is native to the moist southern and eastern areas of South Africa. It is a slow-growing tree and exceptionally long-lived with bright edible berries that attract birds. The beautiful wood of the tree is used for furniture.
South Africa’s National Fish: Galjoen
The Galjoen is indigenous to the coasts of southern Africa from Angola to South Africa and is generally found around reefs at shallow depths of 10 metres, often near the shore. Due to their abundance, the Galjoen is common in South African cuisine and is served sprinkled with lemon and pepper or with melted garlic butter.
South Africa’s National Bird: The Blue Crane
The Blue Crane is a tall ground-dwelling bird that is listed as ‘vulnerable’ by the International Union of Conservation. The crane is pale blue-grey in colour, becoming darker on the upper head, neck and nape. They are found in the dry grassy uplands in areas of low human disturbance and in the agricultural areas of the Western Cape.
South Africa’s Coat of Arms
South Africa’s Coat of Arms was introduced on Freedom Day, 27 April 2000, and it features a number of different symbols, each with a significant meaning:
- Elephant tusks: These represent the elephant, a symbol of wisdom, strength and eternity
- Spear and knobkierrie: These represent authority and defence, but in their ‘lying down’ position also symbolise peace
- Ears of wheat: These symbolise fertility, growth as well as reference South Africa’s rich agricultural abilities
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