As South Africa celebrates and reflects on 25 years of freedom this year it’s fitting to also reflect on our nation’s Coat of Arms, which was launched on Freedom Day, on 27 April 2000.
The most important moments of our life are endorsed by our Coat of Arms. From its presence on birth, matric, marriage and death certificates to its proud positioning on the money in our pockets, the Coat of Arms is a constant reminder of how proudly South African we are.
The Coat of Arms was launched by former President Thabo Mbeki in Kwaggafontein, Bloemfontein, in 2000, replacing the one that had been in place since 17 September 1910. Its launch highlighted the democratic change in the country and a new sense of patriotism.
Often called the state emblem or great seal, the Coat of Arms is the state’s highest visual symbol. In fact, absolute authority is given to any document on which it is printed because this means it has been approved by the President.
The Coat of Arms features two ovals, one on top of the other, symbolising infinity. The various elements inside each oval all have their own meaning.