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Namibia - political party flags

Last modified: 2015-05-24 by bruce berry
Keywords: namibia | turnhalle | swapo | swanu | cod | canu |
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South West African People's Organization (SWAPO)

image by Jorge Candeias, 12 Dec 1999

In Dorling Kindersley's 'Flags of the World', it says that the Namibian flag combines the colours of the SWAPO flag with that of the second largest party, the DTA.
I know that SWAPO used a blue-red-green horizontal tricolour during the independence struggle, but what was the DTA flag?
Vincent Morley, 19 Feb 1998

The flag with blue red green horizontal stripes on the Namibia page is the flag of SWAPO (one of Namibia's main political parties) as illustrated on p. 20 of the book "Collins Eyewitness Guides FLAG" written by William Crampton published 1989 and in 1990 by Dorling Kindersley in the UK [cra90n] and by "Collins" in
Australia where I live.
Gilbert Read, 02 Sept 2005

South West Africa National Union (SWANU)

[South West Africa National Union (SWANU) flag] image by Jarig Bakker, 2 Apr 2001

There was another liberation movement called SWANU, with a similar flag. Does anyone know about this flag?
Mark Sensen, 10 Aug 1999

I think it was dissolved in the early '80s. According to a Danish encyclopedia, SWANU was established in 1959 and SWAPO in 1960.
Ole Andersen, 14 Aug 1999

The flag of SWANU (South West Africa National Union) was very similar to that of SWAPO (South West Africa People's Organisation) in that it also comprised the three horizontal stripes of blue, red and green.  In the case of SWANU, two narrow gold stripes separated the blue, red and green from one another. The SWANU flag was thus blue, gold, red, gold and green  stripes in the same construction format as the current flag of Gambia.
Bruce Berry, 18 Aug 1999

SWANU (South West African National Union) at first joined hands with SWAPO. Later this Hereo-supported group joined with the Damara Council and other smaller groups to form a multiracial coalition.
Source: Political Handbook of the World, 1997.
SWAPO in Namibia represents the major Ovambo group (47% of the Namibian population), while SWANU (is that now Congress of Democrats?) represents the Herero (7%) and Damara (7%).
Jarig Bakker, 02 Apr 2001

Congress of Democrats (COD)

[Congress of Democrats flag] image by Antonio Martins, 24 May 2000, after image from this site, reported by Dov Gutterman, 14 April 2000

There is a new party, the Congress of Democrats (COD). Its flag has a blue field. There are two white lines that form a cross divided in four equals parts with a big yellow five pointed star in the center fimbriated in white. The fimbriation joins with the two lines (same width). The flag is printed in colorful leaflets of the party. They have T-shirts with the flag too. And in the central of the party in Windhoek, their flag is flying from a pole painted with blue and yellow stripes; on another higher pole the national flag is flying.
Santiago Tazón, 25 Oct 1999

Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA) / DTA of Namibia

[DTA logo]  image from this site, reported by Gary Selikow, 2 Dec 2001

The flag of the Democratic Turnahalle Alliance (DTA) is equal horizontal stripes of blue over red, charged in the centre with a white roundel bearing a hand couped at the wrist, giving the "Victory" sign, in blue outline, above the letters D.T.A. in red. This was the flag in use at the time of the 1989 elections.
Previously the DTA used a flag which was vertically divided in the centre, with light blue at the hoist and white in the fly. There were eleven gold stars forming a circle, one for each of the ethnic groups in the territory.
Bruce Berry, 20 Feb 1998

Turnhalle (literally : Gymnastics Hall in German, ed.) is the name of the sports house in Windhoek where the constitutional conference about Namibia was held in September 1975. The Hall was built in 1913 by the Germans. At the conference there were 134 delegates from 11 organizations present:

  • South West African Labour Party.
  • Bushman Alliance (BA).
  • Caprivi delegation.
  • Namibia Democratic Turnhalle Party (NDTP, Nama).
  • National Democratic Party (NDP, Ovambo).
  • National United Democratic Organization (NUDO, herero).
  • Rehoboth DTA party (RDTAP), formerly the Rehoboth Baster Association.
  • Republican Party (white people).
  • Seoposengwe Party (Tswana).
  • South West Africa People's Democratic United Front (SWAP-DUF, Damara).
  • National Democratic Unity Party (NDUP, Kavango).
  • Christian Democrat Union (CDU, coloured)
The President of the National Party, A.H. Du Plessis and the president of the Constitutional Committee Dirk Mudge quarreled and Mr. Mudge created a new party called the Republican Party. The Democratic Alliance of Turnhalle was created on 5 Nov 1977 and in the elections of 4 Dec 1978 took 41 seats.  Mudge took charge of the provisional government on 14 December 1980, but this was not recognized by the United Nations and it was dissolved in January 1983.
Around 1977 the DTA adopted a flag vertical light blue and white with eleven golden stars in circle in the centre. The 11 stars are for the 11 delegations in the Constitutional conference, but the DTA in 1977 comprised a total of 13 parties or groups. 
Jaume Ollé, 2 Sept 1998

On the occasion of the funeral for murdered Herero-chief and president of the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance, Chief Clemens Kapuno, the tribal flag was also displayed.
Source: Deutsche Zeitung 16 of 14.4.1978, via O. Neubecker

In documents about DTA, I have seen photos of big meetings of the alliance, plenty of flags. But not only the usual DTA flag but a version with the same colors (blue, white and red) but in three horizontal stripes, really they are Dutch flags. Mixed with usual DTA flags they got the effect.
Santiago Tazón, 25 Oct 1999

The flag of the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA) of Namibia has the logo on this website in the middle : ie the circle with the hand and the lettering with the colours as described by Bruce Berry. It can be found on the left hand top corner at this website
Gary Selikow, 02 Dec 2001

The official web-site of party of the DTA of Namibia (founded in 1989 as the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance) shows the flag of the party.  This is four equal diagonal stripes of white, blue, red and white.  In the centre is a white disc on which is the logo of the party - an outline in blue of a hand showing "V' for victory with the acronym of the party in red below as shown above.  

image sent by Mikhail Revnivtsev, 03 March 2010

image sent by Mikhail Revnivtsev, 03 March 2010

The website also has a gallery showing party supporters dressed in robes of red, white and blue and flags with 7 and 11 red, white, blue horizontal stripes.
Mikhail Revnivtsev, 03 March 2010

Caprivi African National Union (CANU)

[CANU flag] image by Pascal Gross, 08 Apr 2003

The Caprivi African National Union (CANU) of the Free State of the Caprivi Strip/Itenge has a sample of their flag on their web site.
Edgar Melvin, 07 Apr 2003

There's an image of the flag at this webpage.
"The National Flag of the Free State of the Caprivi Strip/Itenge.   The Official Symbolism of the National Flag of Caprivi Strip/Itenge:
On October 7, 2002, the Itengese nation severed all ties with Namibia and declared the independent, sovereign Free State of Caprivi Strip/Itenge - their national homeland. The Itengese Government-in-Exile of the Caprivi African National Union (CANU) adopted a new flag to represent national unity, heroism, freedom, justice, sovereignty and confidence in the future. An important consideration in the design of the flag was the present illegal Namibian Occupation of the territory of Caprivi Strip, Itenge, so there is no black with its symbolism of gloom and mourning.
The CANU flag, which is also the national flag of the Free State of Caprivi Strip/Itenge, is rectangular in shape, divided into three major horizontal stripes - Blue, White, and Green - separated by narrow red stripes. There appears in the centre of the flag, on the white and red stripes, two grey elephants of equal size facing each other with their trunk raised, the front halves entwined once around each other with only the tips thereof raised above the height of their heads.
The width of the National Flag of the Free State of Caprivi Strip/Itenge shall be two-thirds of its length.
The national flag is a blue-white-green tricolour with red fimbriations.
The uppermost is blue, the middle one is white and the nethermost is green, separated by narrow red stripes.
The two elephants represent the national unity and togetherness of the Itengese people.
The colours of CANU and the national flag are representative of Caprivian/Itengese history, as well as occurring in nature. The significance of the individual colours has been explained in various histories: Blue is referred to as the colour of faith, loyalty and devotion; it also reflects the qualities of the sky, rivers, and lakes.
White represents the striving towards enlightenment and virtue; it also represents unity and peace. Green represents Caprivi Strip, Itenge's agriculture and natural resources. The red fimbriation represents the struggle for freedom."
Jarig Bakker, 08 Apr 2003

Caprivi Liberation Army

In today's paper was a story about a declaration of war by some Caprivi Liberation Army to the Namibian government. They declare that they want an independent Caprivi, but, giving the history of the area, this might be closely connected with the conflict in Angola, as they seem to be friends with UNITA in neighbouring Angola. Obvious question: what flag would they choose, given the several different ones used in Caprivi in the past?
Jorge Candeias, 5 Aug 1999

Rehoboth Liberated Democratic Party

  image by Mason Kaye, 14 June 2004

From the collection of maps on flags provided by Mason Kaye, we have a blue map of Namibia on a white background. 
Rob Raeside, 14 June 2004

The blue flag (blue as in image, not black as in description) is the flag of Baster Party (Rehoboth Liberated Democratic Party).
Jaume Ollé, 14 June 2004

   image by Anto'nio Martins-Tuva'lkin, 14 June 2004

This is quite different from the traditional Rehoboth flags previously referred to as being:
" In 1872 a national flag of German influence was adopted: it was black over white over red. Another, more distinctive variant comprised concentric squares of, from the inside, white, red, black".

However, we have only the 'variant' depicted. Above is the 1872 Rehoboth flag, with assumed ratio 3:5.
Anto'nio Martins-Tuva'lkin, 14 June 2004

Labour Front

image by Mason Kaye, 14 June 2004

The red flag is the flag of the Labour Front (represents merged people).
Jaume Ollé, 14 June 2004

United Democratic Party (UDP)

image from, 23 Dec 2010

The United Democratic Party is political party from Namibia, whose programme is for the independence of the Caprivi Strip (also called Itenge). It has a flag consisting from four stripes of blue, white, red and green symbolizing the four rivers of this region.  A black triangle at the hoist symbolises Africa.  In the fly is a white oval containing a grey elephant.  More information can be found at party website.
Jakub Grombir, 23 Dec 2010