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HISTORIC RELICS

UNIQUE AFRICAN FUG

Returned By The King

King George has returned to the people of South Africa two interesting relics of their , earlier history-a flag and a silk banner-which have hung in Windsor Castle for come years.

The flag is that of the extinct Stel

laland Republic, [and the silken banner, is one worked by jtlie 'women of Pre- toria for the lato General ¡Louis Botha in the course of the Boer War period.

Mr. te Water, High Commissioner of the Union of South Africa, announced recently that, when earlier in the year, he was received by the King, these relics had been committed by His Ma- jesty to his safe ,keoping. They were ?later despatched to the South African Prime Minister, General Bertzog.

A telegram was subsequently receiv- ed from General Hortzog, requesting Mr. te Water to- convey to the King, "the sincere gratitude and appreciation of the Government and people o£ the Union for Hlb Majesty's gracious ac- tion '.

The telegram continues: "We do not know whióh to appreciate more, tho kindly forethought in preserving these rolics safel/ for such a long time or the generous'action in restoring them to us; and I am convinced that this proof of His Majesty's consideration for the people or thu Union will,touch their' very hearts."

The banner presented by the women of Pretoria to General Botha was cap- tured on the occupation of Pretoria by the British forces lu 1900, ana was af- terwards preserved at Windsor Castle, ft combines the flags of tile Republics of, the Transvaal and the Orange Free State.

" It is a fact of peculiar interest to South Africa, but little known to the outside world, that the Stellaland flag, the only one made by the citizens of this short-lived Republi-j, was forward- ed to the Colonial Office by Sir Charles Warren in 1S85, and subsequently pre- sented to Queen Victoria.

Sir Charles Warren commanded the

expedition despatched in 18$4 to pacify Southern Bechuanaland. The tlag was delivered to him with a resolution from the Bestauur of Stellaland "requesting that tne standard may be presented to HerMa jesty tho Queen," and prayinj,

that "she may be pleased to keep the Stellalanders under her protection."

The Stellaland Republic was formed in 1882 by Boer adventurers. They at first supported the chief, David Mas souw, against bis rival, Mankoroan&, who relied on the British. In 1884, the Bechuanaland .expedition took place, and' the next year Stellaland was annexed and incorporated in Beohu

analand. >

A particularly interesting point about the flag" is» its designer's use of I the tribal' 'insignia of tho Bechuana ' tribes. It is described as: Of green

bunting, with shield in four compart- ments, with gold coloured border; top left compartment, white ground with hand holding bird by the leg; top right, green ground with five-pointed «tar; bottom left, blue ground with scales; bottorti right, red ground with two fishes pierced by a sword. Sur- mounted by a five-pointed star with rays, and with a ribbon under 'Inscrib- ed: "Gewapend en Regtvaarig."

The bird held by the leg is a kor haan or massouw, a South African bustard-the badge of David Massouw. The fish are the cognisance of Man koroane, his enemy, of the 'tia'tlapln tribe, and the sword represents its de-

struction.

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