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The Vierkleur Flag




 
 




Die Transvaalse Vierkleur was die amptelike vlag van die Zuid-Afrikaanse Republiek en is deur ds Dirk van der Hoff ontwerp. Die vlag het amptelik as die ZAR se landsvlag gedien vanaf 1858 tot 1902, met periodes waar die ou Voortrekkervlag (1874-75) en die Union Jack (1877-1881) as amptelike vlag gehys is.

Die rede vir die kleure is nie heeltemal bekend nie, maar dit word algemeen aanvaar dat Ds van der Hoff in gedagte gehad het dat die Nederlandse vlag nie geskik sou wees vir die nuwe republiek nie. Die oranje in die Nederlandse vlag is dus deur rooi vir die Boererepubliek vervang, terwyl ‘n vertikale groen streep bygevoeg is.

Die vlag is die eerste keer op 6 Januarie 1857 in Potchefstroom en op 23 Februarie 1857 in Pretoria gehys. Op 18 Februarie 1858 het die Volksraad die Vierkleur tot die amptelike vlag van die Zuid-Afrikaanse Republiek verklaar.


Na die Britse anneksasie van die ZAR in April 1877, het die Eerste Vryheidsoorlog ‘n aanvang geneem en in 1880 is Heidelberg tot tydelike hoofstad verklaar en is die Vierkleur weer op Geloftedag van 1880 daar gehys.

Op 31 Mei 1902 is die Vierkleur en die Vrystaatse vlag gestryk, maar is tog later geinkorporeer in die vlag van die Republiek van Suid-Afrika van 1928 tot 1994.





Leon van Veenhuyzen http://www.facebook.com/leon.
vanveenhuyzen?ref=tn_tnmn


 
 

 

Vaarwel aan die Vierkleur


 




No longer may the Vierkleur wave, 
in tears we gave it up, 
it has been buried with our braves 
sunk into an honourable grave 
it has been buried with our braves 
sunk into an honourable grave. 

Happier those who fell 
when still the Flag was borne, 
than us who had to see and mourn 
it dragged into the dust 
than us who had to see and mourn 
it dragged into the dust.
 
No happy morning for it there, 
we part from it forever 
now resting in the Nation's heart 
and dedicated to the Past 
now resting in the Nation's heart 
and dedicated to the Past. 

Blessed to those who bore it boldly 
to brave the prideful foe 
whose feeble arms to it did cling 
as they went to their death 
 
whose feeble arms to it did cling 
as they went to their death. 

Let Future Ages never forget them 
as long as men endure 
till even Heaven is outworn 
and Earth reels before its fall, 
till even Heaven is outworn 
and Earth reels before its fall.
 
DIE VLAGLIED

Die betekenis van 'n eie nasionale vlag word nêrens mooier en treffender besing as in die woorde van C.J. Langenhoven se Vlaglied nie. Die Vlaglied is slegs die laaste strofe van die gedig “Ons eie vlag”. Dit is deur F.J. Joubert getoonset.

 
 
Nooit hoef jou kinders wat trou is te vra:
Wat beteken jou vlag dan, Suid-Afrika?
Ons weet hy's die seël van ons vryheid en reg
Vir naaste en vreemde,vir oorman en kneg;
Die pand van ons erf'nis,geslag op geslag,
Om te hou vir ons kinders se kinders wat wag;
Ons nasie se grondbrief van eiendomsland,
Uitgegee op gesag van die Hoogste se hand.
Oor ons hoof sal ons hys, in ons hart sal ons dra,
Die vlag van ons eie Suid-Afrika.
 




Which I translate as follows:
THE FLAG SONG
Nowhere the meaning of an own national flag is expressed more beautifully and fittingly than in the words of C.J. Langenhoven's Flag Song. This is the last stanza of the poem “Ons eie vlag” (Our own
flag). It was set to music by F.J. Joubert.

Never your children so faithful need ask:
What does you flag mean then, South Africa?
We know it's the seal of our freedom and rights
For neighbour and stranger, for servant and boss;
The pledge of our heritage, from parent to child
To keep for our children's children to be
The writ of our nation of the right to the land.
That was written on authority of the Highest own hand
We'll hoist ov'r our heads, and we'll hold in our heart
The flag of our dearest South Africa.
 

 


 

The Fallen Flag

While this is not a song about a flag it has no tune that I am aware of, it is very much a poem about the vierkleur of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek, and to my mind belongs with the South African flag songs which have already been posted to FOTW.  This poem was published in England in 1902 as part of a collection entitled "Songs of the Veld".  The book was banned in South Africa by the British
military authorities at that time.   A new edition of "Songs of the Veld" has just been published in Cape Town, with the addition of commentary and historical notes in both Afrikaans and English. 





 
THE FALLEN FLAG

Furl the fourfold banner,
Lay that flag to rest;
In the roll of honour
The brightest, bravest, best.
Now no hand may wave it,
O'er valley, pass or hill;
Where thousands died to save it
The patriot hearts are still.
 
It flew o'er proud Majuba,
Where the victor farmers stood:
O'er the tide of the Tugela
Dark-dyed with hostile blood.
On Stormberg passes glorious
And o'er Ma'rsfontein* height,
Wher Cronje's host victorious
Withstood the British might.

But a prouder grander story
Is the record of the band,
Which surpassed all former glory,
In the latest greatest stand.
When ten to one outnumbered –Of hope and help bereft,
On ground with graves encumbered,
Defenders still were left.
 
There were hero hearts to lead them,
On the path where death was won;
To float the flag of Freedom
Where the eagle sees the sun.
To keep the Vierkleur flying
On every fortress hill;
From the cold clasp of the dying
There were hands to sieze it still.

 
O Land, so fondly cherished
Endeared by patriot graves,
The soil where such have perished
Is not the soil for slaves.
From age to age your story
Shall sound to other days:
You leave your sons the glory
That fallen flag to raise.
 
O sacred smitten Nation,
Crowned on thy Calvary,
There's a day of restoration
An Easter Morn for Thee.
Vierkleur, young hands shall grab thee
New armies round thee stand;
Men whose fathers died shall clasp thee
On the blood-bought Burghers' Land.

Magersfontein should thus be pronounced.
 
 
 
















Vryheidslied

Vrome vad're, fier en groot
Deur vervolging, ramp en nood,
was hul leuse, tot die dood:
Vryheid! Vryheid!

Erf'nis van hul moed en trou
is die grond waar ons op bou.
Juigend tot die hemel-blou:
Vryheid! Vryheid!

Ere wie die dood mag lei
om te rus aan hulle sy,
met die sterwenswoord te skei:
Vryheid! Vryheid!

Op dan, broers, en druk hul spoor,
voorwaarts, broers, die vaandel voor,
laat die veld ons krygsroep hoor:
Vryheid! Vryheid!

Woes geweld mag hoogty hou,
kettings mag ons lede knou,
maar die leuse bly ons trou:
Vryheid! Vryheid!

Jukke mag vir slawe wees,
manneharte ken geen vrees,
duld geen boei vir lyf of gees:
Vryheid! Vryheid!

Now the English translation:

Pious fathers (ancestors), proud and brave
Through persecution, disaster and need
their motto, to the death, was:
Freedom! Freedom!

The heritage of their courage and faith
is the land we build on.
Joyful to the blue heavens:
Freedom! Freedom!

Honours to those led by death
to rest at its side,
uttering their final word:
Freedom! Freedom!

Up, then, brothers, and follow their tracks,
forwards, brothers, the banner in front,
may the veld hear our battle cry:
Freedom! Freedom!

Brutal force might with the day,
chains may chafe our limbs,
but to this motto we are faithful:
Freedom! Freedom!

Yokes may be for slaves,
the hearts of men know no fear,
tolerating no shackles for body or soul:
Freedom! Freedom!

 

Transvaalse Volkslied

The Transvaalse Volkslied, although the official anthem of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek and when the territory was officially called Transvaal (1879-81and 1901 onwards), it was not well thought of by the authorities.

The words and music of the Transvaalse Volkslied are by Catharina F van Rees, and it is dated 1875 - surprisingly it dates to the period before the annexation of 1879, since the emotions seem to blend well with those of the victorious rebels of 1881. Possibly this date accounts for the song's non-avoidance of the word Transvaal, which was the name of the state so strongly rejected in the uprising of 1880-81. The arrangement is by G G Cillie'. There is an acute accent on the final letter in this surname; it is pronounced "Sil-yee". The surname is French, although its spelling is no longer authentically French; other members of this family spell it as Cilliers or Celliers. The language is Dutch. As mentioned previously, Afrikaans was the spoken language of all the 19th-century Boer republics, but was hardly ever written, and was not generally well thought of by
those who had been educated in either English or Dutch.

Kent gij dat volk vol heldenmoed
en toch zo lang geknecht?
Het heeft geofferd goed en bloed
voor vryheid en voor recht.
Komt burgers! laat de vlaggen wapp'ren,
ons lijden is voorbij;
roemt in die zege onzer dapp'ren:
Dat vrije volk zijn wij!
Dat vrije volk, dat vrije volk, dat vrije, vrije volk zijn wij!

Kent gij dat land, zo schaars bezocht
en toch zo heerlik schoon;
waar de natuur haar wond'ren wrocht,
en kwistig stelt ten toon?
Transvalers! laat ons feestlied schallen!
Daar waar ons volk hield stand,
waar onze vreugdeschoten knallen,
daar is ons vaderland!
Dat heerlik land, dat heerlik land, dat is, dat is ons vaderland!

Kent gij die Staat, nog maar een kind
in's werelds Statenrij,
maar tog door 't machtig Brits bewind
weleer verklaard voor vrij?
Transvalers! edel was uw streven,
en pijnlik onze smaad,
maar God die uitkomst heeft gegeven,
zij lof voor d'eigen Staat!
Looft onze God! Looft onze God! Looft onze God voor land en Staat!

In English

Do you know the people full of heroic courage
and yet so long servants?
It has offered possessions and blood
for freedom and for justice.
Come, citizens, let the flags wave,
our suffering is past;
be joyous in the victory of our brave ones;
We are the free people!
The free people, the free people, the free, free people are we!

Do you know the land,
so seldom visited,
and yet so wonderfully beautiful;
where nature has wrought her wonders,
and profligately puts them on display?
Transvalers! let our festival song resound!
There were our people stood fast,
where our gunshots of joy resound,
there is our fatherland,
That wonderful land, that wonderful land, that is, that is our
fatherland!

Do you know the State,
yet still a child among the States of the world,
but nontheless by the mighty British power
truly declared as free?
Transvalers! Noble was your struggle,
and painful our suffering,
but God has given the outcome,
and praise for our own State!
Praise our God! Praise our God! Praise our God! Praise our God for land
and State!


 


















 
 

De Vlaamse Leeuw

This song is an odd one to find in the FAK Sangbundel, since its title translates as "The Flemish Lion" and the language is Dutch, definitely not Afrikaans. Clearly, it was included because, centuries after the Eighty Years
War, the symbol of Flanders still finds a resonance with Afrikaner descendants of  those Protestant Flemings who fled Spanish rule and went to live in the Seven Provinces. 

The words are credited to T H van Peene, and the tune to K Mirij, arrangement by Dirkie de Villiers son of M L de Villiers, the composer of  the music to Die Stem van Suid-Afrika, the former South African national anthem.

There are two verses and a refrain:

Zij zullen hem niet temmen,
de fiere Vlaamse Leeuw,
al dreigen zij zijn vrijheid
met kluisters en geschreeuw.
Zij zullen hem niet temmen,
zolang e'e'n Vlaming leeft,
zolang de Leeuw kan klauwen,
zolang hij tanden heeft.

Refrain:

Zij zullen him niet temmen
zolang e'e'n Vlaming leeft,
zolang de Leeuw kan klauwen,
zolang hij tanden heeft,
zolang de Leeuw kan klauwen,
zolang hij tanden heeft.

De tijd verslindt de steden,
geen tronen blijven staan,
de legerbenden sneven,
een volk zal niet vergaan.
De vijand trekt te velde,
omringd van doodsgevaar.
Wij lachen met zijn woede,
die Vlaamse Leeuw is daar.











 
Here's an attempt at a translation:

They won't tame him,
the proud Flemish Lion,
even if they threaten his freedom
with chains and shouting.
They will not be able to tame him
as long as even one Fleming lives,
as long as the Lion can claw,
as long as he has teeth.

Refrain:

They will not tame him,
the proud Flemish Lion,
as long as one Fleming lives,
as long as the Lion has claws,
as long as he has teeth,
as long as the Lion has claws,
as long as he has teeth.

Time eats up the cities,
no thrones last forever,
the armed companies die in battle,
a people will not disappear.
The enemy goes out to war,
surrounded by deadly danger.
We laugh at his anger,
the Flemish Lion is there.






 

Ons Vlag

Nou waai ons Vlag en wapper fier!
Sy kleure is ons vreugde;
hul skoonheid spoor ons harte aan
tot ware, ed'le deugde.

Oranje dui op heldemoed
wat krag vind by die Here;
die Blanje eis 'n rein gemoed;
die Blou verg trou en ere.

Ons Vlag bly steeds ons eenheidsband.
Al kom ook sware tye;
dis God wat waak oor Volk en Land,
Suid-Afrika ons eie.


 
 
Translation:

Now our flag waves and flaps bravely!
Its colours are our joy;
their beauty encourages our hearts
to true, noble virtues.

Orange stands for heroic courage
which draws strength from the Lord;
the White demands a pure attitude;
the Blue wants loyalty and honour.

Our flag remains our bond of unity.
Even if times get hard;
it's God who watches over Nation and Land,
South Africa our own.





 
        
Oranje-blanje-blou
 

Oranje-blanje-blou (Afrikaans for Orange, white and blue) refers, of course, to the old South African flag used between 1928 and 1994. This song was popular especially among Afrikaners when this flag flew over South Africa.

 



 
Die Hoogland is ons woning,
die land van son en veld,

waar woeste vryheidswinde
waai oor graf van meenge held.
Die ruimtes het ons siel gevoed,
ons kan g'n slawe wees,
want vryer as die arendsvlug,
die vlugte van ons gees.

Chorus:

Dis die tyd, (repeated)
dis die dag, (repeated)
om te handhaaf en te bou.
Hoog die hart, (repeated)
hoog die vlag, (repeated)
hoog Oranje-blanje-blou!
Ons gaan saam die donker toekoms in
om as een te sneuwel of oorwin,
met ons oog gerig op jou,
ons Oranje-blanje-blou!
 
Die ruwe berge-reekse
staan hoog teen awendlug,
soos gryse ewighede daar
versteen, verstyf in vlug.
En stewig soos die grou graniet
ons Boeretrots en -trou,
die fondament warop ond hier
'n nuwe nasie bou.
 
(Chorus)

Die God van onse vaders
het ons hierheen gelei
ons dien sy grootse skeppings-plan,
solank ons Boere bly.
Ons buig ons hoof
voor Hom alleen;
en as Hy ons verhoor
omgord ons bly die lendene:
Die toekoms wink daar voor.
 
The highlands are our home,
the land of sun and veld,
where wild winds of freedom
blow over the grave of many a hero.
The open spaces have fed our souls,
we cannot be slaves literaaly "we can be no slaves"as freer than the eagle's flight,
the flights of our spirit.
 
Chorus:

It's the time, it's the day,
to maintain and to build.
High the heart,
high the flag,
high Orange-white-blue!

We go together into the dark future
together to die or win,
with our eye fixed on you,
our Orange-white-blue!
 
The rugged mountain ranges
stand high against the evening light
like petrified grey eternities there,
stiffened in flight.
And firmly like the grey granite
our Boer pride and loyalty,
the foundation upon which we here
are building a new nation.
 
The God of our fathers
led us here,
we serve his mighty creation plan,
as long as we Boers remain.
Webend our heads before Him alone;
and if He hears us
we gird our loins joyfully:
The future waves us on.
 
   
 
 
   
   
   
   
 
 
 
 

       









      

 



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