Arms of some South African universities

 
akbcusack
 
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akbcusack
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03 April 2007 20:29
 

I’m thinking about spending some time in South Africa, which sparked a glance at the academic arms of a number of South African universities. Here are a handful:

http://www.andrewcusack.com/zacad2.jpg

 

Universiteit van Stellenbosch (Stellenbosch University), an Afrikaans institution in Stellenbosch, the second oldest town in S.A. after Cape Town. Traditionally, the University of Stellenbosch is technically "five minutes older" than the Univ. of Cape Town because the Governor-General signed the act elevating Stellenbosch to university status before the act for Cape Town.

 

http://www.andrewcusack.com/zacad6.jpg

 

University of Cape Town, an English-language institution in Cape Town.

 

http://www.andrewcusack.com/zacad1.jpg

 

Rhodes University in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape. An English-language university funded by the estate of Cecil Rhodes.

 

http://www.andrewcusack.com/zacad3.jpg

 

University of Pretoria, Universiteit van Pretoria, a bilingual university in the executive capital of the country. Students are known as ‘Tukkies’ after UP’s antecedent institution, the Transvaal University College (Abbreviated TUK in Afrikaans).

 
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03 April 2007 20:29
 

http://www.andrewcusack.com/zacad4.jpg

University of the Witwatersrand, nicknamed ‘Vits’, English-language and located in Johannesburg, SA’s largest city.

 

http://www.andrewcusack.com/zacad5.jpg

 

University of the Free State / Universiteit van die Vrystaat, a bilingual university in Bloemfontein, the judicial capital of South Africa and capital of the Orange Free State (now the Free State Province). Students are known as ‘Kovsies’ after the anteceding University College of the Orange Free State (UKOVS)

 

http://www.andrewcusack.com/zacad7.jpg

 

The University of Fort Hare is located in Alice, Eastern Cape. Originally comprising mostly black, mixed-race (mixed-race people are known as "coloured" in South African English), and Indian students, the apartheid government changed it into a Xhosa-speaking-only institution. It is now English-language.

 

The preceding universities are only a few of the "traditional" universities. There are also the "comprehensive" universities, such as Johannesburg and Unisa, and the "universities of technology" or "technikons" such as Central U.T. and Mangosuthu Technikon.

 
Jonathan R. Baker
 
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Jonathan R. Baker
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03 April 2007 20:48
 

It may just be me, but I can’t see the achievements in the two previous posts.

JRB

 

Edit:  All better now.

 
Arthur Radburn
 
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Arthur Radburn
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04 April 2007 06:38
 

Thanks for this interesting post.

Here are the arms of the University of SA, which is a distance education university:

 

http://www.geocities.com/heraldrysa/unisa-1904.jpg

 

It was founded in 1873 as the University of the Cape of Good Hope, hence the Cape symbolism:  the annulets, and the anchor.  Gules three annulets Or were the arms of Jan van Riebeeck, who established the first European colony in SA, in 1652, and they have been incorporated into dozens of institutional and municipal arms.  The white rose en soleil was in honour of the Duke of York, later King George V, who was honorary chancellor at the time.  As the rose is a royal badge, the arms were granted by Royal Licence of King Edward VII in 1903, and recorded at the CoA in 1904.  The arms were modified in 1986 by removing the rays from around the rose, removing the words from the book, and adding a crest of an anchor between an annulet and a rose.

 

UNISA discontinued its arms in 2005, because of their "colonial" origins, and replaced them with a non-heraldic emblem:

 

http://www.geocities.com/heraldrysa/unisa-2005.jpg

 

Some background info on the other arms:

 

University of Stellenbosch:  Or three towers Gules were the arms of 17th-century Dutch governor Simon van der Stel, who founded the town of Stellenbosch.  He also encouraged the planting of oak trees, which has earned the town the nickname of "Eikestad" ("Oak Town"), hence the acorns.  The head of Minerva represents wisdom (I think).  The flaming torch was, for many years, a very popular charge in the arms of educational institutions, and it is/was also a symbol of Afrikaner nationalism.

 

University of Cape Town:  arms designed in 1859 by Charles Bell, sometimes called "the father of South African heraldry", but apparently not taken into use until 1888.  At that time the institution was the SA College.  The symbolism is along the lines of the college (lamp and book) in Cape Town (the anchor and mural crown) where Africa (black) meets the sea (blue).  The arms were formally granted to UCT by the College of Arms in 1919, and registered at the Bureau of Heraldry in 1992.  The registered blazon gives the mural crown and anchor as Or, but most representations of the arms that I’ve seen show them as Argent.

 

Rhodes U:  the lion and thistles from Cecil Rhodes’ arms, the black pile on gold and the escallops from the arms of John Graham/Grahamstown.  The crest is the statue of "Physical Energy" which is the dominant feature at the Rhodes Memorial in Cape Town (there’s a copy in London).  As the Rhodes Memorial was dedicated in 1912, and the RU arms were granted by the CoA in 1913, it would have been topical.

 

U Pretoria:  the bees from the now obsolete Pretoria city arms, the ox-wagon from the (also now obsolete) Transvaal arms, and the gold annulets, book and anchor - I assume - from the arms of the University of SA, of which UP was an offshoot.  Arms adopted 1930 - the image shows the BoH artwork from the 1980s.

 

Wits:  "Witwatersrand" means "ridge of white waters", hence the white wavy bars.  Arms adopted 1922 - the image shows the BoH artwork from the 1970s.

 

UFS:  the horns come from the (now obsolete) arms of the Orange Free State, which was named after the Orange River, which in turn was named after the Dutch royal family, the House of Orange.  Although the OFS was originally a republic (1854-1902), its first government decided not to assume arms, but to ask the king of the Netherlands to grant it arms and a flag.  He obliged, and authorised the use of his horn badge in the arms.  The orange wavy fess would represent the Orange River.  Arms adopted c 1950.

 
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