South Africa (proposed), 1927
The old South African tricolour was the end result of a long drawn-out political fight. Nobody could agree about what should be on there. Some folks wanted to give pride of place to the Union Jack, some wanted to include the flags of the old Boer republics, and others wanted a simple “clean flag”. (The majority black population probably would have had some opinions of their own too, but nobody thought to ask them.)
In the end, the House of Assembly passed the “shield flag”, an orange-white-blue tricolour with a quartered shield in the centre. In the first three quarters were the flags of Britain, the Orange Free State, and Transvaal. In the bottom right was a blue field with four white stars for the country’s four provinces.
The Senate countered with this particularly ugly design, which blew up the four quarters of the shield and divided them with a white cross. Note the weird effect this caused with the Orange Free State’s bottom white stripe.
In the end the two sides compromised. The tricolour returned, but the three flags were put on there in full, arranged into a cross. And thus was born the old South African flag. A cluttered ugly mess, designed by not just one but several committees, representing only a small minority of the country’s population. Let’s just say I’m not sad to see it gone.