This site is a mirror of the original site, made in 2022 by Heraldry of the World. The original site is unaltered. This mirror functions as an archive to keep the material available on-line.
All rights remain with the late Hubert de Vries, the original site owner.





Southern Sudan I (Bahr-el-Ghazal)

Southern Sudan II (GOSS)

Republic of South Sudan




Southern Sudan  (I)



In the 19th century Southern Sudan appears in a border treaty between the Independent State of Congo and Great Britain of 12 May 1894. The British claims on Katanga were given up and Leopold II of Belgium was given the control over the Sudanese province of Bahr-el-Ghazal.

The last paragraph of Article 2 of  the London Convention provides for a flag of the territory. This paragraph reads:

"Pendant tout la durée du présent bail, il sera fait usage d' un pavillon spécial dans les territoires donnés à bail".

(For the time of the actual lease, a special flag shall be used in the leased territories).



This flag consisted of a blue cloth with a yellow saltire between four five-pointed stars. This flag was inspired by the flag of Congo and the saltire of the Ostend Company, active in the east in the beginning of the 18th century. Such a flag is preserved in the Afrika Museum in Tervueren (Belgium)

An achievement was designed but it is not sure if this was actually used. It had the stars and saltire of the arms, charged with an escutcheon of the personal arms of Leopold: Sable, a lion rampant Or, langued and unguled Gules on his shoulder barry Sable and Or, a crown of rue per bend Vert of Saxony. The shield was royally crowned and supported by two elephants guardant (!)

The control of the Belgian king was hardly effectuated because after Fashoda in 1898 the territory was divided amongst France and Great Britain without taking into consideration the interests of Leopold II. [1]


Southern Sudan (II)

2005 - 2011








In the year before independence of Sudan, a southern military unit mutinied at Torit and began to wage a guerrilla war campaign. It continued sporadically for 17 years. In 1971 new Sudanese leader Jaafar al-Nimeri met southern leader Joseph Lagu in a conference in Addis Ababa mediated by Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie. The accords signed in 1972 gave the south some autonomy and ten years of peace followed. Nimeri ended the agreement by unilaterally imposing Sharia law on the south in 1983 in a vain attempt to head off fundamentalist opposition. Civil war broke out again coordinated by the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) under the charismatic leadership of American educated John Garang.

Nimeri was deposed in a coup in 1989 which brought current leader Omar Hassan al-Bashir to power. Bashir declared martial law and all-out war against the south. But Bashir was eventually forced to compromise and abolished Sharia for the south in 1991 (although the SPLM wanted Sharia removed for all of Sudan). In 1998 both sides agreed in principle for a referendum for the south but were unable to finalise the details until the Heads of State of the Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD) forced the CPA of 2004. Garang was killed in a plane crash in 2005 barely weeks after finalising the peace agreement which brought Salva Kiir to the leadership of the SPLM and de facto leader of Southern Sudan.


A referendum on independence for Southern Sudan was held in January 2011, with 98.83% of the electorate opting for secession. The President of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, accepted the results and issued a Republican Decree confirming the outcome of the referendum. Southern Sudan is expected to become an independent country on 9 July 2011. Upon independence, the country is expected to be named Republic of South Sudan.


In the draft interim Constitution of Southern Sudan of 2005, the emblems of the future independent state were provided for. The section reads:






7. The flag, emblem, public seal, medals, festivals and commemorations of Southern Sudan shall be specified by law.


After the adoption of the constitution a provisional achievement appeared at public presentations of Southern Sudanese leadership. This was as follows:



Arms: Tierced per pale Sable, Gules between two narrow pales Argent, and Vert, in chief a point reversed Azure charged with a five-pointed star Or, being the flag of the SPLM.

Supporters: Two spears in saltire, a shoebill (Balaeniceps rex - Balaenicipitidae) on the dexter and a rhinoceros on the sinister

Compartment: Local crops and the waters of the River Nile



Republic of South Sudan



Another provisional achievement is known from about 2009. It shows the emblem of Sudan, the shield of the flag of Sudan, the secretary bird Or.

In April 2011 the cabinet of Southern Sudan decided to adopt a fishing eagle standing against a shield and spears as the emblem that will appear on legal documents, passports and identity cards issued by the Republic of South Sudan. A design was made by Cde. Chol Ani Ayii and was approved by the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly in May 2011. The eagle is depicted looking to the dexter and with wings expanded. He signifies strength, resilience and vision.

The shield and spears represent protection of the new state. [2]


The achievement is:


Arms: Tierced per pale Sable, Gules between two narrow pales Argent, and Vert, in chief a point reversed Azure charged with a five-pointed star Or, being the flag of the SPLM.

Crest: A five-pointed star Or

Supporter: A fishing eagle wings expanded proper, in his claws a ribbon with the name of the country: REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN


Garland: Ears of wheat


ð See illustration above (the spears omitted)


Dinka / Nuer Shield  [3]



The present national emblem of Republic of South Sudan was adopted in July 2011 following independence from the Republic of Sudan.

The design consists of an standing against a shield and spears. The eagle is depicted as looking towards its right shoulder with wings outstretched and it holds in its claws a scroll bearing the name of the state.


Arms: A south-sudanese shield Or

Supporters: A spade and a spear in saltire and aan African Fish Eagle (Haliæetus vocifer - Accipitridæ) proper standing on a ribbon Or with the name of the republic REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN



The seal of the Republic shows the national achievement surrounded by a golden-rimmed blue bordure bearing the legend ® REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN ® JUSTICE LIBERTY PROSPERITY in white lettering.


The achievement is a revision of the Chol Ani Ayii design.

The shield is of the shape of a nilotic shield of the Dinka and Nuer, traditionally made of cowhide embossed with stippled lines and circles. (ill)

The eagle signifies strength, resilience and vision with the shield and spears representing protection of the new state.

The seal is apparently inspired by the seal of the United States of America.


ð See illustration in the head of this essay



The States of the Republic of South Sudan








Back to Main Page



© Hubert de Vries 2011-06-14. Updated 2011-07-09; 2014-02-11


[1] Harmignies, Roger: L' emblème du Bahr-El-Ghazal sous Leopold II (1894-1906). In: Archivum Heraldicum, 1958, p. 33. The same: Les Emblèmes de l’Afrique Belge. In: Belgique d’Outremer. Bruxelles, dec 1958, p. 794-795

[2] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emblem_of_Southern_Sudan

[3] Shields from the Collections of the Barbier-Mueller  Museum. Munich 2000. Pp. 92-93.

Flag Counter In cooperation with Heraldry of the World