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Ask SASS 2 (Rick and Wynand) – South African Banners, Flags, and Lions, Oh My!


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Canadian Atheist

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2019/06/19

This is an ongoing and new series devoted to the South African Secular Society (SASS) and South African secularism. The Past President, Jani Schoeman, and the Current President, Rick Raubenheimer, and the current Vice-President, Wynand Meijer, will be taking part in this series to illuminate these facets of South Africa culture to us. Rick and Wynand join us.

Here we talk about secular marriages in South Africa.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: In terms of banners and flags as part of the outreach efforts of SASS, how did you develop them, how did you design them, and how did they turn out?

Rick Raubenheimer: I can help with the development. Essentially, Jani, with the assistance of her husband, Bertus, who has some graphical design experience, designed the logo several years back. I was instrumental in getting it changed from a bitmap to a vector, so that we can scale it to any size.

Wilhelm then took that and gave it to a company here, called Jetline, that can produce the things. We’ve distributed them to various parts of the country. Mine and Wynand’s ended up in Pretoria, so he picked them up. Over to you, Wynand, seeing you’ve seen them.  

Wynand Meijer: The banners came out well. They’re quite tall, as well. I picked up the banners. That’s the short and sweet of it.

Raubenheimer: We’ve had a flag, which is about three meters tall. You do understand meters in Canada, don’t you?

Jacobsen: Yes [Laughing].

Raubenheimer: Good. Your southern neighbours insist on being a British colony and using British imperial units. Either way. There’s a flag three meters tall, which is teardrop shape. There is, as I mentioned, a rectangular X-banner, as they call it because it’s supported on a frame that is X-shaped and clips in at each corner.

The intention is to put a flag outside the venue and a banner inside, typically. That’s all we could afford now because we got six printed for different parts around different Meetups around the country. Probably, when we’re flusher with funds, we’ll duplicate that and do another teardrop banner and X-banner for the Meetups.

They’ve now been distributed to several places, as far afield as Cape Town and the Eastern Cape, to Port Elizabeth, and then up here. I don’t think we got a set to KZN because they don’t have regular Meetups yet. Do you remember?

Meijer: No flags for KwaZulu-Natal, currently.

Raubenheimer: That’s our south-eastern province. Contains the port of Durban, which maybe you’ve seen on a map somewhere. That’s where we are now. We haven’t tried them in action yet. We will see how they work. I’m planning a Meetups for the first Saturday of May.

I’ve scheduled our Meetups in Joburg for first Saturday of the month all the way through the year. We’ll stick one on the road outside and see if people notice it.

Jacobsen: How did this decision for banners and flags come in the first place? How were they seen as a part and parcel of outreach and public presentation?

Raubenheimer: I’ve wanted it for some time as something that would be useful to display our identity and also, when we have Meetups in public places, make it easy for people to find us because they would be able to look for a large banner, and see that it says South African Secular Society, and then that way find us more easily.

The finances were available now, just about. We’ve used quite a bit of them, but it will be useful for the future. So, we went for it on the new executive.

Jacobsen: For organizations who want to replicate them for similar purposes, what would be some of the discussion points that they want to take into account, when they’re having, for instance, an executive meeting and they want to bring this as a motion forward to approve funds for them, in terms of feasibility, and so on?

Raubenheimer: I have no idea how to answer that question. I think it’s really a case of if people think it’s going to be useful to display their identity, then it’s useful. It’s something to get. Obviously, they must be able to afford it. I think it’s about R12,000 in total, which is about R1,000 per banner. So, it’s not trivial, but I think a useful investment in terms of displaying our identity.

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Rick and Wynand, you lions.


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


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