This article examines how discussion around apartheid area symbols such as the inclusion of 'Die Stem' into the post-apartheid national anthem or the use of the former apartheid flag speak to not only a certain relationship to the past but also to imagining a different future.

Formation of public memory often serves as a yardstick for a society's changing culture as borne from its history: the process of transformation. With specific focus on the symbols of the apartheid regime and the contemporary contestations of these symbols in the name of decolonisation and anti-hate speech policies, this article seeks to explore to what extent the transformation of contemporary South African culture is still (or even more so) seen as somehow unfinished business: certain segments of society position themselves in different ways to the present renegotiation of the future by reframing the past. The Nelson Mandela Foundation demanded the waving of the flag to be banned, the Economic Freedom Fighters want to remove the section of 'Die Stem' from the national anthem and AfriForum opposes both moves in the name of freedom of expression and preserving the Afrikaner culture.


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pp. 103-127
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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