Last modified: 2023-03-25 by bruce berry
Keywords: franschhoek | cape town |
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there is a description of the flag Franschhoek which is the French tricolore with
a grey elephant on the white stripe. This flag can still be seen
frequently in the village. Franschhoek (meaning: French corner) is near
Stellenbosch in the Western Cape province. It was founded in 1688 by
French Huguenots and is an important wine-producing centre.
Jarig Bakker, 09 Mar 2005
I thought it might be interesting to know why it is made up of a French tricolore and an elephant.
The French settlers arrived in the area long before the French Revolution. The
Huguenot Memorial was built in 1938 at the foot of the Franshhoek Pass to
mark the 250th anniversary of he arrival of the Huguenot settlers in the
Franschhoek Valley. The memorial is funded by the French government, so it
flies the tricolor in recognition of this. The memorial comprises a
monument and a museum housed in a replica of a house in Cape Town (its name was
Saasveld. It was built in the 18th century and demolished in the early 1950s).
The museum has an extensive collection of artefacts relating to the Huguenots,
and genealogical research is also carried out there, especially on the
descendants of the Huguenot settlers.
The memorial lies at the foot of the Franschhoek Pass, which climbs over the Boland mountains to a town called Villiersdorp. The pass was originally an elephant path, and the Franschhoek Valley, before it acquired its “French” name, was called (in Afrikaans) Olifants Hoek. Herds of the pachyderms regularly used to climb the mountains. Sadly, the settlers hunted them out and the only reminder of their former presence is now on the municipal flag!
Mike Oettle, 10 Mar 2005
Here is a picture of the flag in Franschhoek taken by friends visiting
Thierry Gilabert, 13 Mar 2005