South African Police Service ( SAPS ) Symbolism - vacancies24


South African Police Service ( SAPS ) Symbolism

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South African Police Service ( SAPS ) Symbolism

Emblem Symbolism

INSIGNIA:





The South African Police Service badge is the organisation’s single most important identifier.  The badge consists of a gold eight pointed, rayed star bearing a green aloe with red flowers in the centre, within a blue annulet with the words “South African Police Service”.

With the amalgamation of the ten homeland policing agencies and the South African Police in 1994, new uniforms, rank structures and service conditions were introduced under the newly-established South African Police Service.

The badge of the South African Police Service was registered on 31 October 1995 at the Bureau of Heraldry in terms of section 5 (a) of the Heraldry Act, 1962 (Act No 18 of 1962).  The purpose of the registration is to protect the badge against unauthorized use.

Each element of the insignia has significant symbolism.  The symbolism of the aloe in the badge – What do the South African Police Service and the aloe have in common?





aloe

  • Both are survivors which are able to operate effectively with very few resources;

  • both are to be found throughout South Africa irrespective of beautiful, cosy, harsh or dry surroundings;

  • they are able to deal with most conditions and are well equipped in terms of qualities and armoury;

  • although offenders may experience them to be hard and bitter, they have a healing effect on the community as a whole;

  • they are dynamic and change all the time, leaving their old, dry leaves behind at the bottom of the stem while creating better and stronger leaves higher up on the stem;

  • in spite of their hard and bitter qualities they also possess qualities of beauty and care;

  • they are easily identified and are always eye-catching;

  • they are protected from illegal interference and will not tolerate such interference at all;

  • their composition is extensive and they consist of many components; and

  • both form part of a larger ecosystem or community, on whom both are dependent, therefore they cannot exist and function on their own.

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The hexagon is used as rank insignia, either in combination with the five pointed star or as an entity on its own.  Read more on the symbolism of the hexagon.

The five pointed star is also used as rank insignia, either in combination with the hexagon or as an entity on its own.  Read more on the symbolism of the five pointed star.

The sword and staff, with other insignia, are used as signs of rank and are worn by officers with the rank of Major General and higher. Read more on what these symbols represent.

5star

The sword and staff, with other insignia, is used as a sign of rank in the South African Police Service and is worn by persons having the rank of assistant commissioner and higher. These symbols represent:

Power

A sword is the symbol of power. This power is given to the South African Police Service in terms of an Act of Parliament. This power shall be, and is used exclusively to ensure the safety and security of the State and of all its peoples.

Authority

The staff has, since Roman times, been the symbol of authority. Called a fasces and carried in front of a Roman magistrate, the staff gave him the authority to rule and govern. In the same way this is a symbol of the authority vested in those members of the South African Police Service who have the honour of wearing it.

The Power and The Authority of the State

The fasces or staff was made up of an axe (the ability to cut through untruth or prejudice) and a bundle of sticks (the whole is stronger than the individual). In the same way, the staff combined with the sword represents that, together, they have greater power than they would have if they were separate.

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Lawfulness and Legality

The fasces was the symbol of authority in all matters of lawfulness and legality. This symbol still represents the wearer’s total submission to legality and lawfulness. The wearers shall not be a law unto themselves, but they shall do all in their power to uphold the law, and to ensure the lawfulness of all their actions.

Righteousness

Righteousness can also be the rightness of an authority or power. The sword, which is also a symbol of justice, thus symbolizes the striving of the South African Police Service to rendering a just, unpartisan service to the community. In this service, it will constantly monitor the rightness of its actions.

A Position of Rank and Leadership

The staff and sword have since the earliest times been the symbols of a position of rank and leadership. They represent a position of great seniority but also great responsibility. By wearing this insignia, the wearers pledge that, as they enjoy the place of privilege, so will they also carry out their greater responsibilities.

Humility with Authority and Power

The sword, as in all holy writings, is in the spiritual realm, the symbol of divine guidance and correction. This symbol thus declares that the wearers will humbly submit to that authority that is above every other.

Partnerships in the Law

The symbols of the sword and staff are shared with the other security services. By sharing these symbols, the South African Police Service identifies itself with all the other security services which, in the service of the State, serve the community.

Section 21 and 22 of the same Act allows the South African Police Service to formulate control measures for the use of its official badge.  Permission in writing to use the South African Police Service badge internally and externally, must be guided by the principle that the status and dignity of this badge, which symbolizes the corporate character and identify of the South African Police Service, must at all times be safeguarded and protected with pride.

Apart from the Heraldry Act, the use of the South African Police Service badge, uniform and insignia are also protected by section 66 of the South African Police Service Act, 1995 (Act No 68 of 1995).  According to section 66 (2) of the South African Police Act, 1995 (Act No 68 of 1995) any person who wears, without permission in writing by the National Commissioner of the South African Police Service, uses anything materially resembling any such uniform, badge or button, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months.

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SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE SERVICE FLAG:

The South African Police Service Flag is a combination of the South African National Flag and the South African Police Service badge printed on a blue background with a gold horizontal stripe across the middle of the flag.  There are no symbolism attached to the design of the flag.

The South African Police Service Flag, together with the National Flag, must be displayed daily, from sunrise to sunset at all police stations and all police buildings.  If the flags are displayed between sunset and sunrise, it must be brightly lit in such a way that the flags are clearly visible.

Both the flags must at all times be treated with dignity and respect.  It may not –

  • touch the floor or the ground;
  • be used as a tablecloth or be draped in front of a platform;
  • be used to cover a statue, plaque, cornerstone etc at unveiling or similar ceremonies; or
  • be used to start or finish any competition, race or similar event.

A police station may display the South African Police Service Flag half mast as a sign of mourning when a member stationed at the station, died.  In such instances the National Flag must be displayed in the normal position.  When the National Flag is displayed in the half mast position, the South African Police Service Flag may not be displayed.