Bureau of Heraldry (South Africa)

Bureau Of Heraldry (South Africa)

Bureau of Heraldry (South Africa)

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The Bureau of Heraldry is the South African heraldic authority, established in Pretoria on 1 June 1963. It is headed by a National (formerly State) Herald and its functions are to register arms, badges, flags and seals (as well as names and uniforms), to keep a public register, to issue registration certificates and, since 1980, to advise the government on heraldic matters. Together with the Heraldry Council, it forms part of the National Archives and Records Service (formerly called the State Archives Service), which is currently under the authority of the Minister of Arts & Culture.


Under South African law, everyone has the right to bear a coat of arms as she or he pleases, as long as she or he does not infringe on the rights of others (i.e. the arms are not too similar to arms already in use by someone else) and the proposed arms conform to basic heraldic principles. The National Herald approves of and registers arms under the authority given by the Heraldry Act. This process is in substance no different than that used by the Republic of Ireland wherein the authority of the Chief Herald of Ireland is vested in the Irish government through the National Library of Ireland. The Chief Herald of Ireland is an employee of the National Library of Ireland. The College of Arms in London is a private corporation operating under the jurisdiction/authority of the Crown of England and forming part of the Royal Household. The...
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