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    Transkei Shoulder Flashes


    NPGilbert

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    Thought I will share these. Shoulder Flashes are also a popular collection subject in our parts of the world and to many an alternative to medal collecting as these items are not as expensive. I stumbled across two flashes belonging to the Transkei Special Forces. I unfortunitely have no idea which belong to what time in Transkeian history or if different units wore the different flashes.

    The second flash was called the Sword of the Nation Flash, alledgedly belonging to special forces as well.

    Regards

    Norman

    Edited by NPGilbert
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    • 3 weeks later...

    Morning all

    Found images of more shoulder flashes of the Transkei Defence Force to add to those already posted.

    This one i am not sure to which unit it belonged. My guess is the TDF 1st Batallion.

    Regards

    Norman

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    • 2 weeks later...

    These are very interesting! How many of these are there? Do you have any photos to show how they are worn on the uniforms?

    Morning Paul

    I don't have exact numbers of how many different flashes are out there, especially with regard to Transkei. I'm still on a journey of discovery in this regard. There are hundreds of different ones pertaining to the South African Defence Force and the South West African Territorial Force (also a part of the SADF in the 70's and 80's before Namibian Independance). Bophuthatswana, Ciskei and Venda also had these. Basically each unit had its own unique shoulder flashes.

    Flashes were worn on the uniform sleeves of shirts on both shoulders as well as on the sleeves of uniform jackets. It was worn much like NCO ranks. In this case if somebody was a NCO the flashes would be above the rank. I see if i can get a nice photo somewhere to post.

    Hope this bit helped.

    Regards

    Norman :cheers:

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    • 2 weeks later...

    Hi again Paul

    Here is an image showing how the shoulder flashes are worn. In this case it is the flash of the South African Army. Enjoy.

    Regards

    Norman

    Hi Norman - As you are aware already I collect / trade in SA medals. One area I lack in is pictures of modern SANDF groups. Are you able to find any in SA? I moved to London from Cape Town in 2001 and find it difficult to get good pictures of modern SA medals here. - If you do find some you can either post them on this site if you wish or I can PM you my email address.

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    • 2 weeks later...

    Hi Norman - As you are aware already I collect / trade in SA medals. One area I lack in is pictures of modern SANDF groups. Are you able to find any in SA? I moved to London from Cape Town in 2001 and find it difficult to get good pictures of modern SA medals here. - If you do find some you can either post them on this site if you wish or I can PM you my email address.

    Hi Gary

    I will be on the look out for you. You can PM your e-mail address for me. Always good to have more than 1 way of communications.

    Regards

    Norman :cheers:

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    Thanks for the photograph. I had no idea that these insignia were so big in size. I thought that they were much smaller.

    Hi Paul

    During the 80's there were smaller versions known as pocket affiliation flashes in the SA Army. These were replicas of the shoulder flashes, just smaller and worn on the right hand pocket of the tunic/shirt of the uniform to show to which unit senior officers and warrant officers were affiliated to. It meant that these senior members would wear their present unit's shoulder flashes and the affiliation pocket flash from a different unit to which they were officially affiliated.

    Regards

    Norman

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    • 2 months later...

    The Sword of the Nation belonged to the Ciskei Forces and not the Transkei.

    I have their cap badges as well as the flash with one spare of each. Am still trying to figure out how to up load photographs.

    I have about 700 shoulder flashes.

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    • 1 month later...

    One of the best reference books for South African badges and flashes is Colin Owen's book

    The Military Badges and Insignia of Southern Africa

    The book is just photographs with an index saying what belongs to which unit

    3991 life size badges

    1198 metal flashes reduced in size

    1152 of cloh and other badges

    I see you use the Calvina Commando flash

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    I see you use the Calvina Commando flash

    Thanks. I have the book, suppose I have to check it more carefully. Oh well. I use the flash because I love the eagle. Unfortunitely not a member of the unit. I'm serving somewhere else.

    Norman

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    • 1 month later...

    I was curious as to where some of the other Transkei badges went. I have one of the Special forces pins you posted Mervyn Mitton; the one with a tiger's head surrounded by eagle's wings with the words 'Special Forces' written underneath. I put the shoulder flash I have (need to get another one sometime...) on my set of Transkei camos, but am having a hard time figuring out where any other insignia went and what other insignia exactly was worn. Thanks!

    -Andy

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    The hard metal flashes were normally only worn on step out uniforms. For the work dress there is a rubberised version called tupperware.

    The larger tiger badge is a cap badge and the smaller are dog collar badges. Dog collars are also some times used as a beret badge. I have spare Transkian (SF) metal flashes still in their plastic bags. If interetsed contact me with a PM.

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    Ok, I'd been wondering what the tupperware insignia was. I've seen some when perusing, but didn't really know what they were! Any idea where I'd be able to find Transkei tupperware? Also, I haven't been able to find many pictures of Transkei soldiers, and I've been wondering as to whether any name tapes, etc. were worn. I know the SADF uses them, but wasn't sure on Transkei. Is there any other insignia that I'd need?

    Also, I'd definitely be interested in one of those flashes. I don't seem to be able to send PM's though. Hrm. Again, thanks for your guys help!

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