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VIDEO: SA Flag Burning Ad Sparks Social Media Uproar – SA Elections

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Vusi Melane
Vusi Melane
Staff Writer
IEC. Image sourced from Mail & Guardian.

It’s election season in South Africa. This period sees all political parties and independent candidates employing various strategies, including political tactics and gimmicks, to capture the hearts of potential voters, both young and old. The adage goes, “He/she who shouts the loudest is the one who will get noticed or receive attention.” However, will that attention translate into votes, or will it merely remain as attention?


The centerpiece of the Democratic Alliance’s latest election television advertisement includes the burning of a South African flag, serving as an allegory for what could occur in South Africa under an ANC-EFF-MK government’s rule.

This advertisement has elicited a mixed reaction on social media platforms, ranging from “a desperate attempt by the DA to seek attention” to “Is it illegal to burn the national flag?”

Social media reaction

Former Public Protector, Professor Thuli Madonsela writes “The burning of our flag is ill-advised,” “This seems to show disrespect and disloyalty to the flag, which to many of us is more than a flag but a symbol of triumph against apartheid. In some countries, it’s even a crime to burn the flag.” @ThuliMadonsela3

DA explains, “This advert sets out the critical choice that our country faces in this election.” “Under this coalition of corruption, life will only get worse. And the very fabric of our nation, as symbolised by the burning of the South African flag in this latest advertisement, will be destroyed.” @Our_DA

Andrew Mortimer writes “Sounds like the DA has its fanatics like the EFF….. You go James…. Under Zille and her uneducated lap dog Johnny the DA has lost ground. At a time when the ANC is an utter failure the DA hasn’t been able to grow its support. That is truly pathetic. If we ever get away from the ANC it won’t be because of the DA…”

“You may hate the ANC and what they are doing to our country, but you cannot burn our flag and think that is okay! That Flag represents our history and all those people who died for our freedom and rights!” @Anonymous

One writes “This is just dumb… context is everything. Imagine this ad pops up in a bar somewhere with the sound off.” @ChristoPotgieter

As social media comments pour in across various platforms regarding the advert, what remains particularly intriguing is the nature of the media campaigns we can anticipate in the days leading up to Election Day on May 29, 2024. This discussion pertains to upholding Google’s Contributions Ensuring Election Integrity in SA (, including safeguarding online information surrounding elections and assisting individuals in navigating AI-generated content. e.g. ads policies.








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