THE ONCE controversial emblem of South African Rugby has been redesigned by Sampson Associates – the logo’s sixth evolution since its introduction in 1906.
The leaping springbok, viewed by many as a symbol of apartheid, was given a seal of approval for the new South Africa when it was embraced by President Mandela at last year’s Rugby World Cup held in South Africa.
After the host team’s victory, Mandela and other anti-apartheid leaders encouraged South Africans to view the springbok as a powerful reconciling factor.
“It was their actions which ensured that the thing was not ditched,” says Sampson Associates managing director Jeremy Sampson. “It was an interesting example of something evolving.”
The new springbok has changed direction and now leaps from left to right with the ball tucked under its front legs.
“The new emblem builds on the heritage of the past 60 years, but signals a new chapter with the incorporation of the King Protea [flower], the symbol adopted by all South African sport,” says the South African Rugby Football Union.