On November 4, 1893 the first British flag is raised over the Bulawayo, the Matabele capital. The British South Africa flag was raised over Bulawayo after the Company’s forces led by Major Patrick Forbes drove the native Ndebele from the town.
The British South Africa Company
The BSAC was established in 1889 to explore and encourage colonisation across south-central Africa. Between 1890 and 1923 Zimbabwe was administered by the BSAC in terms of a Royal Charter granted to Cecil John Rhodes by Queen Victoria. The Charter empowered the BSAC to, inter alia, make treaties, promulgate laws, preserve the peace, maintain a police force, acquire new concessions and generally provide, at the Company’s expense, the infrastructure of a new Colony.
The first flag of sovereignty flown over Zimbabwe was the British Union Flag (Union Jack) raised at Fort Salisbury on 13 September 1890, which marked the beginning of prolonged British influence in the region. Instrumental in bringing European pioneers to the area was the 19th century British imperialist and financier, Cecil John Rhodes, whose BSAC was later given prospecting and mining rights by the Matabele king, Lobengula. The company’s own flag had not been received from England when the Pioneer Column – financed by Rhodes and whose mission was to establish ‘control’ of Mashonaland – set out from South Africa, so a Union Jack was carried instead, the first company flag only arriving in Fort Salisbury in 1892