The Black Rod is the symbol of the authority of the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP). The Black Rod reflects the important role of the provinces in the functioning of the NCOP.The shape of the new Black Rod is in the form of a knobkierie,an African symbol of defence, of authority and leadership.The protea, at the head of the Black Rod, is South Africa’s National flower, and symbolises national pride.The beadwork reflects on South Africa’s diverse people and its rich cultural heritage. The clasping hands in gold symbolises freedom, peace and cooperation. The black rod stands in a drum when the council is in session. The drum is an expression of the African tradition of drums calling people to gather and speak. It is also symbolic of our achievement of democracy through dialogue.