History of the Indonesian flag
This is a brief history of the Indonesian flag, it origins and why it was chosen to represent the people of Indonesia.
The Indonesian flag
The Indonesian flag is a simple flag with two colors, red at the top part of the flag and white at the bottom part of the flag. The overall ratio of red and white is 2:3. This flag is pretty similar to the Monaco flag, but it comes with some differences in the shade of red color and the ratio of both red and white colors. The flag of Poland also has the same dimensions, but its colors are reversed. It is very easy for you to distinguish this Indonesian flag from other flags from other countries.
History of the Indonesian Flag
The flag’s colors are derived from the flag of the Majapahit Empire in the 13th century. Some people also believe that the red and white colors were used to trace the origin to the old common Austronesian mythology of the Mother Earth (red color) and also Father Sky (white color). Because of this reason, these red and white colors appear in many flags throughout the Austronesia region including Tahiti to Madagascar. The early record of the red and white pataka (flag on the strong curved bamboo pole) can be read in the Pararaton book.
From this resource, we can know that Jayakatwang troops from the Gelang-Gelang brought the red and white banner when invading Singhasari. This fact shows that the red and white colors were used as the kingdom’s flag in the Kediri era (which is around 1042 – 1222). Both colors can be used for creating this Indonesian flag. White is the natural color of the woven cotton fabric, while the red color is made from the best natural dyes, including teak leaves, the skin of Mangosteen fruits, and also the flowers of the Averrhoa bilimbi.
Both red and white colors were not only used by Javanese kingdoms. Some other kingdoms also used both red and white colors when they want to go to the battle area. For example, the battle flag of the Sisingamangara IX of Batak had an image of the white swords called the piso gaja dompak on the red background.
Aceh warriors brought a battle flag with some images in white on the red background. They used this red and white flag on the Aceh War of 1873 – 1904. There was also another red and white flag from the Buginese Bone Kingdom located in South Sulawesi. This flag was called Woromporang. During Java War (around 1825 – 1830), Prince Diponegoro also brought a red and white banner.
Hotel Yamato Incident
When we are talking about the Indonesian Flag, we cannot forget the Hotel Yamato incident. This incident occurred in late of 1945s during the Battle of Surabaya. Some Indonesian youths came through the top part of the Yamato Hotel and removed the Dutch flag. They also tore off the blue color from the flag and converted it to become an Indonesian flag. This hotel was then renamed to become Hotel Merdeka or Independence Hotel.
Official Name of the Indonesian Flag
The official name of this flag is Sang Saka Merah Putih. This description can be found in Article 35 of the 1945 Constitution. Some other common names will represent the Indonesian flag, for example, Sang Dwiwarna, Sang Saka Merah Putih, Bendera Pusaka, etc.
The Bendera Pusaka is one of the most popular Indonesian flags. It is the flag that was used in front of Sukarno’s house after the Indonesian’ independence day. This flag was sewn by Fatmawati. It is currently used in the presidential palace during the independence day ceremony on August 17 every year.
There are a lot of meanings from the colors of the Indonesian flag. Red usually stands for courage, while the white color is good for showing purity and honesty. This Indonesian flag should be displayed on any buildings on some special days, for example, National Education Day, Pancasila, Independence Day, Heroes Day, Youth Pledge Day, etc.
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