Sunday, January 1, 2012

Malaysian national flags

While I was walking along Macalister Road days before Christmas, I stopped at the junction of Macalister Road and Jalan Zainal Abidin. I looked at the sky, what a wonderful sky Malaysia has, blue and clear. What a nice day....

But when I looked at the modern tall building in front of me, it not only block my view, but also shock me, a broken Malaysian flag with a long tailing hanging at the flag pole. This is the Penang head office of a ruling political party, when recently one of his senior minister was questioning on the patriotism of certain race..... and now that particular political party is showing disrespect to our national flag....what a funny feeling imagine I have....

If it was an ordinary institution or a private home, I do not mind as may be they can be educated ; but a political party, a ruling political party who always question about the patriotism of other people.....I cannot believe..... they should have fly a national flag correctly and respectfully as a good example for other citizen to see ......

I wonder did Malaysia has any flag protocol like Canada or USA?......

No wonder I see less Bunga Raya recently....more political games....less nationalism...and yet they are talking about patriotism...

Who is patriotic ? when not even respect our national flag....

National flag is our national identity.....

Malaysian Flag - National Flag

The flag of Malaysia, also known as the Jalur Gemilang ("Stripes of Glory"), comprises a field of 14 alternating red and white stripes along the fly and a blue canton bearing a crescent and a 14-point star known as the Bintang Persekutuan or Federal Star. The 14 stripes, of equal width, represent the equal status in the federation of the 13 member states and the federal government, while the 14 points of the star represent the unity between these entities[1]. The crescent represents Islam, the country's official religion; the blue canton symbolizes the unity of the Malaysian people; the yellow of the star and crescent is the royal colour of the Malay rulers.

The flag of Malaysia, which was first raised on September 16, 1963, originated from the flag of the Federation of Malaya. Prior to the creation of the national flag, each state in Malaya had its own flag, many of which are unchanged in design to this day.

When the Federation of Malaya replaced the short lived Malayan Union, the federation government through the Federal Legislative Council called for a design contest for a new flag. Three flags were forwarded to the public. The flag designed by Mohamad Hamzah of the Public Works Department - was chosen as the winner through a public poll held by The Malay Mail. Since Malaya was fighting the communists during the Malayan Emergency, the five-pointed star had the uncanny resemblance with the communists' symbols. Therefore, the star was modified to accommodate six more points.
The Malayan flag was approved by King George VI on 19 May 1950 and was first raised in front of Istana Selangor on 26 May 1950. On 31 August 1957, it was raised upon independence at Merdeka Square in place of the British Union Flag.

Mohamed Hamzah - Designer of national flag

Mohamed Hamzah, a 29-year-old architect working for the Public Works Department (JKR) in Johor Bahru, Johor. He entered the Malayan flag design competition in 1947 with two designs which he completed within two weeks. The first design was a green flag with blue kris in the middle, surrounded by 15 white stars. The second design, which was among the three finalists, was similar to the current flag but with a five-pointed star. It borrows major design elements from the East India Company flag, notably the red and white stripes. The competition attracted 373 entries and voting was made by the general public via post. Malayan senior statesman Dato' Onn Jaafar met with Mohamed Hamzah after he won the competition and suggested that the star be changed to an 11-pointed one to represent all the Malayan states.
Mohamed Hamzah died just short of his 75th birthday on 13 February 1993 in Jalan Stulang Baru, Kampung Melayu Majidee, Johor.

Changes of national flag

Following the formation of Malaysia on September 16, 1963, the design of the Malayan flag was modified to reflect and honour the new states in the federation. Three additional stripes were added to the existing flag and the star was given 14 points to reflect the federation of the original 11 states in Malaya plus Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore; this design remained the same even after Singapore's expulsion from the federation two years later. When Kuala Lumpur was designated a Federal Territory on February 1, 1974, the additional stripe and the point in the star were appropriated to represent this new addition to the federation. Eventually, with the addition of two other federal territories — Labuan in 1984 and Putrajaya in 2001 — the fourteenth stripe and point in the star came to be associated with the federal government in general.

In 1997, when Malaysians were invited to name the flag, then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohammad picked the name Jalur Gemilang to project the country's onward drive towards continuous growth and success

Ironically, the significance of the blue color relating to commonwealth countries was downplayed, and remember the national flag was basically based on the flag of the East India Company.

Flag Protocol

I immediately search the web of the government office, and found little material on flag protocol. Flag protocol defines the proper placement, handling and use of flags.

In the United States, as in many other nations, there are a series of rules governing the display and disposal of the national flag. These rules are referred to as “flag protocol." Although violation of flag protocol does not have legal repercussions, it is hoped that flag protocol will encourage respectful handling of the flag. More than simply a piece of fabric, a national flag represents the nation as a whole, and is an important symbol of national identity.

This was what I found in Malaysian websites:

During the National Day celebrations, everyone is encouraged to fly the Jalur Gemilang at their homes, office buildings, shops and corporate premises.

•If the flag is fixed at home, it is to be raised pointing towards the road.
•If the flag is put in a group of flags with state and private company flags, the Malaysian flag must be raised in between two flags and its pole placed higher than the rest.

Flag Protocol is more than can see how innovative our Malaysian make use of national flags in the following blog;

TREAT OUR FLAGS WITH MORE RESPECT , this blog you can found how some innovative Malaysian make use of national flags)

The flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary. When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.(US Flag Etiquette,

Departments should ensure that the Union Flag and national flags should be in good repair and unsoiled. To fly a flag which is in poor repair or dirty is to show disrespect for the nations that it represents.(Guidance for hoisting flags,

Patriotism include the flag protocol, to treat our national flag with respect, I hope our political parties know flag protocol prior to any accusation or debate on patriotism. This should be the first lesson of patriotism for the new year....

Further Reference:

1. American Flag Protocol,
2. The National Flag of Canada,
3. Rules for Half-masting the National Flag of Canada,
4. US Flag Etiquette,
5. Guidance for hoisting flags,
6. Official American Flag Etiquette,

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