Flag of Indonesia


Indonesia is an Asian country located on thousands of volcanic islands. It is famous for its distinctive culture, pristine nature and luxurious infrastructure. The history of the state is rich and extensive. The country has never stood still, and actively developed. And with it changed and the main symbol of Indonesia – its flag.

This is what the modern flag of Indonesia looks like:

Флаг Индонезии - утвержден 17 августа 1945
Flag of Indonesia – approved on August 17, 1945

History of appearance

The modern Indonesian flag was based on the flag of the kingdom of Majapahit, which was located on the island of Java. It looked like a rectangular cloth with nine horizontal alternating stripes of red and white.

Гюйс Республики Индонезия
Huys of the Republic of Indonesia

In 1922, Indonesian students, then studying in Holland, formed their own independent student association. They chose for themselves a red and white flag, with the image of a bull’s head in the center.

In 1928, the Indonesian National Party adopted the student flag as the symbol of its party. Later it was also used in Jakarta at the student congress.

In 1945, August 17, Indonesia became an independent state, and the red and white flag of the National Party, led by Sukarno, was firmly established here as the national flag.

Alternative History

There is another version of the origin of the Indonesian flag. Many researchers argue that the Indonesians borrowed the flag from Holland when they ceased to be a colony. By removing blue from the coloring of the flag and leaving only white and red, the Indonesians as if got rid of the “blue blood” of the Dutch.

How does it look like?

The flag of Indonesia is a rectangular cloth which consists of two equal horizontal stripes. The red stripe is on top and the white stripe is on the bottom. The width refers to the length as 5:3.

In appearance, the flag resembles the flag of Monaco, Poland and Singapore.

Флаг Польши
Polish flag

And the resemblance to Monaco’s flag even caused a scandal in Indonesia. As soon as the flag was approved, Monaco filed a protest, which was rejected on the grounds that the flag of Indonesia is older than the flag of Monaco.

In fact, the flags of the states are different. Monaco’s flag has a length to width ratio of 5:4, while Indonesia’s is 5:3.

Флаг Монако
Monaco Flag

The flag of Singapore has five stars and a crescent moon, while the flag of Poland has white at the top and red at the bottom.

Флаг Индонезии
Singapore flag

Meaning of colors and flag symbol

In the local language, the flag is called “Sang Saka Merah-Putih,” which literally means “Sacred White and Red,” or simply “Merah-Putih” .

It is also called the “Bendera Pusaka” (“Relic Flag”). It was hoisted near the house of President Sukarno on August 17, 1945, when Indonesia became an independent state. The original of this flag was sewn by Fatmawati Sukarno. For 23 years, it has been raised in front of the President’s palace on August 17. The last time it was raised was in 1968, and after that it was replaced with a reproduction because they were afraid of damaging the original.

Color always carries some kind of image:

  • Red represents human blood as well as the entire material world, physical life.
  • White carries the meaning of the spiritual world of man, his courage, purity of thought and life itself.

Combined, red and white create a unity of body and spirit, represent courage, purity and perfection.

For the natives of Java, red is a symbol of maternal love and white is a symbol of paternal love. When the two colors are combined into one, new life is born.

The flag of any nation is its dignity and its relic. The flag of Indonesia preserves the history and the journey that this country has made on its way to freedom and independence. The meaning of the flag is directly related to what Indonesia values – life, purity and unity of body and spirit.

General information about Indonesia

Official language Indonesian
Capital Jakarta
Territory 1,919,440 km2
Population 266,357,297 people
Currency Indonesian rupiah

(IDR, code 360)

Phone Code +62

Map of Indonesia

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