We all know the basics of our Jalur Gemilang; like how it has 14 alternating red and white stripes, a blue canton at the top left corner as well as a crescent and 14-point star on top of it. That’s basic general knowledge! However, do you know the history behind our beloved Malaysian flag? How it was birthed, who designed it, and so forth?
Well, here are some fun facts about the Jalur Gemilang you probably didn’t know, but totally should:
1. The design of the Malaysian flag was birthed from a flag design competition
You couldn’t be more wrong if you thought we had our own renown designer to design our beloved Jalur Gemilang. Nope, the design was in fact birthed from a nationwide competition organised by the Federation Legislation Council in 1949.
2. 373 flag designs were submitted by everyday Malaysians
All submissions were sent to the Clerk of the Council, Council Chamber, Kuala Lumpur via snail mail and Malaysians who took part in this design competition had these few rules to adhere to:
- The flag must be simple
- Should keep to the colours of yellow, red, white and blue
- The general design should be symbolic of the Federation and the unity of the nine states and two settlements
- The design may also include a kris, cross krises, a tiger or crescent
3. Only THREE out of 373 designs were shortlisted
The above three flags were the top three shortlisted designs out of 373 submissions.
4. The winning flag was designed by a government architect
He wasn’t a designer of any kind, he was an architect and his name was Mohamed Bin Hamzah. He submitted four designs, only one of which made it into the top three selections. The flag with the blue and white stripes was Hamzah’s winning design. Wah, so proud!
5. The official flag consisted of 11 red and white stripes and an 11-point star, not 14
After some minor changes, our flag was birthed! 11 stripes (six red, five white) and 11-point star represented the unity between 11 federated states which were Perak, Selangor, Melaka, Johor, Pahang, Negeri Sembilan, Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu and Pulau Pinang. On 19 April 1950, the new Malaysian flag was officially raised.
However, after the formation of Malaysia in 1963, the flag was amended again to 14 stripes and 14-point star instead of 11, including Sabah and Sarawak as a state member.
6. The national flag was raised for the first time on 26 May 1950
On behalf of statesmen, the national flag was raised by Sir Henry Gurney (British High Commissioner in Malaya) at exactly 9.38AM. This incredible moment took place within the confines of the Sultan Selangor’s palace thaw was attended by the D.Y.M.M Raja-Raja Melayu and the royal officers of King George VI.
7. The name of the Malaysian flag was birthed from yet another competition
The proposal to come up with an official name for the flag came from Y.Bhg. Dato’ Hashim bin Mat Deris. He believed the Malaysian flag should be given a proper name just like how the flags of U.S.A (Star Spangled Banner), United Kingdom (Union Jack), and France (Tri-Colour) are recognised worldwide.
Then-Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad agreed, and on 11 July 1995, a competition to find the best name for the flag was held, but was limited to a selected few.
8. There was an important criteria to follow in naming the flag
Some of the criteria that must be considered include:
- The name must be in the Malaysian language
- Must be ’emotive’ in nature; should trigger patriotism in showing loyalty to the king and country
- Adopted from the old transcripts (e.g; Malay Annals)
- Chosen from classical prose to represent loyalty and warrior
- Easy to enunciate
- Simple words from the Malaysian language
- Interesting sound
- Easy to explain
9. The Malaysian flag was finally given its name after 40 years
Named the ‘Jalur Gemilang’ (Glorious Stripes), it stands for the embodiment of Malaysians.
In fact, “Gemilang” carries the meaning of bright, brilliant and excellence. With that, the Jalur Gemilang is meant to represent the people and the nation’s excellence through loyalty, persistence and unity in upholding the country’s image.
The official naming ceremony was held on 31 August 1997 by then-Prime Minister Y.A.B Dato Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Merdeka Square.
Wow! Who knew our official Malaysian flag was only given a name after 40 years? Learn something new everyday!
If you thought this was interesting, make sure you share it with your friends! After all, the history and origins of our country, as well as its national flag is something all Malaysians should know!
Klang Is A Red Zone But School Sessions Will Carry On, Says Education Dept
The Selangor State Education Department (JPNS) says that school sessions in Klang will still continue as usual even though the...
Police Arrest OKU Man With Pink Tag At A Supermarket In Melaka
Police have arrested a man with hearing disabilities who was wearing a pink tag. The man was arrested at a...
Kitchen Helper From Huckleberry Damansara Heights Tests Positive For Covid-19
Huckleberry Damansara Heights just reported that one of their own kitchen helpers tested positive for Covid-19. In a statement put...
PM: Interstate Travel Between East Malaysia To Semenanjung Temporarily Banned
It looks like Malaysia isn’t going into lockdown yet, but if they consider it, they’ll let us know earlier, at...
Health DG: Third Death Case Today Is 1-year-old Baby From Semporna, Sabah
Malaysia recorded an all-time high in the number of Covid-19 cases today, 691 positive cases with 688 local transmissions and...