With a Bahasa name of “Sang Merah Putih”, the Indonesia flag has been based on the banner of a thirteenth century empire. On August 17 of 1945 or known as the Independence Day of the country, it was brought out to the public and was hoisted in front of the crowd. For more than six decades now, the design has remained the same as well as with the colors, red on top and white on bottom with a ratio of 2:3.
For the citizens of the nation, red and white in the Indonesia flag are considered to be “sacred.” A proof to which is that it has been part of their tradition to mix red sugar and white rice together. Until now, the act is very much observed which is shown in their cuisine as both have been primary ingredients in their regular cooking. The Majapahit Kingdom in Java has also been practicing the concept and created their own banner bearing the shades.
It is said that there are two recorded accounts of origin about the Indonesia flag. One renders that in the twentieth century, the students who were then nationalists, revived the colors as their expression of patriotism against the Dutch who colonized the country for a long time. In 1928, the banner was flown to the island of Java. However, since the nation was still subject to the rules of the European conquerors, the move was not allowed.
The second story suggests that the Indonesia flag was related to that of the Netherlands. Under foreign control, each administrative body was commanded to use a banner with colors not only of red and white but also with blue. The instruction irked up a lot of the natives that they tore apart the ensign of the Dutch. They separated the blue from the red and white which was because the discarded shade for the European conquerors meant aristocracy. As for the two tones, red and white, both accepted by the locals, these colors represented the “blood shed in the war” and “purity of the locals.”
The official title of the Indonesia flag can be found in Article 35 of the country’s 1945 Constitution. Others also call it as “Sang Dwiwarna” or in English, “two colors.” The Bahasa equivalent of “The Lofty Red White” which is “Sang Saka Merah Puti” points to the historical banner known as “Bendera Pusaka” or “heirloom ensign.” The latter was the one sent to the house of Seokarno the moment he proclaimed the liberty of the nation. The original model was done by a certain Fatmawati.
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