World Facts

What Do The Colors And Symbols Of The Flag Of Malaysia Mean?

The current version of the flag of Malaysia was adopted 16 September 1963.

Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy in Southeast Asia. This sovereign nation traces its origins to the Malay kingdoms that controlled the region in the past. In the 18th century, however, the British annexed the region from the native rulers and the kingdoms became a part of the British Empire. In 1946, the Malayan Union was formed where the individual kingdoms of peninsular Malaysia were united under British governance. Two years later, the Federation of Malaya was formed by restructuring the Malayan Union. This federation achieved independence from British rule on August 31, 1957. Malaysia was born on September 16, 1963, when Sarawak, Singapore, and North Borneo joined Malaya. Two years later, Singapore was removed from the federation. Today, Malaysia is an independent nation with 13 states and three federal territories.

History Of The Flag Of Malaysia

The national flag of Malaysia currently in use was first raised on September 16, 1963. A different flag was in use in the country earlier. When the Malayan Union was replaced by the Federation of Malaya, the newly formed government of the federation announced a contest to design a new flag to represent the federation in 1947. Many designs were submitted and finally, the one designed by an architect named Mohamed Hamzah was chosen. The selected design had 11 alternating bands of blue and white and a canton with a red field featuring a yellow five-pointed star and crescent. This design was then modified by switching the stripe and canton colors. The five-pointed star was modified with the addition of six more points. The flag was then adopted on May 19, 1950, by King George VI. It was first officially raised on August 31, 1957, when the Federation became independent of British rule. It was hoisted in place of the British Union Flag. After Malaysia was born in 1963, the flag’s design was tweaked slightly to represent the new states in the federation. Three more stripes were added and the star now had 14 points to symbolize the three newly added states. The number did not change even after Singapore was expelled from the federation and three new territories were later added. The 14th stripe and point today represents the federal government in general.

Design Of Malaysia’s Flag

The field of the Malaysian flag features fourteen horizontal stripes of alternating red and white colors. The canton of the flag has a blue field and features a crescent and a star that are yellow in color. The star has fourteen points.

Meaning Of The Colors And Symbols Of The Flag Of Malaysia

The red, white, and blue colors used in the Malaysian flag represent that the country belongs to the Commonwealth. The star and the crescent symbolize that Islam is the country’s official religion. The yellow color is a reminder that the Malay Rulers are independent of foreign control. The thirteen stripes and thirteen points on the star represent the equality of the country’s 13 states. The 14th stripe and point is a symbol of the unity between the entities.

About the Author

Oishimaya is an Indian native, currently residing in Kolkata. She has earned her Ph.D. degree and is presently engaged in full-time freelance writing and editing. She is an avid reader and travel enthusiast and is sensitively aware of her surroundings, both locally and globally. She loves mingling with people of eclectic cultures and also participates in activities concerning wildlife conservation.


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