Tuesday, August 14, 2007


******** HAPPY 50TH BIRTHDAY MALAYSIA ********


In 1949 a committee was formed to consider and formalise the establishment of a flag for the Federation of Malaya. A national-level competition was organised by the Federal Legal Council. A total of 373 entries were received from which three were short-listed.

The Federal Legal Council then invited the public to give their feedback on the three selected designs. A poll was conducted by The Malay Mail newspaper. The final result was published on Nov 29, 1949.

The chosen design portrayed eleven blue and white stripes with a yellow crescent and star on the left side. It was designed by Mohamad bin Hamzah, a government architect from Johor.

A few amendments were made to the design and the final version was approved by the Conference of Rulers on Feb 22 - 23, 1950. On April 19 the same year, the Federal Legal Council endorsed a motion proposed by the Acting Chief Secretary to the Government as follows:
"That in the opinion of this Council the Flag of the Federation of Malaya should be as follows: Eleven horizontal stripes alternately red and white in colour, the uppermost stripe being red, having a blue quarter with a crescent and eleven pointed star in yellow superimposed, the standard size of the flag to be six feet by three feet."

On May 19, 1950 King George VI gave his consent on the flag design.

The flag of the Federation of Malaya was flown for the first time in a flag-hoisting ceremony organised by the British High Commissioner on May 26, 1950 at the grounds of the Selangor Palace, attended by all Malay Rulers and officials of King George VI.

The amalgamation of Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore with the Federation of Malaya gave birth to a new nation, Malaysia. With this development, the flag of the Federation of Malaya needed to be amended.

The Conference of Rulers consented that the Malaysian flag be based on the original design of the flag of the Federation of Malaya, with amendments made on the number of stripes and points of the star to represent the 14 states under the new Federation.

The Malaysian flag was flown officially for the first time throughout the country to signify the birth of the new nation on Sept 16, 1963.

Although Singapore seceded from Malaysia on Aug 9, 1965, the number of stripes and points of the stars are maintained till today. The fourteen stripes and fourteen points of the star carry a new significance – the federation of thirteen states in the Federal Government.

On the eve of Aug 31, 1997 in conjunction with Malaysia’s 40th Independence Day, The Honourable Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced Jalur Gemilang as the official name for the Malaysian flag.

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