The Meaning Behind the Flag of Malaysia

Over the past few weeks, several cases of the Malaysian flag, Jalur Gemilang being flown upside down across the country caused the internet to boom with criticism as Malaysians came out in defence of the country’s colours.

It sparked a sudden wave of spirit as well as rage, as people from all walks of life began to protest against these acts of provocation and insult towards the nation’s flag.

I do not claim to be an expert in vexillology (the study of flags), but, being a person who has always been passionate about flags, I realise that there are certain facts in which the general public seems to have gotten wrong, or seems to have missed out in the heat of discussing about the flag of Malaysia.

Two years ago, I had highlighted the flaws in the design of the Malaysian flag used as an emoji in the popular messaging application WhatsApp, where the size of the blue canton is only half of the height of the flag; but nobody seems to even bothered about it and people are still using the emoji until today.

A couple of years ago, I’ve also written a number of articles on upside down flags and the mistakes in vertical flags that I had came across while travelling around the country.

Jalur Gemilang that we know and hail today has an integrated design that projects the historical and symbolic meanings related to the essence of the nation, Islam and the Raja-Raja Melayu.

The flag comes with a deep history carved into each and every single element featured in the ensign.

In commemoration of the formation of the Federation of Malaya, a flag designing competition was held by the Federal Legislative Assembly where a submission by Mohamed bin Hamzah, an architect from the Public Works Department was chosen as the winner.

The design features a canton with a crescent and star charge as in the flag of Johor and the stripes as in the Sang Saka Getih-Getah Samudera, the flag of the Majapahit Empire; and not being scrapped from the flag of the United States of America, the Star-Spangled Banner as accused by those who are illiterate about the history of flags.

The Federal Legislative Council amended the design and changed the blue stripes to red and the red canton to blue.

The 5-pointed star was changed where 6 more points were added to the star before it was being adopted as the official ensign of the Federation of Malaya.

When Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore joined the country, thus forming the Federation of Malaysia, the flag was amended once more to add another three points to the star and three new stripes that represent the three new states.

Now that we know the history of the flag, we also have to look into the meaning of the Jalur Gemilang.

As almost everybody knows, the fourteen red and white stripes represent the thirteen states of Malaysia and the Federal Territories, the blue canton represents the unity of the people, while the yellow crescent represents Islam which is the religion of the Federation and the yellow star symbolises the Malay Rulers.

As of the colours, red and white symbolise courage and purity respectively; while yellow signifies the royal colour of the Malay Rulers and blue signifies the unity of the people.

However there is more to the flag than meets the eye.

The size of the fourteen-pointed star which is smaller than the crescent, symbolises that the Malay Rulers are subjected to the religion of Islam.

And the height of the blue canton that bears the crescent and star is more than half of the height of the flag, symbolising the supreme position of Islam as the religion of the Federation as well as the sovereignty and importance of the roles of the Malay Rulers as leaders of the people and the religion of Islam.

Many people do not understand the serious implication of flying a country flag upside down.

In general, the act of flying a country flag upside down is a sign of disrespect, insult and humiliation not only to the national flag but also to the country.

In certain country, it can be a sign of protest, distress or even a sign of waging war against the country.

In the Philippines, the national flag is flown upside down only during times of war, in this case, the red band shall be on top of the blue band, instead of the other way around.

In the case of the Malaysian flag, if the flag is flown upside down, the charge which represents the religion of Islam and the Malay Rulers would then be positioned at the bottom part of the flag, thus signifies disloyalty, insult and humiliation to the two core principals of the Federation.

Therefore, the flag of Malaysia is not to be flown upside down at anytime, including at times of war.

According to a notable historian Prof. Datuk Dr. Ramlah Adam, flying the Jalur Gemilang upside down can imply the act of waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Under the Section 121 of the Penal Code, whoever wages war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or against any of the Rulers or Yang di-Pertua Negeri, or attempts to wage such war, or abets the waging of such war, shall be punished with death or imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to fine.

In most cases the flags were flown upside down out of mistake, carelessness and apathy, which shows ones attitude of not being able to understand or couldn’t care less about the significance and the importance of the flag protocols.

The flag of our nation bears not only our spirit but also the identity of the Federation. Mishandling of the ensign, may lead to severe implications.

Breaking News: Upside-Down Flag At Session/Magistrate Court of Segamat!

The district of Segamat flag was flown upside down in front of the Session/Magistrate Court of Segamat, 19th Dec, 2017.

Driving past the Session/Magistrate Court of Segamat earlier today, I was shocked to see another district flag being flown upside-down!

Please read:

  1. Why Was the Johor Flag Flown Upside Down at the Desaru Tunamaya?
  2. Flag Of Muar Flown Upside-Down At Sime Darby Property’s Bandar Universiti Pagoh
  3. Mistakes In Designs Of Vertical Flags Of Johor
  4. The Flags of the Districts of Johor


This time it is the Segamat district flag which was flown upside-down in the area of the government building.

The worst thing is, the upside-down flag was flown in front of the court itself!

The district of Segamat’s flag bears a crescent and star as symbols representing the Sultan of Johor and the religion of Islam.

Hence, flying the flag upside-down is a sign of disrespect not only to the district of Segamat, but also to the religion of Islam, the Sultan of Johor and the state of Johor.

I am very sad that such grave mistake regarding such a serious matter happens in the area of a court building.

It is as if the government authority does not bother to make sure that its staffs understand how to fly flags in the proper manner and follow the flag protocols.

This is a very serious matter and I’m urging the authorities to be more serious about flag protocols.

Below are the pictures of the flag being flown upside-down in front of the Court.

Please click the photos for larger images.



WhatsApp’s New Emoji Set – A Huge Mistake Made in the Malaysian Flag

Popular communicating app, WhatsApp, recently introduced their own design of emoticons or emoji, in their 2.17.386 update for Android.

The update which was released late last month replaced the use of the Apple emoji with their own unique versions.

This ranges from the usual smiley emoji to the flags of most of the countries in the world.

I was scrolling through the list of it’s flag emojis and realised that something is not right with the emoji of the Malaysian flag, so I took a closer look at the emoji.

I found that the new WhatsApp emoji of Jalur Gemilang has 7 short stripes (4 red stripes and 3 white stripes); whereas in the Malaysian flag, the short stripes should be 8 (4 red stripes and 4 white stripes) and not 7 like the emoji.

That makes it no longer the image of Jalur Gemilang flown proudly by all Malaysians.

The flag of a country reflects the identity of the country, hence country flags must be respected not only by its people but also by the people of other countries.

Such a mistake regarding a country flag is a grave mistake, and as a loyal citizen of Malaysia, I find that the WhatsApp emoji of the Malaysian flag as an insult to the country.

WhatsApp is a huge company running one of the biggest communication platforms in the world; hence the mistake in a country flag emoji is uncalled for and a taint to the image of the company.

WhatsApp must issue an official apology letter to the government of Malaysia for this mistake in their new set of emoji and fix the mistake as soon as possible if the company has high respect for national flags as I do.


Why Was the Johor Flag Flown Upside Down at the Desaru Tunamaya?

Yesterday, as we drove in front of Desaru Tunamaya Beach & Spa Resort I saw something that really shocked me.

I just can’t believe my eyes when I saw the flag of the state of Johor being waved upside down in front of the building.

Flag of Johor flown upside down at Desaru Tunamaya Beach & Spa Resort
Flag of Johor flown upside down at Desaru Tunamaya Beach & Spa Resort

State flags are patriotic symbols of the state, therefore they must never be flown upside down.

By flying the flag of Johor upside down, Desaru Tunamaya Beach & Spa Resort is not only disrespecting the state of Johor but also belittling Islam as the religion of the State, the DYMM Sultan of Johor and the Johor Royal Institution because the white crescent and star represent Islam and the sovereignty of the Sultan of Johor.

When the flag is flown upside down, the crescent and star are placed in the lower part of the flag, which is wrong because the are supposed to be at the upper part of the flag as it symbolises the fact that the Sultan is the supreme leader of the state and that Islam is the religion of the state.

The upside down flag is belittling the position of the Sultan of Johor and Islam as the supreme leader and religion of the state respectively, hence, it is a humiliation to the Johor Royal Institution and Islam.

The question is, was the flag accidentally flown upside down, or did the resort or the staff purposely did it?

Both ways are wrong for even if it was an accident, it’s still wrong because the company must understand that the flag is an important symbol of the sovereign state which must be respected, therefore it should be taken seriously.

And worse if it is purposely done, for it symbolises bad intention to humiliate, belittle and a show of disrespect towards the Johor Royal Institution and Islam as the religion of the state.

Therefore, the Desaru Tunamaya Beach & Spa Resort must issue an official apology to the Sultan of Johor and the government of Johor.

Please click the photos for larger images:

Mistakes In Designs Of Vertical Flags Of Johor

The districts of Johor, Malaysia were given their own flags on the 3rd March of 2015, and since then the districts flags are proudly seen waving in their respective districts.

All of the ten district flags come in two versions, horizontal and vertical.

The horizontal flags are the ones that we usually see either hoisted from poles or hung against the walls, fences and others.

(Please click here to learn more about the horizontal flags of the districts if Johor)

The vertical flags are the flags that are usually hoisted from a crossbar, either on lamp posts or on walls.

Below are the vertical flags of the districts of Johor:

But it is very unfortunate that when it comes to the districts of Johor vertical flags, I saw mistakes in the designs of some of the flags hung around the districts that I had visited.

One of the common mistakes is converting the design of the horizontal flag into a vertical flag by just rotating the horizontal flag and “stretching its background”.

I first realised these mistakes during my visit to Felda Bukit Ramun, and since then, I like to observe vertical district flags whenever I travel around Johor; and I found that there are mistakes in designs of other vertical flags hung in other places too, including in Batu Pahat which I visited a few day ago.

Please click the photos for larger images:

From my observation as I travel around Johor, below are the common mistakes in the designs of the vertical flags of the districts of Johor:

Maybe some people are not bothered by these mistakes; and may consider them as little mistakes but for me this is a serious problem because of the importance and the significance of the flags as part of our love, respect and loyalty to the state of Johor.

Apart from that, it also can ruin the meaning and significance in the designs of the district flags.

The best example is the flag of Tangkak, where the blue triangle represents the Mount Ledang; but when the design of the horizontal flag is just rotated to turn it into a vertical flag, the triangle which represents the Mount Ledang is also rotated thus, it doesn’t represent the shape of a mountain anymore.

And that is why in the actual design of the vertical flag of Tangkak, the triangle is cropped at the sides so that the triangle shall remains as a symbol of a mountain.

Please click the photos for larger images:

The integral aspects of the designs are the crescent and star, and the core colour which must be placed in the right positions of the flags.

The crescent and star in the district flags represent Islam as the religion of the state of Johor, hence they must be placed at the top of the flag or in the central part of the designs; and not at the lower part of the flags as in some of the “faulty” district flags of Kota Tinggi, Mersing and Muar that I came across.

Another mistake that people made when converting a horizontal district flag to a vertical flag is to place the center point of the orthogonally divided flag exactly in the middle of the flag, which what happens in the flags of Muar and Kulai.

And in the flag of Muar, they made the first and fourth quarters black, second quarter yellow with a red crescent and star, and the third quarter red with a white crescent and star.

The real flag has the first quarter red with a white crescent and star, the second and third quarters black, and the fourth yellow with a red crescent and star.

In the flag of Kulai they also made the first and fourth quarters blue, and the second and third quarters red instead of the first and fourth quarters red, and the second and third quarters blue.

Flags, A poem By Ahmad Ali Karim

The beauty and colours,
Of numerous flags,
Cheering our days,
On poles and bags.

Colourful flags,
In unique designs,
In awesome shapes,
Gleaming in sunshine.

Flags are symbols, 
Used by all,
Countries and states,
As well as football.

Splendid Sydney’s International Food Festival’s Edible Flags

The British flag consists of scones, cream and jam. (WHYBIN\TBWA/Sydney International Food Festival)
The British flag consists of scones, cream and jam. (WHYBIN\TBWA/Sydney International Food Festival)


These splendid edible flags were created by a team of chefs on behalf of the WHYBIN\TBWA advertising agency for the Sydney’s International Food Festival

And each of them were made entirely from the ingredients native to their countries.

The flags look very tasty especially the British flag which was created using scones, cream and jam.

Please click the photo for a larger image:

Please click here for more photos.

Janji Bersih: Are They Trying To Make Malaysia A Republic?

PAS leader ‘Mat Sabu’ at the ‘Janji Demokrasi’ or ‘Janji Bersih’ or ‘Bersih 4.0’ demonstration last night.

Last night at the ‘Janji Demokrasi’ or ‘Janji Bersih’ or ‘Bersih 4.0’ demonstration, the demonstrators were holding up new flags as reported by Agenda Daily.

That is surely not a Malaysian flag!

So, why are they displaying the flags?

The article asks for an explanation about the flags.

Please click here for: A New Malaysian Flag – A Sign Of PR’s Revolution?

Last year a DAP’s assemblyman wrote in his Facebook that PR would come with a new flag for Malaysia.

Is this Bersih’s and PR’s new flag for Malaysia?

I agree with the article that the flag looks like the flags of Republic Indonesia and Republic Singapore.

And I am asking the same question; are they trying to turn Malaysia into a republic?

The demonstrators showing their new flag.

(Please click here for: Bersih 4.0: Split Into Two Groups?)

Flyers as in the picture below were also distributed at the event last night!

Among PR’s leaders who joined the demonstration were PAS’s Mat Sabu and PKR’s Tien Chua and Fuziah Salleh.

I am very sorry for what had happened last night; I think they are not patriotic and had tarnished the 55th Merdeka Day.

Even if they hate the government, they must respect important official events like our Merdeka Day.

Related posts:

  1. Will PAS Sack YB Nasharudin Mat Isa?

  2. YB Nasharudin Will Leave PAS For UMNO?

  3. Meeting Uncle Nasharuddin Mat Isa

  4. Does PAS Still Like YB Nasharudin?

  5. Is PAS Still An Islamic Party?

  6. Bersih 4.0: Split Into Two Groups?

  7. A Giant Bottle Replica In Georgetown

  8. Anwar Ibrahim, Human Rights and Freedom

  9. Does ‘Demi Rakyat’ Supports Gay

  10. PR, Please Don’t Lie During Ramadhan!

Happy Merdeka Day/ Happy Independence Day

Happy Merdeka Day ❗

It means it is Malaysia’s Independence Day.

Malaysia was independence from British on 31\8\57.

So, this year is our 53rd ‘Merdaka Day’ (Independence Day).

The Malaysian Flag (Jalur Gemilang)

The ‘Father of Independence’ or ‘Bapa Kemerdekaan’ is YM Tengku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj.

Tengku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj is the first Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Now the Prime Minister is Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak

People in Malaysia put the Malaysian flag at their houses.

I put my Malaysian flag at my house too.

I wonder what is the Argentinian Independence Day called ❓


Sudan is the largest country in Africa.

The flag of Sudan has 4 colours.

The colours are red, black, white and green.


The capital of Sudan is Khartoum.

The old currency of Sudan was Sudanese dinar.

Sudanese Dinar

The new currency is Sudanese Pound.


In Sudan people speak Arabic.

In Sudan the temperature is high.

Sometimes in Sudan there are sandstorms.

There are lots of fruits and vegetables grown in Sudan.

There are bananas, mangoes, dates, onions, tomatoes and others.

The White and Blue Nile meet in Khartoum.

People get lots of fish from the Nile.

Uncle Osman, Aunty Yaman and sis Arwa live in Sudan.

I think I can go to Sudan one day.


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