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Vexillopedia

Flag of Indonesia

Indonesia
Ratio 2:3
Adoption 1945
Design A horizontal bicolour of red and white. [0]
Colors
#CE1126
#FFFFFF

History

Its colours are derived from the banner of the 13th century Majapahit Empire. However it was suggested that the reverence for the colours red and white can trace its origin to older common Austronesian mythology of Mother Earth and Father Sky; both symbolise in colours red (earth) and white (sky). This is one of the reasons why the colours red and white appears in many of the flags throughout Austronesia — from Tahiti to Indonesia and Madagascar. White and Red would also later on symbolise the duality of nature.

Later, these colours were revived by students and then nationalists in the early 20th century as an expression of nationalism against the Dutch. The red-white flag was flown for the first time in Java in 1928. Under Dutch rule, the flag was prohibited. It was adopted as the national flag on 17 August 1945, when independence was declared and has been in use since then. [0]

Meaning

Several opinions have been expressed on the meaning of the red and white in the Indonesian flag. One opinion is that the red stands for courage, while the white stands for purity. Another is that red represents the human body or physical life, while white represents the soul or spiritual life; together they stand for a complete human being.

Traditionally, most Indonesians have used red and white as their ceremonial colours, mixing the colour of sugar (the red colour comes from palm sugar or gula aren) and rice (white in colour). Inarguably, until today, both of these are the major components of daily Indonesian cuisine or cooking. The Majapahit Empire have the same colours in its flag. [1]