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Sarawak (Malaysia)

Negeri Serawak "Bumi Kenyalang", State of Sarawak "Land of the Hornbill"

Last modified: 2001-09-08 by santiago dotor
Keywords: sarawak | serawak | malaysia | borneo | star: 9 points (yellow) | cross (black and red) | crown | czech-like flag |
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[Sarawak (Malaysia)]
by Uros Zizmund

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It's interesting to see the state revert to the colours used by the Brooke family when they ruled the state as Rajahs, even if the Christian and monarchist symbolism of the cross and crown from the Brooke flag has been (understandably) dropped.

Roy Stilling, 27 July 1996

The Sarawak flag was adopted by the Parliament of Sarawak in 1988. The flag was first raised at the National Day parade in Kuching on August 31, 1988. At that time I received from the Sarawak government a brochure called: Bendera negeri Sarawak. Lambang negeri Sarawak. Lagu kebesaran negeri Sarawak. From this brochure stems the following transcription:

Interpretation of the three colours
Red Colour: symbolises the courage, determination and sacrifices of the people in their tireless pursuit to attain and maintain progress and esteem in the course of creating a model State;
Yellow Colour: denotes the supremacy of Law and Order, unity and stability in diversity.
Black Colour: symbolises the rich natural resources and wealth of Sarawak such as petroleum, timber etc. which provide the foundation for the advancement of the people;
The Yellow nine pointed Star denotes the nine divisions where the people live in harmony. The Star symbol also embodies the aspiration of the people of Sarawak in their quest to improve their quality of life.

Jos Poels, 6 August 1996

Orientation and Colour of the Star

As far as I know the 9-pointed star on the Sarawak flag must be drawn so that one of the points is directed to the upper hoist corner of the flag, and bisected by the red-black diagonal [centerline]. Also, the star is yellow, on the World Flag Database the star is mistakenly shown white.

Uros Zizmund, 13 August 1997

According to the Malaysia Information Department Sarawak page, there is no mention of any white, and the star is shown in yellow. As far as its orientation is concerned, the star is shown bisected by the red/black diagonal, as Uros Zizmund shows it.

Rob Raeside, 13 August 1997

[Sarawak (Malaysia), wrong star orientation] [Sarawak (Malaysia), wrong star orientation] [Sarawak (Malaysia), correct star orientation]
all three by Uros Zizmund

There was always a question about the star on the current flag of Sarawak. Since I've been there I can confirm that the position of the star is the same as on my GIF which is posted on FOTW. I attached three GIF's and only [the third] one is correct. The first one is wrong and you can't see flags like that. The second one is also wrong but you can see some flags like that but mostly on stickers and patches. Real flags are correct [like the third]. I bought full size and desktop size and both correct. The star is always yellow and never white as you can see in DK book or on World Flag Database pages for example.

Uros Zizmund, 25 July 1999

Sarawak State Flag 1963-1973

[Flag of Sarawak 1963-1973] 1:2
by Uros Zizmund

On 9 March 1963 the independent Sarawak adopted the old State flag but with proportions 1:2. When it joined Malaysia on 16 September 1963 the State flag remained unchanged.

Mario Fabretto, 18 September 1997

Mauro Talocci [in Flag Bulletin?] reports the merchant flag was readopted 9 March 1963 as state flag, and was 1:2.

Jaume Ollé, 2 November 1998

Sarawak State Flag 1973-1988

[Sarawak (Malaysia) 1973-1988]
by Jaume Ollé

The red over white with a blue triangle in the hoist appears to have been used by a republican rebellion in Brunei (circa 1970) which extended to Sarawak.

Jaume Ollé, 9 June 1997

The Brunei rebellion was in 1962. I don't think the red, white and blue flag had anything to do with that, but it was certainly used as the state flag within Malaysia until the early eighties.

Martin Laverty, 20 July 1998

According to Pedersen 1980, "the flag was instituted on 31-8-1973 (in remembrance of 10 years inclusion within the Federation of Malaysia). The colours of the flag are the national colors, to which symbolic significance as attributed: courage and perseverance (red), honesty and purity (white); and national feeling (blue)."

Jarig Bakker, 7 April 1999

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