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Republic of Singapore, Hsin-chia-p'o Kung-ho-kuo, Republik Singapura, Singapore Kudiyarasu

Last modified: 2003-01-25 by santiago dotor
Keywords: singapore | singapura | republic of singapore | stars: 5 (white) | crescent: points to fly (white) | coat of arms (singapore) | asean |
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[Singapore] 2:3
Flag adopted 3rd December 1959, coat-of-arms adopted 26th November 1959

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The colours of the Singapore flag represent red for brotherhood and equality; white for purity and virtue. The crescent moon originally served as a symbol of assurance to the Malays in 1959 —the year the flag was designed— that Singapore was not a Chinese state. Today it is generally said that the moon signified a young nation rising. The flag was designed initially to have three stars, until leaders such as then Deputy Prime Minister Toh Chin Chye expressed concern that Singapore might be perceived to have associations with the Malayan Communist Party, the flag of which also had three stars. The flag was originally meant to be red as red is a very traditional Chinese color. But because of the fear of Communism in those days, a completely red flag was abandoned.

Jan Oskar Engene, 26 January 1998

Remember that Singapore with its 80% Chinese majority has always been aware of its sensitive positioning with the 15 million Muslims of Malaysia just a few kilometres North and with the 170(?) million of Muslim Indonesians just South. It has always been necessary to soothe and placate. For the home crowd, the crescent was a little bit uneasy and it has always been emphasised that this was not representation of Islam but represent a country on the ascent. These days, the sensitivities and touchiness of the past can be examined more honestly and it is politically correct to say that the crescent was put in to placate the Malays.

Thomas W. Koh, 27 January 1998

From the Expat Singapore website:

For 140 years (1819-1959), the Union Jack flew over Singapore. Then, on 3 December 1959, the National Flag, an important symbol of independence, was unveiled at the installation of the new Head of State, the Yang di-Pertuan Negara. Also unveiled that day were the State Crest and the National Anthem. The flag was conceived and created by a committee headed by the then Deputy Prime Minister, Dr Toh Chin Chye.

The Flag consists of two horizontal halves, red above white. Red symbolises universal brotherhood and equality of men; white, purity and virtue. In the upper left corner, a white crescent moon and five white stars form a circle. The crescent moon represents a young nation on the rise. The five stars stand for Singapore's ideals of democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality.

Dov Gutterman, 4 January 1999

The approximate shade of red proposed by Album des Pavillons 1990 is Pantone 186c, equivalent to Y 80 - M 90 - K 5.

Ivan Sache, 16 January 2000


[Singapore Coat-of-Arms]
from Expat Singapore website

From the Expat Singapore website:

The National Coat of Arms or State Crest consists of a shield with a white crescent moon and five white stars against a red background. Red symbolises universal brotherhood and equality of men; white, purity and virtue. The five stars represent the ideals of democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality. Supporting the shield are a lion on the left and a tiger on the right. The lion represents Singapore and the tiger represents the island's historical links with Malaysia. Below the shield is a banner inscribed with the Republic's motto, "Majulah Singapura" ("Onward Singapore").

The Coat of Arms or State Crest was unveiled on 3 December 1959 together with the National Flag and the National Anthem at the installation of the Yang di-Pertuan Negara at the City Hall steps.

Dov Gutterman, 4 January 1999

The Lion Symbol

[Singapore Lion Symbol]
from Expat Singapore website

The following information on the so-called Lion Symbol is taken from the Expat Singapore website:

According to 13th century Malay Annals, a prince spotted a creature he believed was a lion and named the island "Singa-pura" (Lion City) — from which Singapore was derived. The Lion Symbol was launched in 1986 as an alternative national symbol. The National Flag and State Crest have legal restrictions that prevent their commercial use. The Lion Symbol was chosen as a logo that best captures the characteristics of Singapore's reputation as the Lion City. The lion symbolises courage, strength and excellence. It is in red against a white background — the colours of the National Flag. The five partings of the lion's mane represent the five ideals embodied in the five stars of the flag — democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality. The lion's purposeful bearing symbolises the nation's single-minded resolve to face challenges and overcome obstacles.

Santiago Dotor, 26 February 1999