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Last modified: 2000-01-21 by santiago dotor
Keywords: malaysia | crescent | star: 14 points (yellow) | star: 11 points (yellow) | tallest flag pole | construction sheet |
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[Malaysia] 1:2
by António Martins
Flag adopted 16th September 1963

Malaysian states:

See also:

Other sites:


I came across an official Malaysian Year Book in my local library and it had 'official' descriptions of the Malaysian national and state flags as well as description of armorial ensigns, state emblems and other information like state anthems, history, rulers (as in 'sultans') etc.

"The Malaysian National Flag consists of fourteen red and white stripes (along the fly) of equal width, a union or canton of dark blue, a crescent and a star. The red and white stripes stand for equal status in the federation of the member states and the federal government. The union or canton of dark blue represents the unity of the peoples of Malaysia. The union contains the crescent which is the symbol of Islam, and the star, the 14 points of which symbolise the unity of the 13 states of the federation with the federal government. The yellow of the crescent and the star is the royal colour of the Rulers."

Thomas W. Koh, 14 May 1997

The 14 stripes on the Malaysian flag represent the 14 states of Malaysia (Perlis, Kedah, Perak, Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Johor, Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Selangor, Penang, Sabah, Sarawak and the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Labuan). The blue square represents the harmony of the people. The crescent symbolises Islam, the national religion and the colour yellow is the colour of royalty.

Giuseppe Bottasini, 13 August 1997

Malaysian prime minister Dr. Mahatir visited Slovenia a few days ago and I was able to see the Malaysian flag on TV and in front of the Slovenian parliament. The flag I saw on TV had very dark blue colour (darker than Slovenian flag which was hoisted next to it) and the flag which was hoisted in front of the parliament building had light blue colour (very similar to the UN blue). What is the exact blue colour used on Malaysian flag?

Uros Zizmund, 31 October 1997

Malaysia is really a good place for flag spotting. Flags are almost all over the place and not only the Malaysian flag but also all 14 states flags. People put little flags on their cars or inside their cars, they also use stickers with Malaysian flag and inscription "Proud to be Malaysian" and so on. If you visit Kuala Lumpur you must go to the Merdeka Square and see the tallest flag pole in the world (100 metres). The Union Jack was lowered at midnight on August 30, 1957 and the Malayan flag hoisted up for the first time. It's really magnificent. There are Malaysian and Federal Territory flags in front of the court building and all 14 states flags under the huge pole. The flag is really big and it's really great when you see it from different parts of the city. I took some photos and here is a little picture of the Merdeka Square and a big flag.

Uros Zizmund, 25 July 1999

[Translated from the Malaysian flags official URL:]

The dark blue stands for the unity of the Malaysian people. The crescent moon is a symbol of the official religion Islam. The 14 pointed star symbolises the unity of the 13 states and the federal government. The yellow is the colour of Their Highnesses the Rulers of the Malay States.
The rules for flying flags seem to be the same as in the UK, etc, except that in Malaysia state flags are flown in the honour position at state events and on state holidays. Also, the order of state flags is according to the precedence of their Rulers, which is according to seniority, sultans/rajas then governors.

There are pages for the state flags and arms, but I'll translate them some other time if anyone's interested.

Andrew Yong, 15 August 1999

Construction Sheet

[Malaysia, construction sheet]
by António Martins

Dov Gutterman reported a construction sheet in the Jalur Gemilang website. I used it to make the image above and [my.gif] at the top.

António Martins, 14 September 1999

Am I wrong, or this construction sheet really doesn't define quite well the "inner" circle from which the crescent is formed? I mean, where is the center of it, and what is its radius (if you are not sure what I'm talkling about, take a look at the Turkish construction sheet)? It might be that it is easily deductable from all those measurements given, but I was not able to find it.

Zeljko Heimer, 16 September 1999

After measuring "by hand", I'd say that [the inner circle] has its center at 5+7/12 units from the hoist and 4 units from the top, and a radius of 2+2/3 units (each unit being 1/14th of the hoist, ie. the height of each stripe). The question now is how legitimate is to add this unofficial measurements to our construction sheet... I have added these new values in a lighter shade of grey.

António Martins, 14 September 1999

Royal Standard

The Royal Standard (proportions 1:2) is described (but incorrectly pictured!) in The Malaysia Homepage:

The Royal Standard is flown to mark the presence of His Majesty, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. It has a yellow background with the Coat of Arms of Malaysia in the centre enwreathed by two sheaves of paddy. Yellow is the symbol of royalty. The sheaves of paddy signify abundance or prosperity.

Santiago Dotor, 18 December 1998

Air Force Flag

[Air Force (Malaysia)]
by Mark Sensen

Light blue with the national flag in the canton and the air force roundel in the fly.

Mark Sensen, 27 June 1997

Air Force Fin Flash

[Air Force Fin Flash (Malaysia)]
by Dov Gutterman

Tentera Udara Diraja Malasia used a square vertical light blue-dark blue-yellow/gold. IIRC there was another fin flash at use which I have to check about in another source.

Dov Gutterman, 10 October 1999

Names of Federation and States

Some comments regarding the current FOTW pages: The Constitution as amended in 1963 says 'the name of the federation shall be "Malaysia", in Malay and in English'. Previously the federation was "Persekutuan Tanah Melayu" in Malay and "Federation of Malaya" in English. "Persekutuan Tanah Malaysia" is a false derivation, and probably originates in Whitaker's Almanac, which also erroneously gives this as the Malay name of the enlarged federation.

The names of the states of Malaysia: for the 9 Malay sultanates the 'Darul...' commonly does follow the name of the state. However, attempts to extend this scheme to Penang, Malacca, Sabah and Sarawak are generally unsuccessful, and it would be more appropriate for the corresponding motto to be in parentheses for these states, if they must appear at all. E.g. Penang has long been called the Pearl of the Orient, hence literally 'Mutiara Timur'. Sabah is the Land [negeri is literally 'State'] beneath the Wind, Sarawak is the Land of the Hornbill, Perlis also does not use the 'Darul' and is instead 'Indera Kayangan' which means something like 'land of dreams'. Malacca really doesn't have anything like this: 'Bandaraya bersejarah' just means historic city, which the city of Malacca (which has the same name as the state) was proclaimed by UNESCO.

The English names of states are not the 'former' names of the states. Both before and after independence the English and Malay versions have existed side by side. Thus in English Penang, Malacca, Johore, and Trengganu are the accepted English spellings of Pulau Pinang, Melaka, Johor, and Terengganu respectively, though for simplicity the last three states often use only the Malay spelling.

Andrew Yong, 11 April 1999

Military Flags

According to a German text [from Flaggenmitteilung ?] submitted by Jaume Ollé:

The Brigade of the Malaysian Army operating in the border area between Thailand and Malaysia against the communist freedom fighters (CPM-CC, CPM-ML, CPM-RF) has as a flag a red "7" on a white field. (CPM = Communist party of Malaysia, CC = Communist of Chin Peng; ML = Marxists leninists; RF = Rev. Fraction)".

Jarig Bakker, 12 September 1999