Flag of Sarawak

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State flag of Sarawak (since 1988)

The flag of the Malaysian state of Sarawak is based on the flag of the Kingdom of Sarawak of the White Rajah, and includes the yellow of Southeast Asian royalty — the same yellow, black and white exist in the flag of Brunei.


Flag of the Kingdom of Sarawak (1870-1946) and the state of Sarawak. (1963-1973)
The original flag of the Kingdom of Sarawak (1848).
Flag of the Crown Colony of Sarawak. (1946-1963)

James Brooke, who was the first Rajah of Sarawak, originally used the St George's Cross as the state's flag. The decision for Sarawak to have its own flag was made in 1845, but it was not hoisted until 21 September 1848. The first Sarawak flag was originally made up of a cross, half blue and half red, on yellow, thought to be based on Brooke's coat of arms. There is a controversy on whether the first flag was made up of purple and red, or blue and red.

On 7 May 1870, the colour of the half blue cross was changed to black by the second Rajah, Charles Brooke, and was hoisted on 26 September, the birthday of the then Rajah Muda Charles Vyner Brooke. It was retained as a coat-of-arms on a Blue Ensign when Sarawak was ceded to the British Crown on 1 July 1946. The 1870 version saw continued use even after cession, flying side-by-side with the Union Flag. Upon the formation of Malaysia and subsequent independence of the state, the flag remained in use and unchanged until 1973.

The Trisakti was adopted on the 10th anniversary of Sarawak's independence in 1973, and was first hoisted by the then Chief Minister of Sarawak, Abdul Rahman Ya'kub who also designed the flag. Accompanying the new design of the flag is the new state anthem and motto, Sarawak Bahagia and Hidup Selalu Berkhidmat ("Live to serve").

In 1988, the flag was replaced again with the current version along with yet another new state anthem and motto, Ibu Pertiwiku and Bersatu, Berusaha, Berbakti ("United, Striving, Serving"). The new design was adopted on the 25th anniversary of independence of Sarawak within the Federation of Malaysia.


The flag of Trisakti. (1973-1988)

On the Trisakti flag, the blue triangle represents unity among the people of Sarawak, red represents courage and perseverance, and white represents honesty and purity.[1]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Sarawak Makmur Dalam Malaysia, page 50. Malaysian Department of Information, no date.