Flag of Brunei
|Use||Civil and state flag, civil ensign|
|Adopted||29 September 1959|
|Design||The crest of Brunei in the centre, on a yellow field cut by black and white diagonal stripes (parallelograms).|
|Designed by||Unknown designer.|
The yellow field represents the sultan of Brunei. In Southeast Asia, yellow is traditionally the color of royalty, and the royal standards of Malaysia and Thailand, and the flag of Sarawak, along with the presidential flag of Indonesia, also use a yellow field.
The crest consists of a crescent (symbolising Islam) facing upwards, joined with a parasol (symbolising monarchy), with hands on the sides (signifying the benevolence of the government). On the crescent is the national motto in Arabic: “Always render service with God's guidance” (الدائمون المحسنون بالهدى). Below this is a banner inscribed with Brunei Darussalam (‘Brunei, the Abode of Peace’).
The black and white stripes represent Brunei's chief ministers who were once joint-regents and then – after the sultan came of age – senior advisors: the Pengiran Bendahara (First Minister, symbolised by a slightly thicker white stripe) and the Pengiran Pemancha (Second Minister, governing foreign affairs, symbolised by black).
The flag in its present form, except for the crest, has been in use since 1906 when Brunei became a British protectorate, following the signing of an agreement between Brunei and Great Britain. Even though Brunei was only nominally independent after this, Bruneians retained certain symbols like the flag.
The crest was superimposed in 1959 after the promulgation of the Constitution of 29 September 1959.
The design was retained when the country gained full independence on 1 January 1984 as Brunei Darussalam (Brunei, Abode of Peace).
Other ensigns and flags
|Army ensign||Brunei Armed Forces Flag. Yellow flag with three diagonal stripes white over red over black, with Armed Forces' badge in the middle.||2:3|
|Naval ensign||Brunei Naval Ensign. White (crossless) ensign with the war flag in canton.||1:2|
|Standard of the Sultan||The standard of Her Majesty the Raja Isteri is light yellow, incorporating the royal crest on red background at the centre of the standard.||1:2|
The Perdana Wazir has also a personal standard granted to him by His Majesty the Sultan. The standard is white superimposed in the centre with the state crest in light yellow. The crest is supported by si kikil, a kris crossed by its sheath.
The personal standards of the Pengiran Bendahara, Pengiran Digadong, Pengiran Pemancha and Pengiran Temenggong (senior ministers) are white, green, black and red respectively.
The Sultan had also bestowed personal flags to lesser officials known as Pengiran Cheteria and to Pengiran and other subjects.
Among the Pengiran and dignitaries who are authorised to use personal standards are:
- Descendants of a sultan, down to four generations,
- Descendents of a wazir, down to three generations,
- Descendents of a cheteria, down to two generations,
- From menteri (non-noble officials) to damong (chiefs).
Their personal standards incorporate the state crest in red on a yellow background at the top left corner of the flags.
- The National Geographic Magazine. National Geographic Society. 1935. p. 384.
- The Flag Bulletin. Flag Research Center. 1984. p. 76.
- Annual Report: Brunei. H.M. Stationery Office. 1946. p. 91.
- Horton, A. V. M. (1984). The British residency in Brunei, 1906-1959. Centre for South-East Asian Studies. p. 15.
- "The Brunei Darussalam State Flag". Information Department, Prime Minister's Office. Retrieved 23 March 2012.
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