Morning Star flag
|Name||The Morning Star flag|
|Adopted||1 December 1961|
|Design||Thirteen blue and white alternating horizontal stripes with a red bar on the hoist side with a white five pointed star centered on it|
|Designed by||Nicolaas Jouwe|
The Morning Star flag (Indonesian: Bendera Bintang Kejora, Dutch: Morgenster vlag) was a flag used in a supplemental fashion on Netherlands New Guinea to the flag of the Netherlands. It was first raised on 1 December 1961 prior to the territory coming under administration of the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority (UNTEA) on 1 October 1962.
The flag is used by the Free Papua Organization and other independence supporters. Under Papua's Special Autonomy Law, ratified in 2002, the flag may be raised in Papua so long as the flag of Indonesia is also raised and it is higher than the Morning Star flag. The flag consists of a red vertical band along the hoist side, with a white five-pointed star in the center, and thirteen horizontal stripes, alternating blue and white, with seven blue stripes and six white ones.
After territorial elections in February 1961 the New Guinea Council a representative body consisting of 28 members were sworn into office by Governor Dr. P.J.Platteel on 1 April 1961 and the Council's inaugurations on 5 April 1961 were attended by Australia, Britain, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and other Pacific Forum nations with exception of the United States. The Council appointed a National Committee to draft a Manifesto expressing the desire for independence, and to design a flag and anthem commensurate with this desire. The design of the flag is credited to Nicolaas Jouwe. The full New Guinea Council endorsed these actions on 30 October 1961 and the first Morning Star flag was presented to Governor Platteel on 31 October 1961. The Dutch authorities did not accept the denomination of the flag recognising it as a territorial flag (landsvlag) not a national flag.
An inauguration ceremony was held on 1 December 1961 with the flag officially raised for the first time outside the Council's building in the presence of the Governor together with the Dutch flag.
On 1 July 1971 at Markas Victoria in West Papua, Brigadier General Seth Jafeth Rumkorem, leader of the militant independence movement Free Papua Movement (Indonesian: Organisasi Papua Merdeka, (OPM)), proclaimed unilaterally Papua Barat or West Papua as an independent democratic republic. The Morning Star flag was declared as a national flag.
The Morning Star is flown by independence movements and supporters across the world. Special ceremonies take place on 1 December of each year, to commemorate the first flag raising in 1961. The flying of the Morning Star is seen by Indonesian authorities as advocating independence challenging Indonesian sovereignty.
Over 500,000 Papuans have been killed by the Indonesian Military (TNI) since 1961, some of them simply for raising the flag, which is illegal in Indonesia. Two Papuan men, Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage, were sentenced to 15 and 10 year sentences for raising the flag in Jayapura in 2004. Pakage was released in 2010, having served five years of his term. Karma remains imprisoned and has alleged abuse at the hands of prison authorities. Amnesty International considered both men prisoners of conscience and named Karma a 2011 "priority case."
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