Red and White, the Indonesian Flag, and it’s Brothers (In Law)

Indonesian Red & White Colored Flag

What Is Red White?

Written By Regifauzi

The Red and White, the color of the Indonesian national flag is commonly known simply as “merah-putih” in Indonesian. the origin of this color is an object of debate and thus, making some theories. but officially it is known that the color is referring to the color of our Blood -Red- meaning “Courage” and represent the body and may symbolize the blood shed during independence war, and the color of our Bone -White- meaning “Pure” that represent the spirit and may symbolize the purity of the Indonesian.

The Origin of Red White

There are some theories and stories about it’s origin but it is officially known that it is based on the banner of the Majapahit Empire that rule almost of Southeast Asia archipelago around 13th Century, but there is also a story about it long before the Majapahits era.

Red and White colors also symbolize the common Austronesian mythology of Mother Earth (Red) and Father Sky (White), that’s the answer why many Austronesian countries using this colors on their flags.

Why the Red White Indonesia?

Why Indonesia use this color as national flag? You see, Indonesian people is unfortunately colonized by the Dutch and Japanese, with the Dutch ruled almost 3 centuries! 340 years to be exact, and Prince Diponegoro sometime during the Java War (1825-1830) used the red white banner against the dutch, and in the 20th century some Indonesian students, nationalist and independence movement symbolize the spirit to freedom by tearing off the bottom part of the Netherlands flag (Red-White-Blue).

The most famous event of the flag “incident” is maybe the one that triggers the Battle of Surabaya, here’s the story: a group of pemuda -Indonesian Language for Young people- climbed the roof of Hotel Yamato or Hotel Majapahit in Surabaya around 1945 ( Majapahit…coincidence?) tore up the blue part of  the Netherlands flag to change it to Indonesian flag and pissing off the Dutch.

The red white is officially used for Indonesian flag is during the independence proclamation and sewn by the first-first lady of Indonesia: Mrs. Fatmawati, and officially named The Red and White “Sang Merah Putih” and hoisted for the first time and also to mark the step for Indonesian people to last.

The Red White Twins-Brother-Sister

Red White Flags, excluding Singapore. Confused now?
Clockwise: Indonesia, Monaco, Poland, and Greenland

The red-white, as i tell you before is the favorite color of many country, and the other ones that use this kind of color  as far as i know there are three country to be using the same colors combination with some “configuration” and one country with exactly similar, and being “exactly”  i mean the colors only and put aside the proportion and some other thing.

The two of the three country i mentioned earlier is Singapore and Poland, the two country contain the colors you can see with the Singapore added some stars and crescent moon and Poland with it’s inverted version. Monaco on the other hand is exactly the same color combination and sometime, confusing most people. Unfortunately, the difference is only in the proportion or the ratio of height and width of the flag, and the Monaco’s being the older brother historically. And last but not least is Greenland being the combination of Poland and Indonesia/Monaco flag, well not that ‘real’ combination though.


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