The Meaning and Significance of “Jalur Gemilang”


The Jalur Gemilang holds a special place in the heart of every Malaysian, symbolizing the nation’s identity, heritage, and aspirations. This article delves into the historical background, design, and significance of the Malaysian national flag. By exploring its symbolism, display guidelines, and role in various aspects of society, we can gain a deeper understanding of the flag’s enduring importance and the sense of pride it instills in Malaysians.


Colors and Symbolism

  • Malaysian flag has 14 red and white strips
  • Red on top, white at the bottom
  • Strips symbolize 13 states + Federal Territory
  • Red = bravery
  • White = purity and harmony
  • Yellow crescent + star = Malay Rulers’ royal color
  • Colors red, white, blue = unity of the unity of Federal Malay states (Persekutuan Tanah Melayu) and the United Kingdom and the unity of Malaya (Tanah Melayu) with the Commonwealth countries

Historical Background of the Flag

  • 29 Nov 1949: Council of Rulers + Federal Legislative Council held flag design competition
  • Mr. Mohamad Bin Hamzah’s design chosen as winner
  • Amendments made, agreed by Council of Rulers on 22-23 Feb 1950
  • 19 Apr 1950: Federal Legislative Council approved proposal
  • King George VI approved design on 19 May 1950
  • Flag flown first time 26 May 1950 at Sultan of Selangor’s Palace
  • Malaysia formed 16 Sep 1963, flag changed for Sabah, Sarawak, Singapore
  • Even after Singapore left in 1965, Malaysia kept flag features
  • 31 Aug 1997: PM Tun Dr. Mahathir Bin Mohamad renamed flag “JALUR GEMILANG”

Displaying Jalur Gemilang on National Days

  • Raise the flag briskly and lower it slowly
  • Ensure the flag never touches the ground
  • Illuminate the flag during the night hours
  • Properly store and maintain the flag when not in use

Importance of Jalur Gemilang in Malaysian Identity

The Jalur Gemilang carries deep significance as a national symbol, instilling a sense of pride, belonging, and love for the country. Throughout history, the flag has played a pivotal role in fostering patriotism and solidarity among Malaysians. It has been prominently displayed during notable events, including the declaration of independence, official state ceremonies, and national celebrations. The Jalur Gemilang serves as a silent yet powerful reminder of the sacrifices, resilience, and heritage upon which Malaysia was built.

FAQs: Common Questions about Jalur Gemilang

Q: What does Jalur Gemilang mean?

A: Jalur Gemilang translates to “Stripes of Glory,” signifying the nation’s soaring aspirations and pursuit of excellence.

Q: What do the colors of the Jalur Gemilang represent?

A: The red color stands for courage, white represents purity, blue signifies unity, and yellow symbolizes sovereignty.

Q: What is the significance of the Federal Star?

A: The Federal Star represents unity among the states of Malaysia, with each point signifying one state and the central point denoting the federal government.

Q: How is the Jalur Gemilang displayed during national holidays?

A: The flag should be raised briskly and lowered slowly, ensuring it never touches the ground. It is also customary to illuminate the flag during the night hours.

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