Flag Since 1963
Jalur Gemilang ('Stripes of Glory')
UseNational flag Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flag Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flag Reverse side is mirror image of obverse side Design has no element that can be rotated
Adopted26 May 1950; 74 years ago (1950-05-26) (original 11-point star and 11 stripes)
16 September 1963; 60 years ago (1963-09-16) (current 14-point star and 14 stripes)
DesignFourteen horizontal stripes alternating red and white; in the canton, a yellow crescent and fourteen-point star on a blue field
Designed byMohamed Hamzah[a]

The national flag of Malaysia, also known as the Stripes of Glory (Malay: Jalur Gemilang),[1] is composed of a field of 14 alternating red and white stripes along the fly and a blue canton bearing a crescent and a 14-point star known as the Bintang Persekutuan (Federal Star). The 14 stripes, of equal width, represent the equal status in the federation of the 13 member states and the federal territories, while the 14 points of the star represent the unity among these entities.[2] The crescent represents Islam, the country's state religion; the blue canton symbolises the unity of the Malaysian people; the yellow of the star and crescent is the royal colour of the Malay rulers.[3] It is in the stars and stripes family of flags.

Construction sheet

Flag construction sheet
Flag construction sheet


Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flag Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flag Flag ratio: 1:2. Flag of Malaya in use from 1950 to 1963.


The current Malaysian flag is based on the flag of the Federation of Malaya which modelled after the flag of British East India Company. In 1949, a year after the Federation was created, the Federal Legislative Council called for a contest to design a new national flag. The competition attracted 373 entries, three of which were put forward to the public in a poll held by The Malay Mail.[4]

The first flag had a ring of 11 white stars on a blue background, with two red Malay kris (daggers) in the middle. The second was the same as the first but with two concentric rings of 5 and 6 stars. The third had 11 blue and white stripes, and a red field in the top-left corner with a white crescent and five-pointed star on it. This last design was chosen as the winner.

In December 1949, the Federal Legislative Council decided to make changes to the winning design. At the suggestion of statesman Onn Jaafar, the red and blue colours were swapped, the crescent and star were changed from white to yellow, and six more points were added to the star to make that too eleven in total.[5][6] The final version of the Malayan flag was approved by king George VI on 19 May 1950 and was first raised in front of the Sultan of Selangor's residence on 26 May 1950.[7] On 31 August 1957, it was raised upon independence at Merdeka Square in place of the British Union Flag.


As the flag was finalised for official use, the significance of the design were given as follows:[8]

The designer

Mohamed upon receiving the Sultan Ibrahim Diamond Jubilee Medal in 1955.
Flag of Johor
Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flag Flag of Johor

The Malayan flag was designed by Mohamed Hamzah, a 29-year-old architect working for the Public Works Department (JKR) in Johor Bahru, in the state of Johor. He entered the national flag design competition with two designs that he had completed in two weeks. The first was a green flag with blue kris in the middle, surrounded by 15 white stars. The second, which became one of the three finalists, was said to be inspired by the flag of Johor, but with five white stripes added to the blue field.[6]

Mohamed Hamzah died just short of his 75th birthday on 19 February 1993 in Jalan Stulang Baru, Kampung Melayu Majidee, Johor.[9]


The Malaysian flag flying above the Tourism Malaysia office in Trafalgar Square, London. The flag of Uganda is seen by its side over Uganda House.

Following the formation of Malaysia on 16 September 1963, the design of the Malayan flag was modified to reflect and honour the new states in the federation.

Three additional stripes were added to the existing flag to make it 14 and the star was given 14 points to reflect the federation of the 11 states in the Malay peninsula plus Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore; the design remained the same even after Singapore's expulsion from the federation two years later. When Kuala Lumpur was designated a Federal Territory on 1 February 1974, the additional stripe and the point in the star were appropriated to represent this new addition to the federation. Eventually, with the addition of two other federal territories, Labuan in 1984 and Putrajaya in 2001, the fourteenth stripe and point in the star came to be associated with the federal territories in general.[10]

In 1997, when Malaysians were invited to name the flag, then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad picked the name Jalur Gemilang to project the country's onward drive toward continuous growth and success.

Mark of respect

During the National Day celebrations, everyone is encouraged to fly the Jalur Gemilang at their homes, office buildings, shops and corporate premises.

Inappropriate use

The Malaysian flag is subject to the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act 1963; any act that insults the flag such as waving the flag upside down can be punished with a maximum fine of RM20,000 or a maximum imprisonment of three years or both.

Historical flags

Main article: List of Malaysian flags

Flag anthem

The flag anthem is written as dedication and pride of the Malaysian national flag. It is performed on Hari Merdeka, the nation's independence day on 31 August every year. The original anthem Benderaku was written by Malaysian songwriter Tony Fonseka. After the flag was given the name Jalur Gemilang, the flag anthem was updated in 1997 to reflect this change. This was then followed by an introduction of a new flag anthem, with arrangements by Malaysian songwriter Pak Ngah and lyrics by Malaysian songwriter Siso Kopratasa.

Benderaku by Tony Fonseka
Benderaku yang gagah perkasa
Merah putih kuning biru warnanya
Berkibar megah penuh bercahaya
Pusaka kita rakyat Malaysia
Bendera Malaysia, oh benderaku
Kupertahankan sepenuh ragaku
Dikaulah lambang negara berpadu
Di bawah naungan Duli Tuanku
Berkibar terus oh benderaku
Kaukan kujunjung sepanjang waktu
Harumlah nama negara yang tercinta
Padamu tempat taat dan setia
Bendera Malaysia, bendera kita
Kemegahan rakyat kita semua
Berkibar berkibar di ruang angkasa
Dirgahayu bendera tercinta!
English translation
The mighty flag of mine
Red, White, Yellow and Blue are the colours
Flying high up in the skies
The legacy of all of us Malaysians
O my flag, The Flag of Malaysia
I will defend it with all of my might
The Symbol of a unified nation
Under the patronage of His Royal Highness
Fly high o my flag
I will raise it all the time
O shine up, my beloved nation
To you, I swear my full allegiance
The Flag of Malaysia, our flag
The pride of all of us
Fly, fly high up in the skies
Long live our beloved flag!
Jalur Gemilang by Pak Ngah & Siso Kopratasa (Malay)
Merahmu bara semangat waja
Putihmu bersih budi pekerti
Kuning berdaulat payung negara
Biru perpaduan kami semua
Puncak dunia telah kautawan
Lautan luas telah kauredah
Membawa semangat jiwa Merdeka
Semarak jaya kami warganya
Empat belas melintang jalurnya
Semua negeri dalam Malaysia
Satu suara satu semangat
Itu sumpah warga berdaulat
Jalur Gemilang di bawah naunganmu
Jalur Gemilang kami semua bersatu
Perpaduan ketaatan
Amalan murni rakyat Malaysia
Jalur Gemilang megah kami terasa
Jalur Gemilang kibarkanlah wawasan
Merah, putih, biru, kuning
Jalur semangat kami semua
Berkibarlah!, berkibarlah!, berkibarlah!,
Jalur Gemilang!
English Translation
Your Red represents steely will
Your White represents clean and kind character
Yellow of the Sovereign, the country's protector
Blue for all of us in unity
You have reached the heights of the world
You have travelled the wide waters
Bearing the spirit of independence
We are members of its successful will
Fourteen stripes across
For each of the states of Malaysia
One voice, one spirit
So its sovereign citizens solemnly swear
Stripes of Glory, beneath your care
Stripes of Glory, we unite
Unity and loyalty
Are the noble values of the Malaysian people
Stripes of Glory, how proud we feel
Stripes of Glory, proclaim our vision
Red, white, blue, yellow
Are the stripes of our resolve
Flutter-on, flutter-on, flutter-on
Stripes of Glory!

Other ensigns and flags

Government vessels use the Jalur Gemilang as the state ensign. The following is a table of the other ensigns used in Malaysia with the national flag inside.

Flag Type Description Flag ratio
Civil ensign. Civil ensign The civil ensign of Malaysia used by civilian vessels has a red background with the Jalur Gemilang in a blue-fimbriated canton. 1:2
Government ensign Malaysian Government blue ensign The flag used by the Malaysian Government has a dark blue background with the Jalur Gemilang in the canton. 1:2
MMEA blue ensign. Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency blue ensign The flag used by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency has a dark blue background with the Jalur Gemilang in the canton and the logo of the agency in the fly. 1:2
Army ensign. Army ensign The flag used by the Malaysian Army has a red background with the Jalur Gemilang in the canton and the army emblem in the fly. 1:2
Air Force ensign. Air Force ensign The flag used by the Royal Malaysian Air Force has a pale blue background with the Jalur Gemilang in the canton and the Bintang Persekutuan (14-point star) in the fly. 1:2
Naval ensign. Naval ensign The flag used by the Royal Malaysian Navy has a white background with the Jalur Gemilang in a red-fimbriated canton and an emblem consisting of an anchor and two crossed traditional kris (daggers) in the fly. Naval ships of the Royal Malaysian Navy use this flag as the naval ensign. 1:2

Federal Star (Bintang Persekutuan)

The Federal Star is similar in concept of Australia's Commonwealth Star in that it symbolises the unity of states in the Malaysian federation and its Federal government, featuring 14 points to represent the federation's 13 states and the federal territories. It is also used on the Royal Malaysian Air Force roundel, the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) flag [zh] and the former United Malayan Banking Corporation (UMBC) logo.

The Patani Malayu National Revolutionary Front, a Southern Thai Malay separatist group involved in the South Thailand insurgency, originally adopted an independence flag that incorporated a crescent and 15-point variation of the Federal Star on its flag to represent the southernmost Thai provinces' closer tie to Malay and Muslim-majority Malaysia over that of Thailand.

See also

Related flags


  1. ^ Mohamed Hamzah designed the flag of Malaya. The current flag is an adaptation of Hamzah's original design.


  1. ^ "Malaysian Flag and Coat of Arms". myGovernment Malaysian Government's official portal. Archived from the original on 22 October 2013. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
  2. ^ "Malaysia Flag". Archived from the original on 15 October 2010. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  3. ^ Flags Of The World Malaysia: Description Archived 20 December 2022 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Sonia Ramachandran. Golden Merdeka Memories: National flag chosen by people in one of country's first public polls. New Straits Times. 18 August 2006.
  5. ^ "Federal Flag". The Straits Times. 6 March 1950. p. 5. Archived from the original on 20 December 2022. Retrieved 25 May 2018., via "The History and Design Chronology of Jalur Gemilang" (PDF). Malaysia Design Archive. 2012. p. 16. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  6. ^ a b Alan Teh Leam Seng (20 September 2021). "Birth of the flag that unites us". New Straits Times. Archived from the original on 4 September 2022. Retrieved 3 September 2022.
  7. ^ "Federation Flag Hoisted at Istana". The Malay Mail. 27 May 1950.
  8. ^ Muhamad Razif Nasruddin; Zarul Nazli bin Zulkhurnain (2012). "The History and Design Chronology of Jalur Gemilang" (PDF). Malaysia Design Archive. Make Condition Design. p. 23.
  9. ^ "Sejarah Bendera Malaysia". Malay Text. 29 August 2009. Archived from the original on 14 July 2010. Retrieved 8 April 2010.
  10. ^ "MyGOV - The Government of Malaysia's Official Portal". Archived from the original on 4 March 2024. Retrieved 4 March 2024.

Further reading