|Name||Jalur Gemilang ('Stripes of Glory')|
|Adopted||26 May 1950 (original 11-point star and 11 stripes)|
16 September 1963 (current 14-point star and 14 stripes)
|Design||Fourteen horizontal stripes alternating red and white; in the canton, a yellow crescent and fourteen-point star on a blue field|
|Designed by||Mohamed Hamzah[N 1]|
|Use||Hung vertically as a banner |
|Adopted||16 September 1963|
|Design||Fourteen vertical stripes alternating red and white; in the canton, a yellow crescent and 14-point star pointing upward on a blue field|
The national flag of Malaysia, also known as the Stripes of Glory (Malay: Jalur Gemilang), 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 between these entities. 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.
The current Malaysian flag is based on the flag of the Federation of Malaya. 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.
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. The final version of the Malayan flag was approved by George VI on 19 May 1950 and was first raised in front of the Sultan of Selangor's residence on 26 May 1950. 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:
Red and white had also been the traditional colours of the region since the time of the Majapahit Empire.
The Malayan flag was designed by Mohamed Hamzah, a 29-year-old architect working for the Public Works Department (JKR) in Johor Baharu, 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.
Mohamed Hamzah died just short of his 75th birthday on 13 February 1993 in Jalan Stulang Baru, Kampung Melayu Majidee, Johor.
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 and the star was given 14 points to reflect the federation of the original 11 states in Malaya 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 government in general.
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 towards continuous growth and success.
During the National Day celebrations, everyone is encouraged to fly the Jalur Gemilang at their homes, office buildings, shops and corporate premises.
Main article: List of Malaysian flags
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.
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.
|The civil ensign of Malaysia used by civilian vessels has a red background with the Jalur Gemilang in a blue-fimbriated canton.||1:2|
|The flag used by the Malaysian Government has a dark blue background with the Jalur Gemilang in the canton.||1:2|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
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) flagand 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.