The flag of Brunei consists of a yellow field that is cut diagonally by a white and black stripe and houses a red crest of Brunei in the center. This crest comprises an upwards facing Islamic crescent protecting by a parasol which also has hands on the right and left-hand side of the crescent. This flag was officially adopted on 29 September 1959 after the declaration and signing of the Constitution of Brunei. After gaining official independence from Great Britain in 1984, Brunei retained this flag as their national symbol. The flag contains the national motto in Arabic and an inscription “Brunei Darussalam”. which means "abode of peace".
In the Southeast Asian region, yellow is a traditional symbol of royalty. The red crest in the middle represents Islam through the crescent as well as symbolising the monarchy with the parasol umbrella. The hands surrounding these two symbols are said to embody the benevolence of the government and royal family of Brunei. The black and white stripes that cut diagonally through the yellow background represent Brunei's two Chief Ministers known as Pengiran Bendahara and Pengiran Pemancha respectively. The Arabic national motto on the flag translates to ““always render service with God's guidance”.
The flag of Brunei was designed by Yura Halim who was working within the Brunei Information Office in the late 1950s. He also wrote the lyrics to the country's national anthem "Allah Peliharakan Sultan," in 1947 which was adopted in 1951. Yura Halim was a career politician serving in many important positions including Chief Minister of Brunei and the Brunei Ambassador to Japan where he promoted a closer relationship between the two nations. Halim died at the age of 92 in April of 2016.
Previous versions of the flags feature similar elements to those in the contemporary version. The first known flag of Brunei was a simple yellow field with no other symbols or markings. This flag was used between 1886 and 1906. The second version of the national flag featured the two diagonally black and white stripes the intersect the yellow field. This second version did not feature the red crest and was used from 1906 until the current version was adopted in 1959.
This page was last modified on November 22nd, 2017