The national flag of Malaysia, also known as Jalur Gemilang or "Stripes of Glory," was first raised on September 16, 1963 at the Merdeka Square in place of the British Union Flag. It was approved by King George VI on 19 May 1950 and was first raised in front of Istana Selangor on 26 May 1950.
The Malayan flag was designed in 1947 by Mohamed Hamzah , a 29-year-old architect working for the Public Works Department in Johor Bahru, Johor. It's said to have been inspired by the flag of the United States as both share a field of alternating red and white stripes and a blue canton. It's also said that the national flag of Malaysia was inspired by the red-and-white alternating striped flag used by the British East India Company , which was very active in the region at that time.
The national flag of Malaysia comprises of 14 horizontal red and white alternate stripes and a blue canton bearing a crescent and a 14-point star in gold , known as the Bintang Persekutuan or Federal Star.
The 14 stripes of red and blue of equal width, symbolizes the equal status in the federation of the 13 member states and the federal government , while the 14 points of the star represent the unity between these entities. The 14 stripes also stands for the 14 states of Malaysia, the Perlis, Kedah, Perak, Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Johor, Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Selangor, Penang, Sabah, Sarawak and the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Labuan.
The crescent represents Islam , the country's official religion and yellow is the color of royalty- Their Highnesses the Rulers of the Malay States , while the blue canton symbolizes the unity of the Malaysian people . Though the blue was originally chosen to represent a link between the federation and the Commonwealth, this was gradually downplayed and eventually replaced by its current interpretation.
In blazon, the national flag of Malaysia is described as, "A banner Gules, seven bars Argent; the canton Azure charged with decrescent and mullet of fourteen points" or this means "a red flag with seven horizontal white stripes; the upper-left (hoist) quarter is blue with a yellow waning crescent (i.e. horns pointing to sinister) and a yellow 14-pointed star."
In the year 1997 , when the Malaysians were asked to name the flag, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohammad chose the name Jalur Gemilang to project the country's onward drive towards continuous growth and success.
The national flag of Malaysia is hoisted during the National Day celebrations and everyone is encouraged to fly the Jalur Gemilang at their homes, office buildings, shops and corporate premises.
The flag should be raised pointing towards the road if it's fixed at home and if the flag is surrounded by other groups of flags of the state and private company, then the national flag of Malaysia must be raised in between two flags and its pole placed higher than the rest.
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