The national flag of Indonesia was officially adopted in August 1945, after the country gained independence from the Netherlands. In Indonesian, it is also known as Merah-Putih (“The Red-and-White”). It is based on the banner of the 13th century Majapahit Empire in East Java.
The official name
According to the Article 35 of the Constitution, the official name of the flag is Sang Merah-Putih (The Red-and-White).
The design of the flag has remained the same since its adoption. The flag has a simple design, with two equal horizontal bands, red (top) and white (bottom). The overall ratio is 2:3. It is similar to the flag of Poland and Singapore. It is identical to the flag of Monaco, excluding the ratio.
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The history and symbolism
The red-white flag was first flown in Java in 1928. But under the Dutch rule, it was prohibited to use the flag. It has been in use since the Independence (1945).
There is also another story of the flag, which is related to the flag of the Netherlands. Under Dutch colonization, all administrations used the Dutch flag (red, white and blue). Since the Indonesian flag was banned, the locals tore the Dutch flag, removing the blue part, to symbolize the intention of forcing the Dutch out. The red represented the blood shed during the war of Independence, while the whit represented the purity of the Indonesians.
Today, the red stands for courage, while the white stands for purity. Also , the red represents the human body and the white the soul, together forming the complete human being.