Malaysia. A Federal Constitutional Monarchy in Southeast Asia. Another country colonized first by Portugal, then The Dutch and finally ‘stolen’ by Great Britain. After it gained it’s independence from the English in 1957, it reorganized as The Federation of Malay.
The name “Malaysia” is a combination of the word “Malays” and the Latin-Greek suffix “-ia“/”-ία“which can be translated as “land of the Malays”. It is a multi ethnic, multi cultural society. While recognising Islam as the country’s established religion, the constitution grants freedom of religion to non-Muslims.
The flag, which first appeared in 1963 is known as the ‘Malay’. In country it is called Jalur Gemilang (Stripes of Glory), 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 starknown 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.
I do enjoy it when I can claim some connection to one of my 151 flags. When I was a Naturalist in the San Bernardino National Forest I met a young lady and her brother who were traveling all around the Western US. She shyly asked if her brother could take our picture together holding a Coulter Pine Cone.
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