Some fellas think New Malaysia needs a freshly updated flag, as seen below in a Malacca basketball court.
Do its five points of the star represent Penang, Perak, Selangor-FT, Malacca and Negeri Sembilan? (The southernmost state with its own Bangsa Johor is perhaps a different kettle of fish.)
We cry … dripping Malaysia ‘flag’ teardrops … for our beloved country in this distressing new era of Hope.
People seem to have become so easily ‘konpius’ of late — bendera negara sendiri pun dah tak kenal. Or maybe there was never really any ‘confusion’ as such but only deliberate aggravation … but by whom, from whom? (Fill in your favoured conspiracy theory.)
The most famous five-pointed yellow stars are featured in the flag of the People’s Republic of China. Could they be the inspiration for Malaysia basketball association flying its own bizarre version?
Belonging to the same Five Stars gang are the colourful logo, below, of The Star (Wong Chun Wai’s newspaper) as well the canton of the Singapore flag which you can see further down this page.
Sitting squarely in the stars-and-stripes design category, our Malaysian flag looks uncomfortably like a hybrid between the American and Liberian flags.
Liberia is a small country along the west coast of the African continent and was the land where black slaves from the American cotton plantations sailed to settle after they were freed. Liberia began life as a settlement of the American Colonization Society and in 1847 declared itself an independent state.
The Jalur Gemilang is also reminiscent of the British economic colonialism legacy that is the East India Company.
BELOW: The Liberian flag has 11 stripes just like the Malaysia Baru Ubah flag
Cross vs Crescent
Meanwhile in the rest of the world, the Swedish flag might well be the one most beloved everywhere there is an upwardly mobile middle class … the Ikea logo adopts its national colours!
I = Ingvar
K = Kamprad
E = Elmtaryd, a small farm where company founder Ingvar Kamprad was born
A = Agunnaryd, name of the Swedish village that Kamprad grew up in
I personally think Norway has the world’s most attractive flag design and colour scheme; the rest of the Scandinavian country flags similarly wear a cross.
By the way, I like the Norwegian flag purely for aesthetic reasons and not because I’m taking any side in the clash of civilizations.
BELOW: The Norway flag (blue cross on red background) is a reverse of the almost equally pretty Iceland flag (red cross on blue background)
Green is popular for flags of Muslim countries which, more often than not, also sport a crescent moon.
As a matter of trivia, Canada’s present maple leaf iconic pattern (below) looks much spiffier compared to its earlier old flag incorporating fussy UK details.
In my humble opinion, the best flag is one which kindergarteners are able to draw and enjoy colouring.
Young children, for example, would have a difficult time drawing Canada’s pre-1965 flag, or the flags of Sri Lanka and Bhutan which are practically impossible to draw or even to trace.
It is no coincidence that the Umno flag has something in common with the national flags of Singapore and Indonesia. All three share the Nusantara theme — red and white were the colours of the old Majapahit empire.
The Sang Saka – at one time proposed for Malaya – also looks like a member of this family, i.e. red atop white in equal halves.
The historical painting below depicts Captain Francis Light planting the Union Jack on Pulau Pinang to Christen it as the Prince of Wales Island in 1786.
A more recent photograph is that of a morose Penang flag that reflects the sad condition of the tiny island state under more than a decade of DAP rule.
The politics of flag
There was a time when the Jalur Gemilang appeared to be the ultimate fashion accessory among the Bersih crowd out for a boisterous day in town.
Dapsters just love to drape themselves in the flag as can be seen from the many propaganda posters churned out by the New Hopers, including those fakely posed, cutesy photos of patriotic Bangsar Malaysia kids.
I wonder how the hardcore DAP supporters feel about the flag now.
BELOW: Harapan in Putrajaya … most definitely a one-term government