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Historical Flags (Malaysia)

Last modified: 2023-06-03 by zachary harden
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A brief history:

Xuess Wee York Ting, 24 September 1996

Federation of Malaysia since 1963

[Federation of Malaysia since 1963] 1:2 image by Clay Moss, 6 January 2006
Flag adopted 16th September 1963

In 1963 three more states (Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore) joined the federation and the country's name changed to Malaysia. The common explanation for the addition of the 's' in the name is that all three new states start with this letter. The number of stripes on the flag was increased to 14 as was the numbers of points on the star.
Jan Oskar Engene
, 24 June 1996

Same as today's [flag]. Two years later Singapore left the federation, but the Malaysian flag remained unchanged. It was said that the 14th stripe and point symbolizes Malaysia waiting for Singapore to come back some day. Subsequently a new state was made out of the state of Selangor (Kuala Lumpur federal territory), and the 14th stripe now officially stands for the federal territories (now two).
Jan Oskar Engene
, 24 June 1996
Andrew Elliot, 19 January 1998

I one saw in an atlas edited in 1966 a version of the flag with 13 stripes (after Singapore left), but this was not confirmed as ever being officially done by Malaysia.
Jaume Ollé
, 21 June 1996

Actually when Malaysia was first created, the 14th point of the star and the 14th stripe was Singapore. With the secession of Singapore from Malaysia, the flag was not changed but the interpretation was changed to the 14th component being the Federal Territory. Now that there are two Federal Territories (with the possibility of a third one) I think the interpretation of the 14th point and stripe has changed again.
Thomas W. Koh
, 14 May 1997

[Translated from the Malaysian flags official URL:]

History of the Flag
(...) The Council of Rulers, when the Federation of Malaya merged with Sarawak, Singapore and North Borneo to form Malaysia on 16/9/63, decided that the flag should be altered to 14 stripes and 14 points. Though Singapore left the Federation on 9/8/65, the 14th point and stripe was kept, and now represents the relationship between the states and the federation.

Andrew Yong, 15 August 1999