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National flag is not just a piece of cloth

09 Dec 2019 / 16:06 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: A flag is not just a piece of cloth which is hung or hoisted as decoration. Its colours and symbols represent the sovereignty, honour and dignity of a nation. The Malaysian national flag is officially known as Jalur Gemilang. Each state and federal territory in the country also has its own flag, with symbols and colours representing the values it upholds.

Malaysia Focus, volume 2/2009, published by the Malaysian Information Department, details interesting facts about the history and meaning of each colour and symbol on the Jalur Gemilang and flags of the Malaysian states, including the proper way to hoist and store the flag (http://dbook.penerangan.gov.my/).

Each colour and symbol on the flag of any nation bears specific meaning and must be respected, and cannot be changed or abused. Ignorance from any party is not acceptable.

Commenting on the importance of the flag, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI)vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Mohammad Shatar Sabran said the Jalur Gemilang symbolises an independent nation and its dignity must be preserved.

He added that something which has been gazetted as a national symbol must be used according to the set regulations and not left in an inappropriate place, and that stern action must be taken against those who insult the Jalur Gemilang so others won’t follow suit.

Action can be taken against any individual who disrespects the Jalur Gemilang under the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act 1963, and the National Emblems (Control of Display) Act 1949.

Additionally, social activist Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said in a statement recently that Malaysians must have high respect for the Jalur Gemilang, and relevant ministries must work with the media and non-governmental organisations to promote this.

He said Malaysians must be proud of their flag and never forget that they live in the nation which owns that flag. He added that it was not just the Jalur Gemilang that must be respected, but the state flags. — Bernama

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