Singapore: Meaning and History of the Singapore Flag

The flag of Singapore, often referred to as the “National Flag of Singapore” or simply the “Singapore Flag,” is a striking and meaningful symbol that represents the history, culture, and values of the nation. Let’s explore the meaning and history of the Singapore flag in detail!

What do the colors of the Singapore flag represent?

The flag of Singapore consists of two horizontal bands, with a white band on top and a red band on the bottom. In the canton (the upper left corner of the flag), there is a white crescent moon with five white stars arranged in a circle. The flag’s elements hold significant symbolism.

  1. White Color: The white color represents purity and virtue. It symbolizes Singapore’s commitment to upholding integrity and incorruptibility in its governance and society.
  2. Red Color: The red color represents universal brotherhood and equality. It signifies Singapore’s commitment to building a society where people of all races and backgrounds live harmoniously together.
  3. Crescent Moon: The crescent moon is a symbol of a young nation on the rise. It represents a new beginning, a fresh start, and the aspirations of the people of Singapore for a better future.
  4. Stars: The meaning of five white stars on Singapore flag arranged in a circle represent democracy, peace, progress, justice, and equality—the core values that Singapore strives to uphold as a nation.

What is the history of the Singapore flag?

The history of the Singapore flag is closely tied to the nation’s journey to independence and its status as a sovereign nation-state. Here is a brief overview:

  1. Colonial Flags: Before gaining independence, Singapore was a British colony. It flew various colonial flags, including the Union Jack as the British colonial flag. During the Japanese occupation of Singapore in World War II, the Japanese flag was flown.
  2. Merger and Separation: In 1959, Singapore became a self-governing state within the British Empire. In 1963, Singapore joined Malaysia as part of a merger, and a new flag called the “Malaysian Flag” was adopted, featuring 11 alternating blue and white stripes with a 14-pointed star. However, this union was short-lived, and Singapore became an independent and sovereign nation on August 9, 1965, following its separation from Malaysia.
  3. The Birth of the Singapore Flag: To celebrate its newfound independence, Singapore needed a new national flag. The design of the flag, which includes the white crescent moon and five stars, was created by a committee led by Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Toh Chin Chye and included prominent Singaporean artists and designers. The flag was adopted on September 3, 1959, and was first hoisted on August 9, 1965, during the official declaration of independence.

Since its adoption, the Singapore flag has become an iconic symbol of the nation. It is flown proudly during national events, celebrations, and international gatherings. The flag’s colors and symbols resonate deeply with the principles and values that Singapore holds dear: integrity, harmony, progress, justice, and equality. It serves as a powerful emblem of Singaporean identity and pride, reminding its citizens of their shared history and aspirations for the future.

Why is the crescent moon on the Singapore flag tilted?

The crescent moon on the Singapore flag is tilted to the left to represent a young nation on the ascendant.

Who designed the Singapore flag?

The Singapore flag was designed by a committee headed by Deputy Prime Minister Toh Chin Chye.

When was the current Singapore flag adopted?

The current Singapore flag was adopted on December 3, 1959.

What is the size of the Singapore flag?

The Singapore flag has a 2:3 ratio, with a width of 2 units and a length of 3 units.

Can the Singapore flag be flown at night?

Yes, the Singapore flag can be flown at night, but it must be properly illuminated.

What is the protocol for displaying the Singapore flag?

The Singapore flag should be flown above all other flags and should not touch the ground. It should also be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.

Are there any rules for folding the Singapore flag?

Yes, there are rules for folding the Singapore flag, which involve folding it into a triangle with the crescent moon and stars visible on the top.