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National symbols of Indonesia

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Title: National symbols of Indonesia  
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National symbols of Indonesia

National symbols of Indonesia are symbols that represent Republic of Indonesia. It can represent Indonesia as a nation, Indonesian people, culture, arts, and its biodiversity. The official symbols of Indonesia are officially recognize symbols that represent Indonesia and enforced through Indonesian laws. These symbols of the state that represent Indonesian nationhood are Garuda Pancasila, Merah-Putih flag, Indonesia Raya national anthem, and Indonesian language.

Other than these official national symbols of Indonesia, there are also other symbols that widely recognize and accepted to represent Indonesia, yet does not necessarily being enforced by Indonesian laws. However some symbols that previously unofficially recognized and had not enforced by law finally gain official recognition through law edict, such as Indonesian national flora and fauna that enforced by law in 1993.


  • Official national symbols 1
    • National emblem of Indonesia 1.1
    • National motto 1.2
    • Flag of Indonesia 1.3
    • National anthem of Indonesia 1.4
    • National language of Indonesia 1.5
    • National flora 1.6
    • National fauna 1.7
  • Unofficial national symbols 2
    • National personification of Indonesia 2.1
    • Nusantara (Indonesian archipelago) 2.2
    • National costume 2.3
    • National monuments 2.4
    • National culture 2.5
    • National dish 2.6
  • References 3

Official national symbols

The statue of Garuda Pancasila, displayed at Ruang Kemerdekaan (Independence Room) in National Monument (Monas), Jakarta.

Official national symbols of Indonesia are national symbols of Indonesia that represent Indonesian nationhood. These symbols are recognized as official symbols that represent Republic of Indonesia and usually displayed in Indonesian government institution buildings, Indonesian embassies, Indonesian passport, or held by Indonesian representatives in international events, such as diplomatic or sporting events. These national symbols are enforced through Indonesian laws. The Constitution of Indonesia 1945 Chapter XV specifies the flag, official language, coat of arms, and national anthem of Indonesia.[1] The Indonesian law No. 24 year 2009 mentioned about the Indonesian flag, Indonesian language, national emblem of Indonesia, and national anthem of Indonesia.[2]

National emblem of Indonesia

Bhinneka Tunggal Ika written in black text, which can be loosely translated as "Unity in Diversity". Garuda Pancasila was designed by Sultan Hamid II from Pontianak, supervised by Sukarno.

National motto

Bhinneka Tunggal Ika is the official national motto of Indonesia. The phrase is Old Javanese translated as "Unity in Diversity,".[4] It is inscribed in the Indonesian national symbol, Garuda Pancasila (written on the scroll gripped by the Garuda's claws), and is mentioned specifically in article 36A of the Constitution of Indonesia.

It is a quotation from an Old Javanese poem Kakawin Sutasoma, written by Mpu Tantular during the reign of the Majapahit empire sometime in the 14th century. Kakawin contains epic poems written in metres. This poem is notable as it promotes tolerance between Hindus (Shivaites) and Buddhists.[5]

Flag of Indonesia

The national flag of Indonesia, which is known as Merah-Putih ("The Red-and-White") in Indonesian,[6] is based on the banner of the 13th century Majapahit Empire in East Java. The flag itself was introduced and hoisted in public at the Indonesian Independence Day ceremony, on 17 August 1945. The design of the flag has remained the same ever since.

National anthem of Indonesia

Indonesia Raya is the national anthem of the Republic of Indonesia. The song was introduced by its composer, Wage Rudolf Supratman, on 28 October 1928 during the Second Indonesian Youth Congress in Batavia.[7] The song marked the birth of the all-archipelago nationalist movement in Indonesia that supported the idea of one single "Indonesia" as successor to the Dutch East Indies, rather than split into several colonies.

National language of Indonesia

Indonesian language (Indonesian: Bahasa Indonesia) is the official language of Indonesia. The function of Indonesian language is as the national identity, national pride, and unifying language among diverse Indonesian ethnic groups, and also serves as communication vehicle among Indonesian provinces and different regional cultures in Indonesia.[2]

National flora

There are three categories of floral emblem that symbolize Indonesia:

  1. National flower (Indonesian: Puspa bangsa) of Indonesia is Melati putih (Jasminum sambac)[8]
  2. Flower of charm (Indonesian: Puspa pesona) is Anggrek Bulan (Moon Orchid) (Phalaenopsis amabilis))[9]
  3. Rare flower (Indonesian: Puspa langka) is Padma Raksasa Rafflesia (Rafflesia arnoldii). All three were chosen on World Environment Day in 1990.[10] On the other occasion Bunga Bangkai (Titan arum) was also added as puspa langka together with Rafflesia.

In addition, Indonesia also recognized Teak as the national tree.

National fauna

Indonesian animal emblems are Indonesian endemic fauna that gain the status as national animal symbol that represent Indonesia and describe Indonesian biodiversity. Today there are three animals that gained the status as Indonesian animal emblems:

  1. National animal (Indonesian: Satwa bangsa) of Indonesia is Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis)
  2. Rare animal also National bird (Indonesian: Satwa langka) is Javan Hawk-eagle (Nisaetus bartelsi)
  3. Animal of charm (Indonesian: Satwa pesona) is Asian Arowana (Scleropages aureus and Scleropages legendrei)

Next to national animal symbols, there are also more specific provincial animals emblems that represent each respective provinces of Indonesia.

Unofficial national symbols

Other than national symbols that officially represent Indonesia and enforced through law, there are also other symbols or icons that widely accepted to describes or represents Indonesia. It might derived from Indonesian monuments, the popular architectural landmarks of Indonesia, or it might be some of popular aspects of Indonesian culture.

National personification of Indonesia

Ibu Pertiwi (English: Mother Prithvi or Mother Earth)[11] is a national personification of Indonesia, the allegory of Tanah Air (Indonesian: land and water), the Indonesian Motherland. Ibu Pertiwi is a popular theme in Indonesian patriotic songs and poems and was mentioned in several of them, such as the song "Ibu Pertiwi" and "Indonesia Pusaka" . In the national anthem "Indonesia Raya" the lyrics "Jadi pandu ibuku" ("Become the scout/guide for my mother") is a reference to Ibu Pertiwi as the mother of Indonesian people.

Nusantara (Indonesian archipelago)

Nusantara is an Indonesian word for the Indonesian archipelago.[12] It is originated from Old Javanese "Nusa" and "Antara". "Nusa" literally means Island and "Antara" literally means "between". It is named like that because Indonesian archipelago is located between two continents (Asia and Australia) and two oceans (Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean)[13] The map of Indonesian archipelago often used to symbolize Indonesia, especially Indonesian territory.

National costume

Batik, Kebaya and Songket are the most widely recognized Indonesian national costumes. These traditional costumes represent Indonesia and are derived from Indonesian culture and Indonesian traditional textile traditions. National costumes are worn during official national functions as well as during traditional ceremonies. The most obvious display of Indonesian national costumes can be seen by the type of costumes worn by President of Indonesia and Indonesian first lady, and also by Indonesian diplomatic officials during gala dinners. The national costumes of Indonesia are also worn by guests attending Indonesian traditional wedding ceremonies.

National monuments

If Cambodia have Angkor Wat, India have Taj Mahal and China have their Great Wall, Indonesia could easily refer to Borobudur as its own unique landmark and monument designated as national symbol. An important architectural wonder and also World Heritage site recognized by UNESCO. However the monument that represent Indonesian nationhood is actually the Monas in Central Jakarta, although today it is mostly associated with the capital Jakarta instead. Other ancient temple of Prambanan also might be used as national symbol, although often overshadowed by Borobudur.

Other vernacular architectural features that often used to describe Indonesia are pagoda like multi-tiered Meru roof of Balinese temples, and traditional houses such as Minangkabau's Rumah Gadang and Torajan's Tongkonan.

National culture

Some of traditional Indonesian culture, artworks, artforms, and traditions are often widely recognized and promoted to represent Indonesia. Some of popular Indonesian artforms are Balinese dance, Wayang, Gamelan and Keris. Although some might be shared with culturally similar neighboring country such as Malaysia, for example keris is also can be found in Malaysian and Brunei culture.

National dish

For the culturally and ethnically diverse nation such as Indonesia, the national dishes are not just staple, popular or ubiquitous dishes such as Nasi Goreng[14] or Gado-gado.[15] It may also be considered as the dishes that transcend cultural and ethnics differences, yet still retain common Indonesian cuisine traits. It has to be able to cross boundaries of diverse Indonesian culture and ethnic groups. As a result, it is impossible to nominate a single national dish of Indonesia. Sate[16] and Soto[17] are good examples of Indonesian national dishes, since there is no singular satay or soto recipes. Both dishes have myriad variations and recipes and are adopted regionally across Indonesia.


  1. ^ Republic of Indonesia. "Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia". Wikisource. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Undang-undang Republik Indonesia Nomor 24 Tahun 2009 2009 Tentang Bendera, Bahasa, dan Lambang Negara, serta Lagu Kebangsaan". Badan Pengembangan dan Pembinaan Bahasa, Kementerian Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  3. ^ "State Emblem". Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  4. ^ Santoso, Soewito Sutasoma, a Study in Old Javanese Wajrayana 1975:578. New Delhi: International Academy of Culture
  5. ^
  6. ^ "National Flag, Coat of Arms, Anthem". Embassy of Indonesia, Oslo, Norway. 01-05-2007. Archived from the original on 2007-10-19. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  7. ^ "Indonesia - Indonesia Raya". Retrieved 2011-11-27. 
  8. ^ National, Native and Popular Flower of Indonesia
  9. ^ "ASEAN National Flowers". ASEAN. Retrieved 2007-06-08. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ Yayasan Kemanusiaan Ibu Pertiwi YKIP
  12. ^ Echols, John M.; Shadily, Hassan (1989), Kamus Indonesia Inggris (An Indonesian-English Dictionary) (6th edition ed.), Jakarta: Gramedia,  
  13. ^ Friend, T. (2003). Indonesian Destinies. Harvard University Press. p. 601.  
  14. ^ "Nasi Goreng: Indonesia's mouthwatering national dish". Retrieved 2010-07-05. 
  15. ^ "National Dish of Indonesia Gado Gado". Retrieved 2010-07-05. 
  16. ^ "Indonesian food recipes: Satay". Retrieved 2010-07-05. 
  17. ^ "A Soto Crawl". Eating Asia. Retrieved 2010-07-05. 
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