World Civic Heraldry Guide: coats of arms and flags of cities, regions, states
Indonesia, coat of arms
The Indonesian coat of arms consists of a golden eagle; called "garuda" that is a figure from ancient Indonesian epics. It is also pictured on many temples from the 6th Century. The eagle is a symbol of creative energy. Its principal color, gold, suggests the greatness of the nation. The black color represents nature. There are 17 feathers on each wing, 8 on the tail and 45 on the neck. These figures stand for the date of Indonesia's independence proclamation: 17 August 1945.
The motto, "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika" (Unity in Diversity), is enshrined on a banner held in the eagle's talons. Empu Tantular, a saint of the Majapahit Kingdom introduced this old Javanese motto, in the 15th century. It signifies the unity of the Indonesian people despite their diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
The shield symbolizes self-defense in struggle and protection of oneself. The red and white colors on the shield's background denote the colors of the Indonesian national flag. The five symbols on the shield represent the state philosophy of Pancasila, the foundation of the Indonesian state.
The bar across the center indicates the equator, which passes through the islands of Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Halmahera. This is a reminder of the fact that the Republic of Indonesia is the only tropical country in which the people have built a free and sovereign state by their own hands.
The golden star on the black background in the center of the shield represents the first principle of Pancasila, belief in the One and Only God. The chain symbolizes successive human generations. The round links represent women and the square ones men. It is the symbol of the second principle, just and civilized humanity. The "beringin," or banyan tree, symbolizes the third principle, the unity on Indonesia. The head of the "banteng", or wild bull (Bos Javanicus), which is black on a red background, represents the fourth principle, democracy guided by the inner wisdom in the unanimity arising out of deliberations amongst representatives. The fifth principle, social justice for the whole of the people of Indonesia, is symbolized by the gold and white paddy and cotton ears.
(Indonesian Embassy in China, www.indonesianembassy-china.com)
adopted (dd.mm.yyyy): 1950
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