The Brunei Crest

Most people know that our national flag is a recent creation. I have written about our flag's history a few times in the past as well as published articles in the papers. The last time I wrote about the flag was last year which you can read here on this link.

So our 103 year old flag was given the crest soon after the written constitution and hence the red crest appearing on our flag. I was reading more about the history of the crest and interestingly enough the red crest that is on the Brunei flag is much older than the flag itself.

According to a 1972 Brunei Museum publication about the history of the crest, the crest has its origin as far back as Sultan Sharif Ali, the third Sultan around the early 15th century. It was not known whether he brought it from his country or whether it was created here in Brunei. Some sources also indicated that the crest had Chinese influence.

However it was Sultan Hassan, the 9th Sultan who made the mast for the crest. Again not much is known about the crest. But the first known appearance was in the 18th century when British writers first wrote about flags flying in front of the Sultan's palaces.

One of the first known appearance of the crest is on the coin duing the reign of Sultan Abdul Momin. The coin known as the pitis had the crest and surprisingly that drawing on the coin was drawn by a Chinese named Chua Chong Hee.

It was the latter day Sultans which made the crest more like what it is today. The original crest had the mast, the wings, the umbrella and the small flag. Later the crescent was added on. You can see this in many old wooden government buildings and even in the 1959 $1 note I wrote about two days ago. But soon after the scroll and the hands were added on and by 1961 in the $10 note, the whole modern crest appeared.


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