The Brunei Flag

A story about the difficulty of getting Brunei's flag to be flown during the British Residency era is not much known to us all. So I thought I will bring that story up.

When the British came back to Brunei in 1945, Brunei was placed under the British Military Administration (BMA). It was almost 2 years before the British Resident came back to Brunei. The British Resident, W.J. Peel, only flew the Union Jack flag in front of the main government office building, and to use the words from the book "Brunei Darussalam: The Road to Independence" written by our national historian, Pehin Jamil, and I quote 'as if he was the ruler of the country and the government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam was non-existent.'

Brunei's fledgling political party known as BARIP (Barisan Pemuda) or the Youth Front wrote to the Resident why the Brunei flag was not flown together with the British Union Jack. The British replied that he could not as the Brunei flag was unavailable because the material for the flag was unavailable.

BARIP members held an emergency meeting trying to obtain material for the flag. Remember this was immediately after the Second World War where shortages of any items were quite common. Money was collected and the Supply Depot was able to provide white, black and red clothes but there was insufficient yellow material. One member Pengiran Muda Abdul Kahar managed to get sufficient yellow material from his father Pengiran Pemanch Pengiran Anak Haji Mohd Yasin. The flag was immediately sewn by a tailor and rushed to the British Resident. A flag pole was also built to accomodate the new flag.

It was only then that the Brunei flag was flown everyday while the Union Jack was only flown when the British Resident was in the office.


Anonymous said…
Very interesting! Time to raise our flag ppl! Now where's that flag of mine? *hehe* =P

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