The flag of Indonesia is a simple bicolor of two equally-sized horizontal bands of Red (top) and white. The flag is almost identical to that of Monaco except for the ratio of its dimensions of the red and white.
The Indonesian flag was originally adopted on August 17, 1945, after Indonesia declared independence from the Netherlands in the aftermath of World War II. It was first hoisted on this date on Pengangsaan Timur street, Jakarta. The flag was once again hoisted in downtown Jakarta on this same date in 1950 as the Dutch made a formal transfer of administrative power to the newly independent country in 1949. Therefore, the flag was officially adopted on August 17, 1950 and the flag as remained unchanged.
The flag of Indonesia, a simple design of red and white stripes, has a long history. It was first associated with the Majapahit Empire, which flourished from the 13th to the 16th Century in eastern Java, and it incorporates the traditional color symbolism of red for courage and white for honesty. Some historians suggest that the red and white can be traced back even further to the ancient Austronesian mythologies that use red to represent Mother Earth and white to represent Father Sky. This belief is somewhat confirmed due to the presence of red and white in flags from Madagascar to Tahiti. Early in the 20th Century during the fights against Dutch rule, these colors were revived by independence advocates and they remain an important symbol for many in the country to this day.
Unofficially, the flag is called “Sang Saka Merah Putih”, meaning: “Noble red and white flag” or “lofty bicolor red and white”.
The flag of Indonesia is flown at half-mast on December 26 to remember the victims of the 2004 earthquake and tsunami, three days after the death of a government leader, and any other day of mourning designated by the Indonesian government.