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Historical Flags (Brunei)

Sultanate of Brunei, Brunei Darussalam

Last modified: 2023-06-10 by zachary harden
Keywords: brunei | sultanate | darussalam | historical | high commissioner brunei | czech-like flag |
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Flag until c.1906

[Brunei until c.1906] 1:2 image by Ivan Sache

According to Sarawak Long Ago by W.J. Chater, Published by the Borneo Literature Bureau in 1969, "Yellow was the royal colour of Borneo".

Caroline Christina Teo, 6 March 1998

Brunei had became a British protectorate in 1886 — which flag was used between 1886 and 1906?

Ivan Sache, 12 January 2000

Prior to c.1906 the plain yellow flag was used in Brunei which represents Brunei's Sultan.

Nozomi Kariyasu, 14 January 2000

Flag c.1906-1959

[Brunei c.1906-1959] 1:2 image by Ivan Sache
Flag adopted 1906, abolished 29th September 1959

According to Dorling-Kindersley 1997, "a similar version of this [national] flag without the coat of arms was first used in 1906". This flag is shown in Flaggenbuch 1939, but not really like the current national flag without the coat-of-arms. In Flaggenbuch 1939 the white stripe reaches the upper left corner of the flag and the black stripe reaches the lower right corner. The difference in height between the two stripes is also a bit larger than in the current flag. In Flaggenbuch 1939 the width ratio of both stripes is 0.75, roughly reproduced in my image.

Ivan Sache, 12 and 23 January 2000

The flag without coat-of-arms was used between 1906 and September 29th 1959. [The image in Flaggenbuch 1939] is correct. I have a colour photocopy of the flag taken from U.K. Admiralty old book [Editor's note: probably Flags of All Nations 1955 or a previous edition].

Nozomi Kariyasu, 14 January 2000

The white/black diagonal stripes on yellow background without the current coat-of-arms but the stripes proportion was 17:15 (currently 1:1). [?]

Nozomi Kariyasu, 21 June 2000

High Commissioner Brunei c.1948-c.1959

Circa 1950 the High Commissioner's flag was the Union Flag with a badge of white circle charged with a red small flag supported by bird feather just like the one in the center part of the current Brunei coat-of-arms.

Nozomi Kariyasu, 14 January 2000

This one is not reported in the British colonial ensigns section of Flaggenbuch 1939, which says, "The Governor of the Straits Settlements is also High Commissioner of the Malay States and Brunei".

Ivan Sache, 15 January 2000

This arrangement came to an end with the Japanese occupation and was not resumed after the Second World War, Straits Settlements being dissolved. I think that the badge, described in appendix IV to Campbell and Evans 1950 as a winged pylon topped by a flag was introduced c.1948 when the Governor of Sarawak was appointed High Commissioner for Brunei.

David Prothero, 15 January 2000

Although there was a British Resident in Brunei from 1906 until the Japanese occupation in 1941, there was no defaced Union Flag until c.1948-49 when the Governor of Sarawak was appointed High Commissioner for Brunei.

David Prothero, 27 December 2000

High Commissioner Brunei c.1959-1983

[Brunei High Commissioner c.1959-1983] image by Clay Moss, 29 August 2007

Between c.1955 and 1984 there was a High Commissioner Brunei's flag which was the Union Flag with a badge of white circle having a crown and black letters of H.C.B. with garland.

Nozomi Kariyasu, 14 January 2000

Amendment no.1 to Flags of All Nations BR 20 (2) 1958, which I think came out in 1961, replaced it [the previous badge] with a "Crown over H.C.B. on a white disc surrounded by a garland on the Union Flag". This was probably introduced 1959, when under a new agreement, Brunei was administratively separated from Sarawak, and a High Commissioner was appointed to be resident in Brunei. I guess that this continued to be used until 1983, when a new treaty between Britain and the Sultan, signed in 1979, came into force.

David Prothero, 15 January 2000

In 1959 Brunei was administratively separated from Sarawak and had a resident High Commissioner whose defaced Union Flag badge was a white disc with the letters H.C.B. beneath a royal crown. I do not know whether the resident High Commissioner was withdrawn in 1971 when Brunei ceased to be a protected state or 1983 when it became a fully sovereign independent state.

David Prothero, 27 December 2000

According to the April 1998 amendment of Longueville, the High Commissioner's flag (crown over H.C.B. on white disc) was used 1953 (not 1955) to 1984.

Nozomi Kariyasu, 29 December 2000

I corresponded with Rudi Longueville about this. It was changed but still wrong in the 1999 and 2000 editions, because of inaccurate information that I sent him, but should be correct in the next one.

David Prothero, 29 December 2000

Republican Rebellion Flag 1962

[Republican Rebellion Flag 1962 (Brunei)] image by Jaume Ollé and Santiago Dotor

The red over white with a blue triangle in the hoist appears to have been used for a republican rebellion in Brunei (circa 1970) which extended to Sarawak. In the 1960's a republican movement, with the support of Indonesia, used a flag in the same pattern as the Czech Republic, white over red, with the triangle in green.

Jaume Ollé, 9 June 1997

The Brunei rebellion was in 1962. I don't think the red, white and blue flag had anything to do with that, but it was certainly used as the Sarawak state flag within Malaysia until the early eighties.

Martin Laverty, 20 July 1998

I can confirm that the republican rebel flag in Brunei was in Czech pattern with green triangle. The blue triangle seems that was a colour error from TV or because the flag was adopted later. Tomás Rodríguez saw the original flag with a green triangle in a Scottish museum. It was also reported in the Enciclopedia Hispano Americana, Flaggenmitteilung and others.

Jaume Ollé, 10 April 1999