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Sultanate of Brunei, Negara Brunei Darussalam

Last modified: 2024-06-08 by zachary harden
Keywords: brunei | sultanate of brunei | brunei darussalam | arms | crescent |
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[Brunei] 1:2 | stripes 17+15 | image by Zoltan Horvath, 25 April 2024
Flag adopted 29th September 1959, coat-of-arms adopted 1932

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From the Brunei Government Official Website:

The rectangular shaped State flag of four components portions —two parallelograms and two trapeziums— is cut across by a parallelogram from a point 2.1/2" [6.35 cm] below the top left corner to a point of the same distance from the bottom corner on the right side. The standard measures 72" [182.88 cm] long by 36" [91.44 cm] wide. The parallelogram dividing the rectangle in this manner leaves two similar trapeziums at the top and bottom of the flag, with the lower trapezium assuming the inverted form of the upper trapezium. The parallelogram is again divided into two parallelograms of unequal depths, the upper being one inch [2.54 cm] wider that the lower which is 7.1/2" [19.05 cm] width.

The center of the flag is superimposed by the State crest [i.e. coat-of-arms] in red. The forefingers of the upright arms, which support the red crest, are equidistant at 61 cm from the left and right sides of the flag. (...)

Four colours are incorporated in the flag, red for the crest, yellow for the trapeziums, white for the upper parallelogram and black for the lower parallelogram.

Mark Sensen, 9 November 1997 and Dov Gutterman, 6 March 1999

Album des Pavillons 2000, page BR 2.1, says the usage is civil and state flag on land, civil ensign on vessels () and (I guess naval) jack. Smith 1980 designates it as but probably since then the use on land has changed and the blue state ensign has been introduced.
Željko Heimer
, 30 March 2001

The protocol manual for the London 2012 Olympics (Flags and Anthems Manual London 2012) provides recommendations for national flag designs. Each NOC was sent an image of the flag, including the PMS shades, for their approval by LOCOG. Once this was obtained, LOCOG produced a 60 x 90 cm version of the flag for further approval. So, while these specs may not be the official, government, version of each flag, they are certainly what the NOC believed the flag to be. For Brunei: PMS 102 yellow, 032 red and black. The vertical version is simply the flag turned through 90 degrees clockwise.
Ian Sumner, 10 October 2012

Construction Sheet

[Construction Sheet (Brunei)] image by Gvido Petersons and Željko Heimer

Album des Pavillons 2000, page BR 2.1, shows the same construction data as the Brunei Government official website (from which there is an extract on FOTW).

Željko Heimer, 30 March 2001


[Ed. note: There is no government source that gives exact colors of the national flag; these are all approximate colors from these documented sources]

Other sources for colors: The Flag Manual - Beijing 2008 gives PMS 032 (red), PMS 109 (yellow), and PMS Black.

The Album des Pavillons 2000 [pay00] (Corr. No. 6.) gives approximate colors in Pantone and CMYK systems: Blue: Pantone 287c, CMYK 100-70-0-10 Yellow: Pantone 116c, CMYK 0-10-95-0 Red: Pantone 186c, CMYK 0-90-80-5 Green: Pantone 347c, CMYK 100-0-80-10

Flags and Anthems Manual London 2012 [loc12] gives PMS 102 (yellow), PMS 032 (red), and PMS Black.

The Album des Pavillons 2023 already specifies the colors of the flags in three color systems. Blue 287c, CMYK 100-84-26-6, RGB 0-53-128 Red 186c, CMYK 14-100-79-4, RGB 200-16-46 Yellow 116c, CMYK 0-21-93-0, RGB 255-204-0 Green 347c, CMYK 81-12-76-1, RGB 22-155-98
Zoltan Horvath, 25 April 2024

Proportion of the Stripes

In Flaggenbuch 1939, the difference in height between the two stripes [in the 1906-1959 flag] is a bit larger than in the current flag. In Flaggenbuch 1939 the width ratio of both stripes is 0.75.
Ivan Sache
, 12 and 23 January 2000

[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

There are a number of references to the white being wider than the black:

According to Grosvenor and Showalter in National Geographic 1934, "white is the colour of the Chief Minister of State, the Duli Pengiran Bendahara, and black represents the Second Minister, the Duli Pengiran Pemancha". Perhaps the First Minister was entitled to a broader stripe than the Second Minister?
David Prothero
, 24 January 2000

The white/black diagonal stripes [on the 1906-1959 flag] proportion was 17:15 (currently 1:1) [sic]. Source: Crampton 1985, p. 80.
Nozomi Kariyasu
, 21 June 2000

The current flag does not have 1:1 stripes. At least, according to the Brunei Government Official Website, the white stripe is 19.05 + 2.54 = 21.59 cm (i.e. 8.5") and the black one 19.05 cm (i.e. 7.5") which makes the ratio 17:15 — the figure attributed by Nozomi Kariyasu to the 1906-1959 flag.
Santiago Dotor
, 26 December 2000

The same explanation ["white is the colour of the Chief Minister of State, the Duli Pengiran Bendahara, and black represents the Second Minister, the Duli Pengiran Pemancha"] is given by (for example) Crampton, Znamierowski and Poels (and is used by myself on my own specification sheet), however, there is also the addition that "(with the addition of yellow symbolizing the ruler) these were the signatories of the Treaty with Britain in 1906". On the other hand, an official publication entitled "The National Flag of Brunei Darussalam" dated 3 August 1999 deletes any symbolism for the colours and concentrates entirely on the arms added in 1959.

This leads me to suggest that the meaning of the colours given above is accurate as to why the colours were chosen in 1906, and since this significance has (apparently) not be replaced by newer version, that the explanation remains valid.

Christopher Southworth, 17 March 2004


[Coat-of-Arms (Brunei)]image by Zoltan Horvath, 25 April 2024
Coat-of-arms adopted 1932

From the Brunei Government Official Website:

The National Crest of Brunei Darussalam has developed from a Royal emblem and in its original form still maintains its status as one of the Royal emblems. The present National Crest was superimposed on the National flag after promulgation of the 1959 Brunei Constitution. The crest consists of:
Bendera: the flag
Payung Ubor-Ubor: the Royal Umbrella
The Bendera and Payung Ubor-Ubor have been Royal regalia's since the creation of the crest.
Sayap: the wing of four feathers
Symbolizes the protection of justice, tranquility, prosperity and peace.
Tangan or Kimhap: the hand
Signifies the Government's pledge to promote welfare, peace and prosperity.
Bulan: the crescent
The symbol of Islam, the national religion of Brunei Darussalam. The characters inscribed on the crescent (...) in yellow Arabic script is the state motto, which can be roughly translated: "Always Render Service with God's Guidance".(...)

The scroll beneath the crest reads "Brunei Darussalam" which means "Brunei, the abode of peace".

Mark Sensen, 9 November 1997 and Dov Gutterman, 6 March 1999

Unidentified Flags

Lots of unidentified flags in this Brunei National Day 23rd February 2000 webpage.
Gvido Petersons
, 14 December 2000

These are many flags used by the military forces in the country.
Zachary Harden, 12 August 2023