Emblem of Malaysia


Emblem of Malaysia

infobox coat of arms
name = National Emblem/Coat of Arms of Malaysia
"Jata Negara" ms icon



image_width = 250
year_adopted = 1948 for the Federation of Malaya.
middle =
middle_width =
middle_caption =
armiger =
shield = Equal divisions of four topped by single row of five "kris"es, sided by a Pinang palm along with the Penang Bridge to the left and a Malacca tree to the right, and based on divisions containing the state arms of Sabah and Sarawak and a hibiscus.
crest = Yellow crescent and yellow 14-pointed "federal star".
supporters = Two rampant tigers.
other_elements = Motto written as "Bersekutu Bertambah Mutu" (Unity is Strength) in Malay and Jawi.
earlier_versions =
use =
The National Emblem of Malaysia ("Jata Negara" in Malay), or the Coat of Arms of Malaysia, comprises five major elements: a shield (as the escutcheon), two tigers (as supporters), a yellow crescent and a yellow 14-pointed star (as the crest or helm), and a banner (as the motto). As the Malaysian emblem descended from the coat of arms of the Federated Malay States (FMS) during British colonial rule, the current design of the Malaysian arms bears numerous elements of Western heraldry.

Design

The National Emblem of Malaysia consists of a shield guarded by two supporters as rampant tigers. The shield is topped by a crest or helm consisting of a yellow crescent with a 14-pointed "federal star", and includes a motto, depicted as a banner, at the bottom.

Crest or helm (crescent and federal star)

The yellow colour of the crest or helm, a crescent and a 14-pointed federal star, symbolises the country's monarchy. The crescent also represents Islam as the official religion while the federal star represents the thirteen states and the Federal Territories of Malaysia.

Originally, the fourteen-pointed star represented the original fourteen states of Malaysia, which included Singapore. It was not changed when Singapore left the federation, but it has generally been accepted that the 14th point represents the Federal Territories.

Escutcheon (shield)

The escutcheon, represented by a shield, is primarily intended to serve as a representation of states unified under the Malaysian federation, and is subdivided into ten divisions.

The upper portion of the shield is entirely occupied by a single red field containing five "kris"es, which represent the five former Unfederated Malay States, namely Johore, Terengganu, Kelantan, Kedah and Perlis. In the middle of the shield, below the row of "kris"es, are 4 coloured divisions in red, black, white and yellow fields that symbolise the Federated Malay States. The permutations of the colours red, black, white and yellow make up the colors of these states' flags. Red, black and yellow are for Negeri Sembilan; black and white for Pahang; black, white and yellow for Perak; and red and yellow for Selangor.

The remaining divisions contain insignias of the four remaining states. The Pinang palm along with the Penang Bridge on the left represents Penang while the "Malacca" tree on the right of the shield identifies Malacca. At the three center divisions of the shield's bottom, Sabah's coat of arms is included to the left while Sarawak's coat of arms is included to the right.

The hibiscus flower between the coats of arms of Sabah and Sarawak is the national flower of Malaysia.

Supporters (tigers)

The two rampant tigers supporting the shield are traditional Malay symbols. They are retained from the earlier armorial ensign of the Federation of Malaya, and prior to that of the Federated Malay States. They symbolise strength and courage.

Motto (banner)

The motto of the arms, located below the shield, consists of a banner with the phrase "Unity is Strength" ("Bersekutu Bertambah Mutu")cite web |url=http://www.gov.my/MYGOV/BI/Directory/Government/AboutMsianGov/MsianFlagAndCrest/ |title=Malaysian Flag and Coat of Arms|accessdate=2008-08-06 |author= |date= |publisher=The Malaysia Government's Official Portal ] cite web |url=http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/Flags/my).html |title=Coat-of-Arms (Malaysia)|accessdate=2008-08-06 |author=Ian Macdonald |date=2007-07-28 |publisher=CRW Flags ] written in both romanized Malay and Jawi. The original English words were replaced by Jawi some time after independence.

History

Federated Malay States and Malayan Union

The origins of the Malaysian coat of arms can be traced to the formation of the Federated Malay States (FMS) under the colonial rule of the United Kingdom. In conjunction with the introduction of the flag of the Federated Malay States in 1895, the FMS coat of arms was adopted and remained in use from 1895 to the formation of the Federation of Malaya in 1948.

The arms, like its modern successors, included a shield, two tigers, and a banner, but depicts a crown on the helm, representing the British Imperial Crown as the symbol of the FMS under the United Kingdom. The shield's design was also significantly simpler; as the FMS consists of only four states, the shield encompassed a quarterly "party per cross" division representing the colours of the flag of the four FMS (in the same way the flag of the FMS represents the states, and the colours in the modern Malaysian arm represents the same states). The motto was also originally written in Jawi as "Dipelihara Allah" (Under God's (Allah) Protection) flanked by two eight-pointed stars.

While the establishment of the Malayan Union in 1946 brought about the merging of the FMS with seven additional states from the Unfederated Malay States and the Straits Settlements (excluding Singapore), the FMS arms remained in use unchanged as the Union's coat of arms for two years before the Union's desolation.

Federation of Malaya

The founding of the Federation of Malaya in 1948 led to a revision of the arms. Among the changes were a more complete representation the 11 states of the federation on the shield (where new partitions containing insignias of the additional states added over and beside the original FMS party per cross design), the replacement of the helm's crown with a yellow crescent and a 11-pointed federal star (symbols representing the 11 states that were derived from the flag of the Federation of Malaya). The original Jawi motto was also replaced with "Unity is Strength" in both English and Jawi.

At the point of adoption, the shield includes the existing FMS insignias, as well as five additional "kris"es representing the Unfederated Malay States, and the insignias of the Straits Settlements of Penang and Malacca, both derived from their Straits Settlements-era arms (the Prince of Wales's feathers, crenellation and waves from the Penangite coat of arms, and the surviving gate of "A Famosa" from the Malaccan coat of arms).

Federation of Malaysia

The arms was given a second amendment after the formation of Malaysia, with the admission of Singapore and the Borneo states of North Borneo (Sabah) and the Colony of Sarawak in 1963. The increase in the federation's number of states resulted in the modification of FMS' original party per cross layout into a single row of four panels to support the three new member states at the bottom, and the widening of the shield. The tigers were redesigned to assume different positions of limbs (front limbs reaching over and behind the shield, and rear limbs reaching over the motto and the shield), and minor adjustments were also made on the appearance of the banner and the length of the crescent, while the 11-pointed federal star was updated to include 14 points. In tandem with the declaration of Malay as Malaysia's national language, the English motto was replaced with a Malay counterpart.

The three new divisions at the bottom of the shield originally represented, from left to right, Sabah, Singapore and Sarawak, and would remain so following the expulsion of Singapore in 1965 until a third modification of the arms in 1973. Singapore was originally represented by a white crescent and a pentagon of five small white five-pointed stars against a red field, all of which were derived from the shield of its state coat of arms. By 1973, a hibiscus was added in place of Singapore's insignia.

At the time of the arm's 1963 revision, the arms received an additional change on Malacca's colonial "A Famosa" insignia, which was replaced by a Malacca tree. Other state insignias would follow suit when the arms was modified in the following years, in an effort to eliminate remaining colonial connotations and suggestive symbols of non-Islamic religions. Penang's Prince of Wales's feathers and crenellation were gradually replaced, by first substituting the feathers with a Pinang palm and, later, the crenellation with the Penang Bridge (which was constructed and completed during the 1980s). Sarawak's insignia of its pre-1963 cross-and-crown arms was replaced by its more current hornbill-based state arms; similarly, Sabah, which was originally represented by only its flag held up by a pair of arms from its pre-1963 state coat of arms, was revised to fully feature its current state arms in entirety.

A later revision also resulted in a more realistic and aggressive appearance of the tigers.

References

ee also

*List of Malaysian coats of arms


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