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Malay Flag 1905-1950 (Malaysia)

Federated Malay States 1895-1946, Malay Union 1946-1948, Malay Federation 1948-1950

Last modified: 2023-07-03 by
Keywords: federated malay states | malay union | malay federation | tiger | oval (white) | quartered: saltire |
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[Malay Flag 1905-1950 (Malaysia)] 1:2
by Mario Fabretto

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In 1895 a first Malay federation under a British protectorate was founded (including the four sultanates Peraq, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, and Pahang). In 1905 a flag was introduced: horizontally white-red-yellow-black (each colour stands for one state, in the order listed here); in the center a lying oval in white with a running tiger. Source: National Geographic 1917.

In 1946 other sultanates joined, and the Malay Union was founded, and two years later (1948) it was renamed the Malay Federation. In 1950 a new flag was introduced.

Jan Oskar Engene, 24 June 1996

In 1946 the British decided to do away with the pretence of protectorates and constitute the whole of Malaya / Singapore as a Crown Colony called the Union of Malaya. Very bad move, since face is all in the East. The Malayan Federation in 1948 restored the sultanates as protectorates within a federation with a High Commissioner. Penang, Malacca and Singapore were of course still sovereign British territory but were Settlements within the federation, with Resident Commissioners.

Andrew Yong, 13 November 1999

Flaggenbuch 1939 labels this flag Flagge der Bundesregierungfahrzeuge i.e. federal government vessels ensign.

Santiago Dotor, 28 December 2000


[Jack 1939 (Federated Malay States)]
by Ivan Sache

According to Flaggenbuch 1939, the Federated Malay States used for jack a 1:2 divided per saltire flag, with white, red, black and yellow quarters (the four colours of the national flag).

Ivan Sache, 12 January 2000

Federated Malay States' Chief Secretary

I have read that the Federated Malay States' Chief Secretary, was entitled to a defaced Union Jack. Usual white disc surrounded by a green laurel-leaf garland, but no indication of the form of the badge on the disc. My guess is that it was probably the running tiger that appeared on the ensign of the Federated Malay States. Can anyone confirm this or suggest an alternative possibility?

David Prothero, 3 December 1998

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