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British colonies in Southeast Asia

Last modified: 2003-04-26 by
Keywords: southeast asia | malaya | malaysia | brunei | singapore |
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British colonies in Southeast Asia

The principal British colonies southeast Asia included Malaya, Singapore, Straits Settlement, Brunei, North Borneo, Sarawak, and Labuan.

Governor General's flag

1946 pattern

[Southeast Asia Governor General flag] by Zeljko Heimer, 25 March 2003

1953 pattern

[Southeast Asia Governor General flag] by Zeljko Heimer, 3 January 2003

I found the following information in Anne Thurston's Sources for Colonial Studies in the Public Record Office. Malcolm MacDonald was appointed a governor-general in May 1946 covering the Malayan Union, Singapore, and Brunei, extended later to Sarawak and North Borneo. There was also a special commissioner, Lord Killearn, who conducted foreign affairs in a region that included Burma, Thailand, Indo-China and Netherlands East Indies. In May 1948 these two posts were combined and MacDonald became commissioner-general for the United Kingdom in South East Asia, with the same responsibilities towards the Federation of Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak and North Borneo as he had had, as governor-general. Brunei now had a high commissioner who was also governor of Sarawak. In September 1955 he was succeeded by Sir Robert Scott, and 'responsibilities declined during the 1950's'. I presume that this is a reference to the independence, in August 1957, of the Federation of Malaya, which had its own monarchy and would not have needed a governor-general. At a guess, the post came to an end in September 1963 when Sarawak, Sabah (North Borneo) and Singapore merged with Malaya to form the Federation of Malaysia. So it seems reasonable to date the flag 1946-1963(?).

David Prothero, 16, 18 and 28 January 2000

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