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Indonesia: Pentagons

Republik Indonesia

Last modified: 2007-05-27 by ian macdonald
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Pentagons commonly appear on Indonesian flags. The pentagon is a symbol of Pancasila, the national philosophy (in the past it was called national ideology), which consists of five principles. The word Pancasila itself means Five Principles/Five Bases Panca = five, sila = base/principle). It is not always a pentagon that is used to represent Pancasila's principles. In general, anything five-sided could be used to represent those principles. Another most common used emblem in Indonesian heraldry is a five-petaled jasmine flower, the national flower of Indonesia.
Sammy Kanadi, 13 September 2000

The Pancasila is also symbolised by the five parts of the coat-of-arms.

  • star in the center: belief in the one and only God (1st Sila)
  • chain: just and civilized humanity (2nd Sila)
  • banyan tree: the unity of Indonesia (3rd Sila)
  • head of the bull: democracy guided by the inner wisdom of deliberations of representatives (4rd Sila)
  • paddy and cotton ears:social justice for all the Indonesian people (5th Sila)

Source: Indonesia Handbook 1989
Mark Sensen, 14 September 2000

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