Flying the flag? Here are things you may not know about our Jalur Gemilang

NST Online

KUALA LUMPUR: It's August, which means Malaysia will soon celebrate its National Day. With Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad calling for more people to fly the Jalur Gemilang, many may not know as much as they should about our flag. "Bendera ku yang gagah perkasa Merah putih kuning biru warnanya Berkibar megah penuh bercahaya Pusaka kita rakyat Malaysia." For those familiar with this phrase, safe to say you probably sang the words out instead of just reading it, right? These lines are part of the 'Benderaku' song, composed by Tony Fonseka. It tells of a flag that is the pride of a nation, a symbol that will be defended no matter what. As we all know, the Jalur Gemilang first came about through a national competition launched in 1948. It was to be known first as the Federation of Malaya flag. The winning design came from Johorean Mohamed Hamzah. While the flag has gone through some changes from the time it was approved for use in 1950, the key elements from Mohamed's design remained. Spirited though we may be in celebrating our country's 61st national day that is just over two weeks away, it is important for us to familiarise ourselves with the dos and don'ts when it comes to how we treat the Jalur Gemilang.

It's August, which means Malaysia will soon celebrate its National Day.

Here are the 10 things you can (or cannot) do with our beloved flag: 10. CAN - every citizen has the right to fly the Jalur Gemilang, however it must be in accordance to the guideline given. The flag can also be flown all year round, and not just in August, as long as it is flown appropriately and respectfully. 9. CANNOT - if you're wearing a hat and you are in a situation where you have to stand in respect of the flag, you must not keep your hat on your head. Take the hat off and hold it over your left chest with your right hand. However, if you're wearing a songkok with a baju Melayu, there is no need to take the songkok off. All you have to do is stand straight with hands at your sides. 8. CAN - the flag can be used in various styles for the purpose of promoting National Day celebrations, as long as the creativity in use does not translate to insulting the flag. 7. CANNOT - it is not advisable to turn the Jalur Gemilang into clothes except during National Day month (August) and even then, the duration of use should be limited. 6. CAN - you can fly the Jalur Gemilang on your car but make sure it is done in such a way that will not endanger other road users, such as installing the flag on a long pole that is attached to your vehicle. 5. CANNOT - The Jalur Gemilang cannot be used in a manner that demeans the flag, for instance as tablecloth, hijab, umbrella, songkok, hat, towel, cushion cover etc. 4. CAN - the Jalur Gemilang can be used to cover coffins to honour those who served the country, including Malaysian ambassadors who pass away overseas, police and armed forces personnel who were killed in the line of duty, among others. 3. CANNOT - flying a shabby or a 'sick' flag is deemed inappropriate. 2. CAN - you can burn a 'sick' flag but it cannot be done in public. Because flags can't be thrown into the dustbin, burning a shabby flag is allowed as long as it is not done openly. 1. CANNOT - it is wrong to use the Jalur Gemilang as part of your company or product's logo unless you have a written permission from a minister. Take note that failure to obtain approval, you can be charged.Source: Information Department's Guide to Jalur Gemilang © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd