REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA
World War II broke out in Europe and spread to the Pacific,
the Japanese occupied the Dutch East Indies as of March
1942, after the surrender of the Dutch colonial army following
the fall of Hong Kong, Manila and Singapore.
On April 1, 1945, American troops landed in Okinawa. Soon
after, on August 6 and 9, the United States dropped Atom
bombs on two Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
A few days later, on August 14, 1945, the Japanese surrendered
to the Allied Forces.
That occasion opened the opportunity for the Indonesian
people to proclaim their independence. Three days after
the unconditional Japanese surrender, on August 17, 1945,
the Indonesian national leaders Ir. Soekarno and Drs.
Mohammad Hatta proclaimed lndonesia's independence on
behalf of the people.
The proclamation was brief, concise and reads as follows:
WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDONESIA, DO HEREBY PROCLAIM
THE INDEPENDENCE OF INDONESIA
ALL MATTERS PERTAINING TO THE TRANSFER OF POWER,
WILL BE CARRIED OUT EXPEDIENTLY AND
IN THE SHORTEST POSSIBLE TIME.
JAKARTA, AUGUST 17, 1945
ON BEHALF OF THE INDONESIAN PEOPLE
proclamation, which took place at 58, Jalan Pegangsaan
Timur, Jakarta, was heard by thousands of Indonesians
throughout the country because the text was secretly broadcast
by Indonesian radio personnel using the transmitters of
the Japanese-controlled radio station, JAKARTA Hoso Kyoku.
An English translation of the proclamation was broadcast
Pancasila, pronounced Panchaseela, is the philosophical
basis of the Indonesian state. Pancasila consists of two
Sanskrit words, "panca" meaning five, and "sila"
It comprises five inseparable and interrelated principles.
IN THE ONE AND ONLY GOD
AND CIVILIZED HUMANITY
UNITY OF INDONESIA
GUIDED BY THE INNER WISDOM IN THE UNANIMITY
OUT OF DELIBERATIONS AMONGST REPRESENTATIVES
JUSTICE FOR THE WHOLE OF THE PEOPLE OF INDONESIA
of the five principles is as follows:
1. Belief in the One and Only God
This principle of Pancasila reaffirms the Indonesian people's,
belief that God does exist. It also implies that the Indonesian
people believe in life after death. It emphasizes that the
pursuit of sacred values will lead the people to a better
life in the hereafter.
The principle is embodied in article 29, Section 1 of the
1945 Constitution and reads: "The state shall be based
on belief in the One and Only God".
2. Just and Civilized Humanity
This principle requires that human beings be treated with
due regard to their dignity as God's creatures. It emphasizes
that Indonesian people do not tolerate physical or spiritual
oppression of human beings by their own people or by any
3. The Unity of Indonesia
This principle embodies the concept of nationalism, of love
for one's nation and motherland. It envisages the need to
always foster national unity and integrity. Pancasila nationalism
demands that Indonesians avoid superiority feelings on ethnical
grounds, for reasons of ancestry and color of the skin.
In 1928, Indonesian youth pledged to have one country, one
nation and one language, while the Indonesian coat of arms
enshrines the symbol of "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika"
which means "unity in diversity".
Social differences in daily life should never affect national
unity and integrity. Referring to this question, President
Soeharto once remarked: "What we should do is to have
these differences blend us together in perfect harmony like
the beautiful spectrum of the rainbow."
4. Democracy Guided by the Inner Wisdom in the Unanimity
Arising Out of
Deliberations Amongst Representatives
On this type of democracy, President Soeharto said: "The
democracy that we practice is Pancasila democracy of which
the basic principles and legal basis are laid down in the
1945 Constitution." Pancasila democracy calls for decision-making
through deliberations, or musyawarah, to reach a consensus,
or mufakat. It is democracy that lives up to the principles
of Pancasila. This implies that democratic right must always
be exercised with a deep sense of responsibility to God
Almighty according to one's own conviction and religious
belief, with respect for humanitarian values of man's dignity
and integrity, and with a view to preserving and strengthening
national unity and the pursuit of social justice.
5. Social Justice for the Whole of the People of
This principle calls for the equitable spread of welfare
to the entire population, not in a static but in a dynamic
and progressive way. This means that all the country's natural
resources and the national potentials should be utilized
for the greatest possible good and happiness of the people.
Social justice implies protection of the weak. But protection
should not deny their work. On the contrary, they should
work according to their abilities and fields of activity.
Protection should prevent willful treatment by the strong
and ensure the rule of justice.
These are the sacred values of Pancasila which, as a cultural
principle, should always be respected by every Indonesian
because it is now the ideology of the state and the life
philosophy of the Indonesian people.
Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia is usually referred
to as the 1945 Constitution. This is partly because the
constitution was drafted and adopted in 1945 when the Republic
was established, and partly to distinguish it from two other
constitutions which were introduced in free Indonesia. Furthermore,
the articles of the 1945 Constitution spell out the ideals
and the goals for which independence was proclaimed on August
17, 1945, and defended thereafter. It reflects the spirit,
and vigor of the time when the constitution was shaped.
It was inspired by the urge for unity and for the common
goals and democracy built upon the age-old Indonesian concepts
of gotong royong (mutual assistance), deliberations of representatives
(musyawarah) and consensus (mufakat).
Preceded by a preamble, the Constitution of the Republic
of Indonesia consists of 37 articles, four transitional
clauses and two additional provisions.
The preamble is composed of four paragraphs and includes
a condemnation of any form of colonialism in the world,
a reference to lndonesia's struggle for independence, a
declaration of independence and a statement of fundamental
goals and principles. It further states, inter alia, that
Indonesia's national independence shall be established in
the unitary state of the Republic of Indonesia with sovereignty
vested in the people. The State shall be based upon the
following philosophical principles: Belief in the One and
Only God, just and civilized humanity, the unity of Indonesia,
democracy guided by the inner wisdom of deliberations of
representatives, and social justice for all the Indonesian
Guided by these fundamental principles, the basic aims of
the state are to establish an Indonesian Government which
shall protect all the Indonesian people and their entire
motherland, advance the public welfare, develop the intellectual
life of the nation, and contribute towards the establishment
of a world order based on freedom, peace and social justice.
Indonesian national flag is called "Sang Saka Merah Putih."
As provided for in Article 35 of the 1945 Constitution, he flag
is made up of two colors, red on top of white. Its width is two-thirds
of its length, or two meters by three meters. It is hoisted in
front of the presidential palace, of government buildings and
Indonesian missions abroad. The first flag was courageously flown
amidst Japanese occupation forces on the day Indonesia's independence
was proclaimed. Since then it has been hoisted at independence
day commemorations in front of the presidential palace in the
capital city of Jakarta. This historical flag, or "bendera
pusaka," was flown for the last time on August 17, 1968.
Since then it has been preserved and replaced by a replica woven
of pure Indonesian silk.
The Indonesian coat of arms consists of a golden eagle,
called "GARUDA," that is a figure from ancient
Indonesian epics. It is also pictured on many temples from
the 6th Century.
The eagle is a symbol of creative energy. Its principal
color, gold, suggests the greatness of the nation. The black
color represents nature. There are 17 feathers on each wing,
8 on the tail and 45 on the neck. These figures stand for
the date of lndonesia's independence proclamation: 17 August,
The motto, "Bhinneka Tunggal lka" (Unity in Diversity),
is enshrined on a banner held in the eagle's talons. This
old Javanese motto was introduced by Empu Tantular, a saint
of the Majapahit Kingdom, in the 15th Century. It signifies
the unity of the Indonesian people despite their diverse
ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
The shield symbolizes self-defense in struggle or and protection
of oneself. The red and white colors on the shield's background
denote the colors of the Indonesian national flag. The five
symbols on the shield represent the state philosophy of
Pancasila, the foundation of the Indonesian state.
The bar across the center indicates the equator which passes
through the islands of Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and
Halmahera. This is a reminder of the fact that the Republic
of Indonesia is the only tropical country in which the people
have built a free and sovereign state by their own hands.
The golden star on the black background in the center of
the shield represents the first principle of Pancasila,
belief in the One and Only God. The chain symbolizes successive
human generations. The round links represent women and the
square ones men. It is the symbol of the second principle,
just and civilized humanity. The "beringin," or
banyan tree, symbolizes the third principal, the unity on
Indonesia. The head of the "banteng," or wild
bull (bos javanicus), which is black on a red background,
represents the fourth principle, democracy guided by the
inner wisdom of deliberations of representatives. The fifth
principle, social justice for all Indonesian people, is
symbolized by the gold and white paddy and cotton ears.
national anthem is "Indonesia Raya," which means
Great Indonesia. The song was composed in 1928. The colonial
policy of the day was "divide and rule." It was
a policy that deliberately aggravated language, ethnic,
cultural and religious differences amongst the people.
The birth of Indonesia Raya marked the beginning of Indonesian
nationalist movements. The song was first introduced by
its composer, Wage Rudolf Supratman, at the second All Indonesian
Youth Congress on October 28, 1928 in Batavia, now Jakarta.
It was the moment when Indonesian youth of different ethnic,
language, religious and cultural backgrounds resolutely
pledged allegiance to:
1. One native land, Indonesia;
2. One nation, the Indonesian nation;
3. One unifying language, the Indonesian language.
Soon the national song, which called for the unity of Indonesia,
became popular. It was echoed at Indonesian political rallies,
where people stood in solemn observance. The song seriously
aroused national consciousness among the people throughout
: "INDONESIA 1996 : AN OFFICIAL HANDBOOK",
Department of Information, Directorate of Foreign
Information Services, Perum Percetakan Negara RI,