The national flag of Brunei was adopted on September 29, 1959, when the country was a British protectorate and was retained when the country gained full independence on January 1, 1984, as Brunei Darussalam (the State of Brunei, Abode of Peace). The flag has the Coat of Arms of Brunei in the centre, on a yellow field. The field is cut by black and white diagonal stripes, although they are officially called parallelograms.
The coat of arms is as follows: a crescent (symbolising Islam) joined with a parasol (symbolising monarchy), and two gloves on both sides. Below the crescent is a ribbon. On the crescent and ribbon are Arabic inscriptions translating as "State of Brunei, Abode of peace" and Brunei's motto, "Always in service with God's guidance."
In Southeast Asia, yellow is traditionally the colour of royalty, and the royal standards of Malaysia and Thailand, along with the presidential flag of Indonesia, also use a yellow field.
Black and white stripes represent Brunei's chief ministers, and yellow represents the Sultan of Brunei. The national emblem was placed in the centre in 1959. A similar version of this flag, without the coat of arms, was first used in 1906. The coat of arms bears a crescent symbolic of the Islamic faith, and the central mast is a symbol of the state. The flag and umbrella are symbols of royalty, and the upturned hands signify the benevolence of the government. The Arabic motto on the crescent translates as Always render service by God's guidance. Below it, a scroll bears the inscription Brunei Darussalam, the country's official title, meaning City of Peace.
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