Indonesian Flag: Reimagined

Few years ago i stumbled upon a TED talk by Roman Mars: “Why city flags may be the worst-designed thing you’ve never noticed”. In his TED talk, Mars shared “The five basic principles of flag design” which the principles consist of:

  • Keep It Simple. The flag should be so simple that a child can draw it from memory
  • Use Meaningful Symbolism
  • Use 2 or 3 Basic Colors
  • No Lettering or Seals
  • Be Distinctive or Be Related.

This is our flag:

It is simple, have deep symbolism (has been used since 600 years ago by the Majapahit Empire), using only 2 basic colors, uses no lettering and seals. The problem is: it’s not distinctive enough. It is identical with the flag of Monaco and looks awfully similar to the flag of Poland and Singapore. As the regional power and one of the most populous country in the world, Indonesia needs a more powerful flag that represents its identity as an emerging nation in Asia.

As a graphic designer who runs a small graphic design firm that helps the Indonesian organizations to make a beautiful and memorable visual identity. I tried to propose several new design alternatives for Indonesian flag that follows the “The five basic principles of flag design”.

Design No. 1:

Design No. 2:

Design No. 3:

Design No. 4:

Design No. 5:

As the fourth largest country (in terms of population) and the biggest country in the region, Indonesia does not have a distinct national visual identity other than the plain flag and the too-complicated coat-of-arms. Hope this helps to bring the debate of the necessity to strengthen our visual brand in the world stage.

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