Last modified: 2004-03-18 by santiago dotor
Keywords: brunei | royal |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors
Royal, Aristocratic, and Ministerial Standards in Brunei Darussalam: Legacies of Istiadat in a changing society, by Dr. Scott Guenter, is one of the scheduled presentations that will take place at the 18th ICV in Victoria, BC, Canada between 29 July and 2 August 1999.
Dave Martucci, 16 July 1999
Gaceta de Banderas no. 68, April 2001, contained a brief article by Michel Lupant with images by Jorge Hurtado about royal flags of Brunei, apparently the first of a series. Eight flags were illustrated, without any description apart from the title, in Malay (?) and English, of each position. According to Tomás Rodríguez, SEV Secretary, the article is based on observations by Michel Lupant and Scot Guenter during a visit to Brunei. I requested Jorge Hurtado the original vector files, which he kindly sent me, and which I have exported to GIFs.
I have e-mailed Michel Lupant in case he can provide any more details on the sources, specifications, adoption dates etc. of these flags. Maybe he could also explain their meaning and patterns, for instance:
It would also be interesting to know what is the relative status of each of these positions, for instance does the Bendahara Vizier occupy a higher-ranking position to that of the Chief Vizier and/or Temenggong Vizier or a lower one, etc. Again, maybe somebody could provide approximate Western equivalents (I dare not say translations) of these positions (i.e. crown prince, prime minister etc.).
Santiago Dotor, 17 April 2001
I discovered around 120 flags during my 1999 trip to Brunei. Part of these appeared in a 1968 book on the Sultan's coronation, which both Guenter Scot and I had. Scot handed over his copy to W[hitney] Smith whom he met at Victoria [ICV Congress?]. Scot stayed some months in Malaysia and can translate Malay to a certain extent. The other flags are at the Royal Museum. Furthermore the flags I have just published are new flags I have discovered in a local book.
I have tried to translate the title of each prince or chief. According to an answer of the [Bruneian] Embassy [in Brussels], this is impossible since they are local titles with no English equivalent. The yellow colour stands for the sultan and his family. I believe there are four local families, in this order [from higher to lower rank?]:
I know there have been some changes after 1968, but I do not have all of these new flags.
Anak means child, chuchu grandchild, piut great-grandchild and anak gahara child of high caste. Flags for Anak Gahara's and Anak's are swallowtailed, whereas those for Chuchu's and Piut's are rectangular with a triangle on the fly. The colour of each family dominates in each flag. The whole thing is quite complicated!
Michel Lupant, translated by Santiago Dotor, 27 April 2001
The following issues of Gaceta de Banderas, nos. 69, 70 and 71 (May, July and August 2001) contain further images of these royal standards, made by Jorge Hurtado upon Michel Lupant's notes. Jorge Hurtado has kindly sent me the original files, and I have exported them to FOTW-standard GIFs.
The situation with these flags is even worse, since for all but five of them Gaceta de Banderas does not even provide an approximate translation of the Malay title. Maybe Herman Felani, Tom Koh and Andrew Yong could give better translations and explanations about these positions in Bruneian royalty and government. In any event, there is some Bruneian royalty glossary in this webpage.
Santiago Dotor, 13 September 2001
I have tried my best in defining the Malay terms for Bruneian Royalty forwarded by Santiago Dotor. However please take note of these few points first:
Herman Felani, 14 September 2001
The Bruneian royalty glossary I mentioned earlier differences instead between "Royal Consort: Raja Istri" and "Junior Consort: Pengiran Istri" or "commoner wives". Which translation into English would be more correct "consorts", "junior consorts" or "commoner wives"?
Santiago Dotor, 17 September 2001
According to the drawings in Gaceta de Banderas nos. 68-71, all flags have a ratio 1:2 and, except where indicated:
Please note that my descriptions are based on Jorge Hurtado's vector images which, if I understand correctly, are based on Michel Lupant's descriptions. What this means is that these dimensions should not be at all considered official or usual.
Santiago Dotor, 13 September 2001