Saturday, January 31, 2009
Federal Territory Day: the story behind the flag
It’s the 1st of February and the time of year when KLites celebrate the Hari Wilayah Persekutuan. This is the day when Kuala Lumpur was officially announced as a Federal Territory in 1974.
Since then, the KL FT has got two new sister cities of its own: the Labuan FT, and more recently the Putrajaya FT.
To mark this day the authorities, as usual, would hold a month long celebration with numerous events that would last the whole month of February. Various shows, concerts, state dinners, games and sporting events are being lined up.
And one thing for sure, the flags shall be flown, too – in abundance. Now, this part of the celebration is something else. For the KL flag has some meaning and is of significance to me personally. This is because the Kuala Lumpur Wilayah Persekutuan flag was designed by my brother, Azmi.
Mie is the undisputed artist in the family. He was always drawing and sketching and winning arts and logo design competitions since his school days. So we were not surprised when he chose to do architecture at UTM after completing school.
Mie started out his career as an assistant architect in DBKL back in the 1980s. It was during his stint there that he produced and submitted a total of fifteen designs for a new KL flag to the DBKL management (detail descriptions here). Four of his designs were shortlisted and forwarded to the then Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad for final selection.
The PM eventually approved one of his designs for the new KL flag. And so, on the night of 14th May 1990, in commemoration of DBKL’s 100 years as a local authority, KL Mayor Tan Sri Elyas Omar officially received the flag that Mie designed from the Yang DiPertuan Agong Sultan Azlan Shah for DBKL’s official use from then on.
Following on from this success, Mie was then also directed by the Mayor himself to design a new logo for DBKL. So, the next time you see one of those logos with the tiger head flanked by hibiscus cuttings, take a closer look. It was designed by my brother.
A young Mie holding open his newly designed KL flag (pic from Bulletin DBKL, 1991)
The DBKL logo