The Coat of Arms of
Archeological findings trace the history of
modern-day Jakarta back to the fifth century. By the 16th century, it was a thriving port city known
as Sunda Kelapa. At that time, the Hindu kingdom of Pajajaran ruled the area
from a place now known as Bogor, in the hills outside Jakarta.
By the time Columbus headed to the East in search of
spices, Sunda Kelapa had already developed into a major trading port. Among
the first foreigners to set foot here were the Portuguese. In 1522, they made
a mutually beneficial agreement with the Pajajaran Kingdom. In return for
access to valuable spices, the Portuguese defended the Hindus from the
Islamic sultanate of Demak.
Nevertheless, in 22 June 1527, the Javanese Prince
Fatahillah, of the Demak Sultanate, successfully defeated the Portuguese
armed forces at the site of the Sunda Kelapa. The city was then renamed
Jayakarta, meaning “a glorious victory”.
The Dutch Era
The dawn of the 16th century recorded another milestone: The
Dutch landed at Sunda Kelapa in 1596
and established the United East India Company (Verenigde Oost Indische
Compagnie or V.O.C.) in 1602 to join the lucrative spice trade.
Years passed, and the V.O.C. grew stronger. At the
pinnacle of its strength in 1635, the Dutch transformed Jayakarta, or Batavia
as they called it, into a walled canal city covering some 700 hectares of
land. The Dutch-style Jembatan Pasar Ayam originally engineered to bridge
both sides remains preserved today as a historical landmark.
During the 18th century, Batavia grew into an overpopulated city and the
quality of life deteriorated. Of particular concern to the Dutch was the
rapid growth of the Chinese community, which threatened to tip their balance
of power. Attempts by the Dutch to suppress the number of Chinese resulted in
a bloodbath in 1740. At least 5,000 Chinese were killed, 500 of whom were
killed in Batavia City Hall. The Chinese were then confined to ghettos.
In 1811, the British arrived and took over the land
previously controlled by the Dutch. The governor from 1811 to 1816, Sir
Thomas Stamford Raffles, resided in Bogor Palace.
After only five years in Batavia, the British handed
the colony back to the Dutch, who ruled until the Japanese took over during
World War II. In these years Batavia developed into the centre of a vast
empire that comprised the largest part of the Indonesian Archipelago. Here
the administration of the Dutch Indies (Nederlandsch Indiė) was settled and
the majority of the Dutch expatriates lived.
In the early 1900s, young Indonesian scholars began to
question the Dutch domination. Historians refer to 1908 as the „Year of
Awakening,” when a group of medical students founded the first organization
based on the people's political aspirations, Budi Utomo.
During the Japanese occupation, the fight for independence
intensified. When the Japanese finally surrendered on 14 August 1945, Admiral
Tadashi Maeda brought Soekarno and Mohammad Hatta - the founding fathers of
modern Indonesia - to his house on Jalan Imam Bonjol. Here, they drafted the
Declaration of Independence. On the morning of 17 August 1945, the manuscript
was read aloud at the Koningsplein (today Jalan Proklamasi). The next
day, Soekarno became the first president of the Republic of Indonesia and
Mohammad Hatta the first vice-president.
* In 1972 the spelling Djakarta was changed into
No symbol is known for the little settlement
of Sunda Kelapa, nor do we know anything about the symbols of power of the Pajajaran
princes. The introduction of West-European heraldry on Java occurred with the
treaty between the Portuguese and Pajajaran when the a so-called padrćo was
erected to commemorate the agreement. This kind of pillars were placed in
many places where the Portuguese
set foot and they are intended as a sign of the occupation of the inland for
te benefit of the king of Portugal. The padrćos from Africa show the
royal arms of the king: Argent, five escutcheons Azure 2,1,2, ecach charged
with five discs per cross saltire also Argent; and a bordure Gules, charged
with seven castles Or. The padrćo of Jacatra shows an armillary-sphere
which was the symbol of the realm of Portugal. Initially the personal emblem
of king Manuel I (1495-1521), it was used as an emblem for the Portuguese vice-kingdom of India that
was established in Goa
from 1510 until 1961 when the Portuguese were driven out.
Portuguese padrćo to the memory of the
Portuguese-Pajajaran treaty, August 1522. Discovered 1918 in the
Prinsenstraat in Batavia (Jakarta). The Portuguese armillary-sphere and an
unreadable inscription beginning with LOS POR…..
Soon after the conquest of Jacatra by Jan Pietrsz Coen in 1619, a coat
of arms for the city was adopted by decree of the 15th of August
The text of the decree reads:
15 Augustus 1620
voor d'ordinaris luyden van den gerechte in 't Casteel. Vaststelling hunner
jurisdictie, die van den Advokaat-fiskaal, van den Bailluw en van Schepenen.
Wapen van Batavia.
[...] Nopende 't
geproponeerde van de Stadt Jaccatra met een Wapen te versien om 't segel ter
saecken dienvolgende te formeren, is verstaan sulcks nodich te wesen, ende dat men de Stadt voor haer
Wapen ende segel geven sal een swaert van azur in een orange schilt steeckende
met de poincte deur een lourieren crans van coleur bruyn-groen. (als hier ter
zijden. Actum in 'fort Jacatra datum ut supra ende was ondertekend J.P. Coen,
I. Dedel, F. de Carpentier, Martinus Pieter Dirksz, Pieter Barendsz. en Thys
Cornelisz. Vleeschhouwer Secretaris). 
(Provisional instruction for the ordinaries of the court of justice in
the Castle. Establishing their jurisdiction, of the Tax collector, of the
Bailiff and of the aldormen. Arms of Batavia.
It being proposed to provide the City of Jacatra with a coat of arms
that could be placed on the seal of the court, it is understood that such is
necessary and that the city will be
given as a coat of arms and seal a sword Azure on a Orange shield, pointing
through a wreath of laurel of a brown-green color. (as beside. Act in the
fort of Jacatra on the date overhead and was signed J.P. Coen, I. Dedel, F.
de Carpentier, Martinus Pieter Dirksz, Pieter Barendsz. en Thys Cornelisz.
Somewhat later the Fort of Jacatra was renamed Batavia.
An early drawing of the arms of Batavia.
(On a map of Batavia by Gilles
Venant (1629). (Atlas
On the Great seal of the aldormen of Batavia the arms of
Batavia are supported by one lion, sitting behind the shield. Legend: SIGILLUM URBIS BATAVIAE. 
The Minor seal is smaller but has same arms and supporter. 
Coat of arms of Batavia, 1627
of Batavia, 1627.
Coll. Westfries Museum Hoorn, inv.nr. 02020
Arms: Orange, a sword upright Azure, hilt Or,
pointing through a wreath of laurel Vert. And as a supporter a single lion
sejant Gules (Holland).
Coat of arms of Batavia, 1652
From: Waere Afbeeldinge wegens het Casteel ende stadt Batavia in 1652.
Coll. Westfries Museum Hoorn inv. nr. 15266
Arms: Gules, a sword upright Azure, hilt Or, pointing
through a wreath of laurel Vert. And as a supporter a single lion Or,
swinging a sword proper.
After the death of William II of Orange the tincture of the field was
changed into red (Gules) the colour of the civil government of the Republic.
At the same time a version with two
lions as supporters was introduced, the lion on the dexter with the bundle of
arrows in his claw, and the one on the sinister with a sword. These were the
symbols of the Union and of the armed forces of the Republic.
The achievement has to be read as „The Executive Committee of Batavia,
at the grace of the States General of the Republic”. In fact the States
General was the suzerain of the United East India Company and the city of
Batavia was a settlement of the Company.
In 1651 a painting of the achievement was made by Jeronimus Becx de
Jonge from Middelburg.
Painting with the achievement of the executive committee of Batavia.
by Jeronimus Becx de Jonge
from Middelburg, 1651.
Detail, on the right is the achievement of the V.O.C.. Rijksmuseum
Amsterdam, cat. of paintings n° 2988
Arms: Gules, a sword Azure, hilt Or, pointing
through a wreath of laurel Vert .
Supporters.: D.: A lion guardant, in
his sinister claw a bundle of seven arrows. S.: A lion guardant, in his
dexter claw a sword.
The legend reads:
Wapen van de Stadt Batavia gelegen opt
Eylandt Groot Java
int Coninckrijk van
Jacatra by de
Verovert den 30 Maij
(Arms of the City of Batavia on the Island of Greater Java in the
Kingdom of Jacatra, conquered by the Chartered General Dutch East India
Company on the 30th of May of the year 1619).
long after the two supporters were made identical, each with a sword and a
bundle of arrows..
Achievement of Batavia
Achievement of Batavia at the end of the 18th century,
on the shield a ducal or countal crown.
Achievement of Batavia after 1907.
K.I.T. Amsterdam. TM n°: 0-134.
13,5 x 22,8 cm
At the beginning of the 20th century a new achievement for Batavia was
officially adopted. It could be used by the city, the city-council and the
president of the city-council of Batavia.
Arms.: Gules, a sword of steel per pale, hilt in
base, the blade surrounded by a garland of laurel, tied with a ribbon Argent,
Crown: A mural crown of five towers.
Supporters: Two lions Or, langued and
Motto: DISPEREERT NIET in golden lettering on a
ribbon Azure. 
The motto dispereert niet (Do Not Despair) was the motto of Jan Pieterszoon Coen (1587-1629),
governor-general of the Dutch East-Indies (1619-1623 and 1627-1629). It is a
quote from the end of a letter from 1618 to the “Seventeen Lords” of the
United East-India Company: “Dispereert niet, ontsiet uwe vyanden niet,
daer en is ter werelt niet dat ons can hinderen... daer can in Indiėn wat
groots verricht worden!”. (Do not despair, do not spare your enemies,
there is nothing in the world that can hamper us… something great can be
achieved in the Indies!). The motto is also on the socle of the monument for
Coen in his birthplace Hoorn. In relation with Batavia the motto appears for
the fist time on the frontispiece of the “Naamboekje van Nederlandsch Indiė
The supporters are taken from the Dutch
Royal achievement adopted by Royal decree of 10th of July 1907. No
achievement of Batavia is known with the crowned supporters of the Dutch
Royal achievement of 1815.
Achievement of Batavia adopted by decree of 22nd of
From a calendar of the Stoomvaart Maatschappij Nederland. Coll. K.I.T. Amsterdam
By decree of the city-council of Batavia the original tincture of the field of 1620
Arms.: Orange, a sword of steel per pale, hilt in
base, the blade surrounded by a garland of laurel, tied with a ribbon Argent,
Crown: A mural crown of five towers.
Supporters: Two lions Or, langued and
Motto: DISPEREERT NIET
in golden lettering on a ribbon Azure.
Decree of 22nd of September
Federaal District Batavia 1948-1950
Soon after the Japanese
invasion of the Netherlands Indies in 1942 Queen Wilhelmina made the proposal,
in a speech held on 7 December 1942, of the establishment of a Commonwealth
of the Netherlands. The Dutch Government in London made plans to restore
Dutch sovereignty in the Indies after the war. In 1944 an Expeditionary Force
was founded with the aim to restore order and authority in the colony after
the defeat of the Japanese. An emblem for this Expeditionary force was
adopted by Ministerial Disposal of 1 July 1944 and consisted of the sword and
the garland of Batavia augmented with the initials of the force E.M., on a
On 1 September 1946 a
Division was formed of conscripts. Referring to the royal speech the divison
was called 1st Division 7 December. The first soldiers of the division
arrived in Batavia at the end of
1946. It was mainly encamped near Batavia. From 1949 until 1950 the
troops returned to the Netherlands.
The emblem of the Expeditionary Force was abandoned by Army
Order (Legerorder) 1947, N° 7. The arms of the 1st Division 7 December was adopted by Army
Order 1946, N° 259. It consisted of the arms of Batavia of 1652 augmented with
the initials E.M.. 
Arms of the Expeditionary
Arms of the 1st Division 7
Provisional Federal District no special emblems are known.
Arms.: Vert, the monument for the Proclamation of
the Republic proper (white) the pile surrounded by a garland of cotton and
rice, tied with a ribbon in the national colors white and red. The pile
standing on a slab with the map of Indonesia.
Crown: A mural crown of three towers.
Soon after independence the name of Batavia was changed into Djakarta.
A coat of arms for Djakarta was adopted in october 1951. It is
inspired for a great deal by the ancient arms of Batavia in that the garland
was maintained and that the upright sword was replaced by the, national
monument, also standing upright. Later, many other Indonesian coats of arms
were designed in which there is also a garland, always consisting of cotton
and padi, and an upright symbol, for example a dagger or a palmtree. The cotton and padi of the new garland in
itself are inspired by the garland around the arms of Paku Buwono X of
Surakarta (1893-1939) which also
consisted of a branch of cotton and ears of rice.
* In the coat of arms the color green symbolizes the brotherhood of
mankind, the monument symbolizes the Proclamation of the Republic, the cotton
symbolizes clothing and the padi abundance.
* Green was frequently used by the states of the Federal Republic of
Indonesia. It was one of the national colors for example of the Republic of East
Indonesia, of West
Sumatra and of the State of Pasundan. For a
long time green and yellow had been the colours of the House of Pontianak,
its arms and flag being a crescent Vert on a field Or (yellow). In the
Republic of Indonesia the combination green-yellow or green-white disappeared
and was replaced by the new national colors red and white.
It may be supposed that the colour green for the federal states of
Indonesia after the war, was choosen by the Dutch heraldist Dirk Rühl and
sultan Abdul Hamid II (1913-†1978) of Pontianak who knew each other well.
Kusus Ibu Kota Jakarta
By decree of 30.VI.1962, ratified 26.VI.1963, the arms were changed
again. They are now:
the National Monument proper, surrounded by a garland of rice and cotton. In
base two waves Argent; and a chief Argent with the words JAYA RAYA
(Victorious and Great), Gules.
By Decree of 30th of June 1962
š See illustration in the head of this essay
Kodam Jaya, oversees Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. It
also oversees three regions outside Jakarta: Bekasi and Depok, actually in
West Java province, and Tangerang which is in Banten province.
The arms of the regional police force (POLDA)
Metro Jaya shows the charges of the arms of the special region on a green
© Hubert de Vries 2006
Updated 22.02.2007 /
2010.10.02 / 2011-03-04/ 2012-06-10
 Chijs, J.A. van der: Nederlandsch-Indisch Plakkaatboek, 1602-1811.
Batavia - ‘s Hage 1885 pp. 65. Also: Netscher, E. In:
Tijdschrift Bataafsche Genealogie, 4, 1855, p. 284 from which is taken the
part between brackets.
 Oud Batavia. Gedenkboek uitgegeven door het Bataviaasch Genootschap
van Kunsten en Wetenschappen naar aanleiding van het driehonderdjarig bestaan
der stad in 1919. 2 Dln. en Platenalbum. Batavia,
1923. N° G.3.
 Oud Batavia, N° G 4
 Also: Bataviase Nouvelles n° 10, 1744, Oud Batavia H 8.
 Naamboekje van Nederlandsch Indiė 1779, frontispiece. Illustration
from: Rhede van der Kloot, M.A. van: De
Goeverneurs-Generaal en Commissarissen Generaal van Nederlandsch Indiė
1610-1883. ‘s Gravenhage, 1891
 In keel: een ontbloot Romeinsch zwaard van staal, met gevest van
staal, paalsgewijs, de kling omhoog. Het zwaard omkransd door twee
lauriertakken gekruist boven het gevest, te zamen gebonden met ter weerszijden
wapperende zilveren linten. Het wapenschild zal mogen worden gedekt met de
stedekroon. Aan bedoeld wapen kunnen als versierselen worden toegevoegd: als
schildhouders: dezelfde als vastgesteld voor het Nederlandsche rijkswapen
(zonder kroon); het devies: "Dispereert niet" in Latijnsche letters
in goud op een lint van azuur. Encyclopaedie van Nederlandsch Indiė. Dl. IV
& VIII Den Haag, 1921.
 Nederlandsche Heraldiek. Album II. N.V. Koffie Hag My.
Nederlandsch Oost-Indiė n° 19 afb. 18.