Two days after the capitulation of Japan the
independent republic of Indonesia was proclaimed. In the new political
constellation the Dutch and the Indonesians agreed that decolonisation would
be the only possibility to solve conflicts between the Indonesian
nationalists and the former colonizer. The Indonesians opted for a unitarian
state and the Dutch for a new federal state. As a part of a future federal
state the Negara Indonesia Timur (Oost-Indonesië) was
established in 1946 in Denpasar. On 27 December 1949 the sovereignty of the
former colony was transferred to the Republik Indonesia Serikat
(United States of Indonesia)
In March 1950 the existence of the Negara
Indonesia Timur was threatened more and more. After an insurrection under the
leadership of the former KNIL captain Andi Azis, which was put down by the
Jakarta government, the Negara Indonesia Timur was dissolved some days later
without any significant resistance. On 15 August 1959 the R.I.S. was
dissolved itself and replaced by the
Republic of Indonesia of 1945.
The federal state of East Indonesia, has, in spite of its short
existence, been able to adopt several national symbols.
Present Maluku Province is a continuation of
former Ambon Residency and was for a short time a part of the Negara
the 16th century Portuguese traders settled in the Southern Moluccas, in particular on Ambon. They
were chased away by the traders of the
in early 17th century. Ambon was ruled then by a sultan who had to take
refuge for the Dutch in 1658. Like many other Muslim rulers the seal of this
last sultan showed a malaysian inscription in arab lettering which was
printed with lamp soot on paper. 
Afterwards the territory firmly remained in
the possession of the V.O.C. which, amongst others, established a fortress on
Ambon called Fort Victoria. The facade of the entrance of this fortress is
decorated with the emblem of the V.O.C., the coat of arms of the Republic,
the cypher of the V.O.C. and the coats of arms of Amsterdam, Zeeland,
Dordrecht, Rotterdam, Hoorn and Enkhuizen (the chambers of the V.O.C.).
Fort Nieuw Victoria in Ambon, 1775
Seal of Durch Rule, 1828
Arms: The Dutch achievement of 1816
Legend: GOEVERNEUR DER MOLUKSE EILANDEN
A coat of arms for the community of Amboina
was adopted about 1930, executing the “Ordonnantie van 7 september 1928
(Stbl. N° 394)” laying down rules for the granting of arms to the Public
Communities in the Netherlands’ Indies.  In the lower half of the
arms is a picture of Fort Victoria, in the upper half is the ship of the seal
of the Company. The shield is crowned with a crown of a count and supported
by two lions borrowed from the achievement of the Netherlands. The motto “DOOR
DE EEUWEN TROUW”
means: True Throughout the Centuries. 
events between 1945 and 1950 the Moluccans always took the side of the Dutch
with whom they had had strong relations for centuries. They actually agitated
against the Indonesian nationalists. Soon after the establishment of the
federal state of Indonesia Timur separatism was propagated within
Moluccan circles. These however ware not taken into account in the
negotiations between the Dutch and the Indonesians. Immediately after the
dissolution of the Negara Indonesia Timur the chairman of the South Moluccas
Council, Manuhutu, proclaimed the Repoeblik Maloekoe Selatan (Republic
of the South Moluccas) at a public meeting in the evening of 24 April 1950,
referring to the right of self-determination guaranteed at the Rondetafel
Conferentie. The territory in mind consisted of the former Ambon Residency
south of 2° 3’ S.L.
state was conquered by the Republic of Indonesia in October and on 30
November 1950 the fall of the city of Ambon fell, implying the end of the
RMS. The South Moluccan Army had retired to Ceram even before 3 November and
some weeks later the government had followed. Not long after, the Indonesian
Army controlled the main part of the Moluccas. In particular on Ceram a vain
guerilla warfare was fought against Indonesia.
South Moluccan soldiers, referring to their KNIL employment, were transported
to the Netherlands where they were encamped, anticipating a possible South
Arms, Flag and
Seal of the Republic of the South Moluccas
On 28 April 1950, four days after the
proclamation of the republic, a commission headed by M.A. Telepta was
appointed, which should make the designs of the symbols of the new republic. It
was established that in any case the flag should have the color red in it,
because on all Moluccan islands and in particular on Nusa Ina, this color was supposed to be the color of
the origin of life. Also, red is the color of the kain-bérang, clothes
often worn on Ceram.
The other colors should have to be blue,
white and green, the green symbolizing the islands of the archipelago, the
blue the sea and the white peace. 
On 4 May the Commission Telepta reported its conclusions, probably in Ambon Nieuws, being the more or less official periodical of the South Moluccan Government.  On „dinsdagmorgen 9 mei 1950 had op het plein tegenover het Regeringsgebouw in Kota Ambon de officiële ontplooiing plaats van de nationale vlag. Ten aanschouwe van duizenden Zuidmolukkers werd de vlag 5 minuten voor 10.00 uur door twee padvinders opgevouwen naar buiten gebracht, gevolgd door president Manuhutu en de volledige regering. Om 10.00 u. precies ging de vlag voor het eerst de hoogte in.” 
(on Tuesday morning 9 May 1950 the official
hoisting of the National Flag took place on the square before the House of
Government in Kota Ambon. In the presence of thousands of South Moluccans the
folded flag was brought in the open at
5 minutes to 10.00 o’clock by two scouts, followed by president Manuhutu and
all members of government. At 10.00 o’clock sharp the flag was hoisted for
the first time).
The flag consisted of three breadths blue, white and green an a red triangle at
the mast-end charged with a circle of seven five-pointed stars, symbolizing
the main islands of the South Moluccas: Buru, Ceram, Ambon, Wetar, the
Tanimbar-Islands, the Kei-Islands and the Aroe-Islands. 
The achievement of the republic consisted of
a shield of the colors of the flag, placed on the breast of a pigeon, wings
spread. Behind the pigeon is a panoply consisting of two axes, two spears and
two arrows. In his claws he has a scroll with the motto MENA MOERIA
between two times seven stars. On a colored picture the pigeon is greenish
and has red head-feathers, the scroll is red with golden lettering and white
stars.  The achievement is
surrounded by a circle charged with the words REPOEBLIK
separated by five-pointed stars. The achievement is said to have been also on
the banner of state (labarum) but no picture has been preserved.
The seal of state consisted of a cypher of
the letters RMS surrounded by a garland of leaves and the words repoeblik
The war-cry Mena Moeria literally means
“Ahead - Back” and can be translated with “One for All, All for One” or “All Hands on Deck”. The saying originates
from navigation and dates from the time that the Moluccans sailed the
archipelago with proa’s.
days after the proclamation of the R.M.S, on 27 April 1950, the R.M.S.
government appointed the moluccan physician Karel Nikilujuw the general
representatative of the R.M.S. abroad. For his office Nikilujuw established
the official journal of the political representation in the Netherlands
called “Bureau Zuid-Molukken”.
at the same time with the flag of the R.M.S. in Indonesia, an other flag came
into use in the Netherlands. It is inspired by a design for a flag from the
thirties of the 20th century.  Probably it was made after
a provisional design sent to Nikijuluw shortly after the proclamation of the
R.M.S. . It is red with three vertical
stripes blue-white and green at the mast-end in the proportions of 1:1:1:6. In
the existing documentation about flag and arms of the R.M.S. this flag is
considered to be the flag hoisted in Kota Ambon on 9 May 1950, but in that
case the flag with the three breadths and the triangle would become inexplicable.
In any case this is the flag usually used by the R.M.S. movement in the
Netherlands. This flag can best be considered to be the “war ensign” of the
Together with this flag a version of the
achievement is used with the flag with the triangle on the breast of a white
pigeon with a bundle of arrows and a Moluccan shield in its claws. The motto
reads: mena muria,
25.4.1950, republik maluku
A seal for the polical representation was
fixed in July 1950. On it is an achievement consisting of a shield with a
spear (salawaku) a chopping knife (parang) and an arrow in
saltire. It is supported by a white pigeon (pombo) with an
olive-branch in its beak.  The pigeon is surrounded by a
garland. In chief of the seal is the name of the republic: REPOEBLIK
MALOEKOE-SELATAN and in base the war-cry MENA
MOERIA. On a more recent version the pigeon is within the legend REPUBLIK MALUKU
SELATAN and seven
stars. It is not known who was the designer of this seal but probably it was
created by Karel Nikijuluw.
The white pigeon symbolizes peace but on
Ambon it is a favourable sign at military expeditions. A legend narrates that
a well-known historical person, Captain Jonker, changed himself and his wife
into pigeons which flew back from
Jacatra to the Moluccas. The pigeon for that reason is a favourable sign of a
safe return home.
The achievement with the pombo is also
on medals printed in 1955 at the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the
proclamation of the republic. The
medal is worn pending from a ribbon in the Moluccan colors: red with
blue-white and green bordures. 
achievement is also on the cap badges of the K.P.K., the paramilitary service
of the Badan Persatuan of president Ir. Manusama. On these badges it
is on the stylized “W” which is also the background of the cap badges of the
Dutch Army. The soldiers of the after the execution of President Soumokil in
1966 temporarily acting counter-president Izaak Tamaela, used a cap badge
with the pombo surrounded by a garland.
Medal with the arms of july 1950
Cap Badge of the R.M.S. Army
Cap badge of the R.M.S. Army
was worn on the cap of General J. Tamaela
Coat of Arms of the Presidential Guard, 2010
Coat of arms of Maluku Province 
The coat of arms of Maluku Province (Daerah Propinsi Maluku) has the shape of a moluccan shield,
pierced at the upper part by a spear . The
shield is white and charged with a moluccan proa, on a blue sea with nine
waves at the horizon and five waves in the sea, rising therefrom three green
mountains. On the base of the shield there is a chain of eight shackles on a
In this coat of
arms the proa is the successor of the ship of the V.O.C. occurring in the
arms of the community of Ambon. The three mountains symbolize Maluku Utara, Maluku Tengah en
Maluku Tenggara (North-, Central- and
The shield is
surrounded by a golden leaf of a coconut-palm of 17 pieces and a green leaf
of a sago-palm of 45 pieces. Palm leaves and chain make the date of 17 August
1945, the date of the proclamation of the Republic of Indonesia.
On the crossing of
the leavesis is a white ribbon with the motto SIWA LIMA in black lettering. This motto refers to
the “ancient philosophical principles of the Moluccan people” 
The achievement is
on a red disc, placed on a green backshield.
The colours of the
achievement are also those of the flag of the R.M.S.
ð See illustration in the head of
The provinces of Maluku and Northern Maluku
are nowadays overseen by Kodam XVI Pattimura.
© Hubert de Vries 2006.07.14 Updated 2010.10.03; 2011.03.07; 2018.06.28
.) Seal with a legend in malay in arab lettering on: Letter from the
exiled ruler of Ambon, Kimelaha Salahak Abdul Kadir ibn Syahbuddin, 1658, Brit.
Lib. IOR Original Correspondence E/3/25, f 252r.. Uit: Surat Emas, 1991 n° 3.
 ) In the following twelve years of
Dutch Rule, coats of arms were granted mainly to the capitals of the
provinces of which Amboina was one. Only two provinces on Java were granted arms
in the time of Dutch Rule. After the war Dutch rules could be used. The
European jheraldic styling was however abandoned soon.
) Rühl, Dirk: Nederlandsch-Indische Gemeentewapens. Geschiedenis. Legenden en Besluiten. 1933.
 ) In this way the Dutch colors red,
white and blue together with the color green which is the color of the federal
states of the Republik Indonesia Serikat are united in this flag.
 ) A copy of „Ambon Nieuws” alias
„Berita Ambon” of 4 mei 1950 cannot be found in Dutch libraries or -
Penonton, Bung (= Gerhard Knot): De Zuidmolukse Republiek. Schets voor een
beschrijving van de nieuwste geschiedenis van het zuidmolukse volk. Buijten en
Schipperheyn. Amsterdam, 1977. I.h.b. H. 4: Symbolen van de RMS. pp. 241-244. Of this ceremony a photography has been preserved on which the
flag is in the hands of one of the scouts. A whithe patch can be seen. A short
movie of the hoisting of the flag in the
Moluks Historisch Museum in Utrecht stops halfway the flag-pole.
 The flag is said to go back to a design published in
Natuur en Samenleving in de Molukken. ca 1930
the Red breasted fruit dove (Ptilinopus
bellus – Columbae) is meant, living on New Guinea. It is also possible that
a Moluccan version of the dove of the Republic Indonesia , Sang Radja Walik is
meant (Also see my essay in Heraldisch Tijdschrift 7, 2000, pp. 58-63). A
full-color picture of this achievement was on a table above the entrance of
Kamp Lunetten (today in the Moluks Historisch Museum in Utrecht.)
 ) Published in: Boelens,
Germen: Natuur en Samenleving van de Molukken. Utrecht 2001.
 ) Nikijuluw, Karel J.V.: South Moluccas. In: The Flag Bulletin II, n° 1
(fall 1962). In thuis article also a description of the flag. Information::
Moluks Historisch Museum, Utrecht dd. 12.10.1995 which also provided the main
 ) Probably the Nutmeg
Pigeon (Ducula spilorrhoa – Columbae)
 ) For thius section I thank Henk
Smeets of the Moluks Historisch Museum,
who provide me with documentation.
• Sebuah alat pembela diri melambangkan kesiap-siagaan, berbentuk 5
(lima) segi melambagkan lima dasar pokok
• Berukuran 5 : 3 dalam satu wadah yang bulat, melambangkan pancasila dan eka sila, adalah seluruh
• Kelapa adalah hasil utama daerah maluku Utara melambangkan potensi
• Jumlah pucuk kelapa 17
(tuju belas) buah melambangkan hari ke-17 dari bulan proklamasi
• Warna kuning melambangkan
• Hasil yang khas dari Daerah Maluku Tenggara
• Jumlah Mutiara 8 (delapan) butir, melambangkan bulan ke-8 dari tahun
• Warna puttih melambangkan kemurnian
• Sagu adalah makanan pokok di Maluku melambangkan daya hidup
• Jumlah daun sagu adalah 45 (empay puluh lima)
melambangkan/menyatakan Tahun pro-klamasi.
Warna hijau melambangkan kehidupan dan harapan.
• Hasil utama Daerah Maluku Tengah melambangkan Daerah Maluku sebagai
kepulauan rempah-rempah, kekayaannya dimasa lampau dan kemungkinan-kemungkinan
• Melambangkan kemauan dan
tekad untuk mempertahankan meningkatkan hidup.
• Daerah Maluku
bergunung-gunung yang melambangkan 3 daerah Maluku Utara, Maluku Tengah, Maluku
Tenggara yang dalam sejarah adalah satu.
• Gunung-gunung yang hijau
melambangkan kekayaan hasil hutan yang berlimpah-limpah.
• Melambangkan infrastruktur
utama dan kekayaan laut Maluku
• Gelombang melambangkan
• Gelombang berjumlah 9 (sembilan)
melambangkan patasiwa dan 5 (lima) melambangkan
patalkima sebagai dasar susunan kesatuan masyarakat Adat di Maluku.
• Warna biru melambangkan
kesatiaan kepada Nusa dan bangsa.
• Melambangkan Pemerintahan
yang didasarkan atas Persatuan dan Kekeluargaan menuju Kemakmuran.
• Warna putih melambangkan
perjuangan hidup yang suci.
Berarti semen bundeling dari segala potensi dengan dasar merah sebagai
Melambangkan masa yang
Atas dasar Siwa Lima, kira
memupuk Persatuan dan Kesatuan untuk mencapai kesejahteraan bersama.
 ) The shield illustrated is a wooden dancing shield from Ambon. Coll.
K.I.T. Amsterdam TM-nummer: 272-84 Date:
before 1926, 48 Í 11cm.
 ) In this siwa
lima we recognize the pantja sila, the five principles of the
official Indonesian philosophy of