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Special Territory











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From ancient times the Dayaks lived in Kalimantan but in the course of time they were driven to the interior by the succesive immigrants.  In the middle ages many Malay rulers settled in West Borneo and became tributary to the Majapahit Empire. After the decline and fall of that empire the west coast of  Borneo was visited by the Portuguese sailor Simao d’Abreu in 1523. In 1609 the Dutch, attracted by tales of rich diamond deposits, made a contract with the Sultan of Sambas. By lack of revenues however a trading station founded there was abandoned in 1623. In the next centuries the Dutch East India Company and the Dutch Indies Government made several contracts with the local rulers. After a brief British interim’s period the Dutch made the south-western part of the island into the Residence Westerafdeeling van Borneo comprising the divisions of Pontianak,  Sinka­wang,  Ketapang and Sintang and the territories of the rulers of Landak, Mempawa, Pontianak, Negri Sambas and Sintang. In 1938 this Residency became a part of the Borneo Government. This was occupied by the Japanese in 1942 mainly because of the valuable oil deposits of the province. During the Japanese occupation Borneo Government, then called Borneo Kaigun Minseibu was administered by the Japanese Navy.

After the capitulation of Japan the Dutch could restore their rule with the help of the Dutch Territorial and Army Command in Pontianak. This resulted in the foundation of the Federation of West Borneo (Federasi Kalimantan Barat) on 22 October 1946. This federation was replaced by the Special Territory of West Borneo (Daerah Istimewa Kalimantan Barat) on 12 May 1947, presided by Sultan Abdul Hamid II of Pontianak. Because of the latter’s strong opposition to a unitary Indonesian Republic the State of West Borneo was only dissolved on 17 August 1950, the day of  the proclamation of the Republik Indonesia.

By law no. 25/1956 Kalimantan Barat became a province of the Republic of Indonesia on 1 January 1957.

West Kalimantan was the theatre of substantial fighting during the Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation under the Sukarno government in the mid-1960s. After Suharto had deposed Sukarno in 1965, the confrontation was quickly resolved. Domestic conflict continued, however, for another ten years between the new military Suharto government and fighters organized during the confrontation and backed by the banned Indonesian Communist Party (PKI).




In colonial times the emblems of the Dutch Government of the Indies were also used for the Westerafdeeling van Borneo. In the time of Japanese occupation the emblems of the Japanese Empire were used and the flag and emblem of the Japanese Navy for the Borneo Kaigun Minseibu.



Emblem of the Imperial Japanese Navy


The emblem shows an anchor per pale charged with a cherry blossom mon (sakura).

Also the naval ensign was used in the occupied territories.



Territorial and Army Command West Borneo


After the capitulation of Japan the dutch Territorial and Army Command West Borneo was encamped in Pontianak. Its purpose was to restore Dutch rule in the Westerafdeeling.

The arms of the T.A.C. were:

Arms: Azure, two mandau in saltire, Argent and Gules.


The arms were designed by 1st Lnt. Inf-KNIL Von Raesfeld Meyer and Smi KNIL Crasbak and were adopted by decision Clg 283/GS/35 dd. 11-07-1946


Mandau, the head-hunters sword of the Dayak


The first design showed a crown above the mandau and the letters W.B. (for West Borneo) below. These were judged to be superfluous because the KNIL of which the Command was a part was Royal in itself. Also, the mandau is specific for West Borneo.


Also in West Borneo was the IX Battalion Infantry KNIL:

Its arms were:

Arms: Sable, the roman cypher IX  and a bugle in base Gules.


The bugle was chosen because it was a common symbol for hunters. The KNIL never did comprise Regiments Hunters but, because Hunters were the first Dutch unities encamped in the Indies, even before the forming of the KNIL, the bugle was accepted to be the symbol of the IX Battalion.

The arms were adopted by Decision Clg 283/GS/35 dd 11-07-1946 and were designed by 1st Lnt. Inf-KNIL Von Raesfeld Meyer en Smi KNIL Crasbak.


Federasi Kalimantan Barat



No emblems are known of this Federation


Daerah Istimewa Kalimantan Barat

12.05.1947 - 17.08.1950



Abdul Hamid II, Sultan of Pontianak

Kepala Daerah Istimewa 15.05.1947 - 24.05.1950



In the Special Territory of West Borneo a flag of two breadth’s green and white was used. It was adopted in 1947 for all states and districts where the Dutch had restored their rule.[1] There is no decision or act about the adoption of  this flag available.


Provinsi Kalimantan Barat



The arms of  West Kalimantan Province are inspired by the arms of the dutch Territorial and Army Command of 1946. Its main colours are those of the flag of the post-war territories under Dutch rule. The achievement of the province is:


Arms: A Dayak shield and two mandau in saltire Argent.

Crest: A fire proper

Supporter: The equator Argent

Garland: An ear of rice and a branch of cotton proper

Motto: AKĒAYA (Eternal Fire) in black lettering on a white scroll

Backshield: Vert.


š See illustration in the head of this essay.





Former States





Kusuma Adiningrat I

Panembahan ........ - 1844

Mahmud Akamaddin

1844 - 1847


1847 - 1849

Rau Adi Kusuma

1849 - 1874

Mangku Bumi

Pangeran 1874 - 1881

Kusuma Adiningrat II

Panembahan 1881 - 1882

Abdul Ajit Khan

1882 - .......

Gusti Abdul Hamid

1900 - 19...


Panembahan is the title of the ruler meaning “The Highly Honoured”.

Pangaran, means “Him for Whom one Squats”.


Early Flags


19th century Sultan’s Flag



19th century Sultan’s Naval Flag

Flags reported 1881  [2])


National Flag


Sultan’s Flag


Naval Flag


Mosque’s Flag [3]



Regents Flag, 1932 +  [4]


On this flag is the cap-badge of the Dutch Colonial Regents adopted 11 June 1932 and published in Bijblad van het Staatsblad No. 12824.




In 1777  the Kwangtung Hakkas established a republic in Western Kalimantan. Its first president was Low Lan Pak. He was succeeded by another nine presidents (Ta Tang Chon Chang) who were appointed by election. Both the presidents and the vice presidents had to be of Hakka origin from the Ka Yin or Ta Pu area.



The inscription reads: Hakka Community


[A] flag of  Lan Fang charged with the word ‘Hakka’ in chinese characters


The capital was in Ceh Wan Li. The flag was a rectangular yellow flag with the word Lan Fang Ta Tong Chi (Republic of Lan Fang). The presidential flag was a triangular yellow flag with the word Chuao (General). The high ranking officials dressed in Chinese style while lower ranking officials dressed in western style.


After the Dutch had opened a trading post in Kun Tian they intervened in the affairs of the republic. When in 1884, Singkawang refused to accept Dutch rule and was attacked by the Dutch, Lan Fang was also drawn into the conflict. After a four years war Lan Fang eventually was defeated, and its people fled to Sumatra. Afraid of an intervention from the Chinese Qing government, the Dutch never declared that they occupied Lan Fang and let one of the descendants of the last president be a puppet ruler. It was not until the foundation of the Republic of China in 1912 that the Dutch formally declared its control of the area.


Lit.: Kao Chung Xi: Hakka people - Jews of the Orient.





Panembahans of  Mempawa

Anom Kusuma Negara

1795 - 1822

Muhammad Zainul Abidin Nata Kusuma

1822 - 1826


1826 - 1828

Umar Kamaruddin Nata Kerama

1828 - 1853

Mukmin Jaya Kusuma bin Umar Kamaruddin Nata Kerama

1853 - 1854

Mahmud Akamaddin bin Umar Kamaruddin Nata Kerama

1854 - 1860

Usman Shafiuddin Nata Jaya Kusuma bin Mukmin Jaya Kusuma

1860 - 1863

Ibrahim Muhammad Shafiuddin bin Mahmud Akamaddin

1863 - 1892

Muhammad Taufik Akamaddin

1892 - 1904?




Flags of the Panembahan and the Pangaran Bandahara  of  Mempawa  [5]


Panembahan is the title of the ruler meaning “The Highly Honoured”.

Pangaran is the title of the Bandahara, the prime minister or vizier, meaning “Him for Whom one Squats”.


For the official dress of a Pangaran see: Ambtskostuum Inlands Bestuur Nederlands-Indiė 1870.


The present-day emblem of Mempawa shows a two mandaus in saltire charged with a six pointed star between two wings, surrounded by a garland  and a motto below.


A high resolution picture is requested.





Sultans of Sambas

Muhammad Tajuddin bin Muhammad Saifuddin


Umar Akamaddin I bin Muhammad Tajuddin


Abu Bakar Kamaluddin I bin Muhammad Jalaluddin


Umar Akamaddin II bin Abu Bakar Kamaluddin


Abu Bakar Kamaluddin II bin Umar Akamaddin


British Protectorate  1813-1819

Abu Bakar Kamaluddin II bin Umar Akamaddin


Muhammad Ali Syafiuddin II bin Abu Bakar Kamaluddin


Dutch Protectorate 1819-1950

Muhammad Ali Syafiuddin II bin Abu Bakar Kamaluddin


Usman Kamaluddin III bin Abu Bakar Kamaluddin


Umar Akamaddin III bin Abu Bakar Kamaluddin


Abu Bakar Tajuddin II bin Muhammad Ali Syafiuddin


Umar Kamaluddin IV bin Muhammad Ali Syafiuddin


Muhammad Syafiuddin III bin Abu Bakar Tajuddin


Muhammad Ali Syafiuddin IV bin Muhammad Ali Syafiuddin


Muhammad Ibrahim Syafiuddin V bin Muhammad Syafiuddin


Ruling Council


Muhammad Taufik ibni al-Marhum



The Seal



Like many other rulers in the archipelago the ruler of Sambas used a seal to authenticate documents and letters. Illustrated is the seal of Abu Bakar Kamaluddin II bin Umar Akamaddin (1790-1811) on a letter to T.S. Raffles, dated 1811. The seal has the usual shape of an eight-petalled lotus, the hindu symbol of administrative authority. [6]


The Flag




Flags of the Sultan and Pangeran Bendahara of Sambas  [7]


The Emblem


The present-day emblem of Sambas state is a thirteen-pointed sun radiant within a crescent.

This emblem is composed of a symbol for the nation and a symbol for the state.


On the sun: In the name of God almighty

On the crescent: Sultan Muhammad Syaffiuddin.


This could be Muhammad Syafiuddin III (1861-1924).  Syafiuddin means: Sword of the Faith.


š See illustration in the head of this section.


The achievement of Sambas consists of the thirteen-pointed sun radiant charged with the “S” of Sambas, supported by two basilisks.

This achievement can be found above the entrance of Istana Alwazikhoebillah in Sambas.



The achievement is composed of the symbol for the nation and the symbol of the ruler.


A newer achievement shows a pajong charged with two swords in saltire, supported by two (natural) seahorses (Hippocampus - Syngnatidę).







Muhammad Shamsuddin Saidul Khairi Waddien


Abdul Rahman Muhammad Jalaluddin


Abdul Rashid Muhammad Jamaluddin I


Muhammad Qamaruddin


Dutch Protectorate 1822-1950

Muhammad Qamaruddin


Muhammad Jamaluddin II



Abdul Said




Gusti Adi Abdul Majid


Adi Muhammad Jun Abdul Kadir


Muhammad Jamaluddin


Muhammad Shamsuddin


Ismail Shafiuddin


Indonesian Rule 1950-1959

Ismail Shafiuddin


State Abolished by Indonesia 1959


Of the emblems of the elements of socio-political structure (sun, moon and star for example) of Sintang only the phoenix is known. The officials of these elements however, had flags as their emblems of office.

These were collected as a result of a letter by the Commander of the Netherlands IndiesNavy of 1 December 1859 and published in 1865 and again by missive of 3 March 1881 no. 126. [8]


The present-day emblem of Sintang is a crowned phoenix or simurg wrongly called a garuda, standing on a sphere.

A phoenix is the symbol of a head of state, in this case probably the Panembahan.


The phoenix is displayed on several places and at several occasions in Sintang. We have no documentation about the origin of the phoenix preserved in the museum of Sintang as illustrated above.


The Ruler



Flag of the Panembahan of Sintang, 1855-1950


The 19th century Panembahans of Sintang had a hat badge of uncertain form, probably of a sun crested with a bunch of feathers. Muhammad Jamaluddin and is successor had the royally crowned arms of the Netherlands within a garland on their caps:



This emblem was laid down by Decision of the Governor General of the Netherlands-Indies of 12 April 1908 No 12.



A collection of seal-stamps of common 19th century form of the Panembahan is preserved in the Museum of Sintang. Amongst them is a stamp in the form of an eight-leaved lotus. Another one is octogonal and still another one is bearing a name in latin script.


Documentation about and prints from these seal-stamps is requested.


The State


Flag of the Laksamana (Prime Minister) 1865


Flag of Ministers and Councillors


Laksamana: “Warden of the seas”, honorific title given to the most senior Malay chief.


Ranges of Authority 

¢ ¢ ¢







Radja’s Flags


Armed Force



War Ensign / Guerre


Admiral of the Fleet (1881)




Commander 1881

Panglima Radja (1865)

Panglima de Guerre (1865)


Panglima means: Commander of the army or the navy.







Imams, Mullahs (1881)








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© Hubert de Vries 2011-01-24 / Updated 2011-11-25

[1] ) That is to say East-, Central  and West Borneo, Madura and Pasundan.

[2] ) Rühl, Dirk: Vlaggen van den Oost-Indischen Archipel (1600-1942). In: Jaarboek van het Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie. Dl. VI, 1952. pp. 136-148

[3] ) Ibid. p. 142

[4] ) See: http://www. ambtskostuums.nl/frameset.htm: Ambtskostuum Inlands Bestuur 1932, Aanvulling met Afbeeldingen. Ook:  http://flagspot.net/flags/id-prl.html.

[5] ) Rühl, Dirk, op.cit.

[6] ) Teh Gallop, Annabel: Golden Letters - Surat Emas. Writing traditions of Indonesia - Budaya Tulis di Indonesia. London/Jakarta, 1991. No 23.

[7] ) Rühl, Dirk, op.cit.

[8]) Poels, Jos: De Totstandkoming van de Eerste Nederlands-Indische Vlaggenkaart. In: De Wimpel, augustus 1984, pp. 342-345. And:  Rühl, Dirk, op.cit.

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