Thu, 18 Sep 2003

Mega concerned about flag

JAKARTA: The proposed Rp 3.5 billion (US$411,765) budget to relocate Bendera Pusaka (original national flag) from the State Palace to the independence room at the National Monument (Monas) apparently has gotten President Megawati Soekarnoputri seriously concerned.

Governor Sutiyoso said on Wednesday that the plan had to be delayed as the President has expressed disagreement with the plan to store the flag folded in a gold-plated box at the new venue until 2004.

The flag, which was hoisted for the first time when Indonesian nationalists declared Independence Day on Aug. 17, 1945, was hand-sewn by then First Lady Fatmawati Soekarno, who is Megawati's mother.

An agreement between the city administration and the central government states that the flag will be kept in the independence room at Monas together with other independence heirlooms like the Garuda statue, the Indonesian map and an exact replica of text used in the proclamation of independence, as well as the recorded voice of founding President Soekarno. -- JP