Held on the first day of June each year, Pancasila Day celebrates the birth of the Indonesian state’s philosophy. Pancasila which means “Five Principles” in English. These interrelated principles focus on Divinity, a just and civilized humanity, unity of the country, democracy governed by the wise representative consultations. In addition to social justice for the Indonesians.  

Celebrations in Indonesia | Source: Unsplash

Pancasila on Indonesia’s Coat of Arms 

Indonesia’s national emblem which is called Garuda Pancasila is represented by the ancient mythical bird Garuda. It has a heraldic shield on its chest and also a scroll in its legs. Designed by Sultan Hamid II, the Garuda possesses eight feathers on its tail, 17 on each wing, and 45 on its neck. They exemplify the date of the country’s proclamation of independence on August 17, 1945.  

Garuda Pancasila Emblem | Source: AS

The shield which stands for self-defense carries five symbols of Pancasila: a Banteng or a Javanese wild bull which represents the 4th principle, a Banyan tree that symbolizes the 3rd philosophy, a branch of paddy and also cotton that signifies the 5th principle, a ring of chains that implies the 2nd philosophy, and a five-pointed star that portrays the first  

Pancasila on Banknotes 

The Garuda Pancasila appears on the upper right of the obverse of the recent Indonesian 100,000 Rupiah banknote issued by the Bank Indonesia in 2021. The paper bill also features Indonesia’s first Vice-president Mohamaad Hatta and first president Sukarno who first articulated the Five Principles on June 1, 1945 in his speech to the preparatory committee for the nation’s independence. The note’s reverse side depicts a Tari Topeng Betawi or a dancer with a mask and also the Raja Ampat Islands in the background.  

Indonesia 100,000 Rupiah | 2021 | Source: Banknote World

The Garuda Pancasila is also shown on the 75,000-rupiah banknote. Introduced in 2020 to commemorate Indonesia’s 75th year of Independence. The banknote also highlights President Sukarno, Vice-President Mohammad Hatta, and the flag raising ceremony in 1945.  

Indonesia 75,000 Rupiah Banknote, 2020 | Source: Banknote World

Sukarno, along with Mohammad Hatta, declared the Indonesian war for independence from the Dutch colonialists. His portrait is also on the first Indonesian 5 rupiah banknote from the struggle in 1946. 

Indonesia 5 Rupiah | 1945 | Source: Banknote World Educational

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