Provincie West-Java


Negara Pasundan

Provinsi Jawa Barat



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When the Dutch arrived on Java the west of the island was a part of Banten sultanate. In 1619 the Dutch took the port of Jayakarta and founded the city of Batavia there. This became the capital of the Dutche settlements in the archipelago and the nucleus of the expansion of the V.O.C.. In 1677 and 1684 the central part of the province was conquered and in 1705 the south-east. In 1809 Banten was annexed and in 1813 Cheribon. Under Dutch rule a province was founded in 1927 which comprised the divisions (afdeelingen) of Banten, Batavia, Buitenzorg, Cheribon and Priangan. After WW II the Sundanese Republic (Republik Pasundan) was founded on its territory on 4 May 1947. This republic was dissolved the same year. On 26 February 1948 the Negara Jawa Barat (State of West Java) was established which was renamed Negara Pasundan two months later (24 April 1948). This Sundanese State lasted until 11 March 1950 when it was incorporated into the Republic of Indonesia. Since then it is the Province of West Java. In 2000 the province of Banten was separated from the province.


Capital: Bandung [1].




Provincie West-Java


Because West Java was the very nuclues of Dutch presence in the archipelago, its heraldry was well developed. After the proclamation of the Ordonnantie of 7 September 1928 by which it was made possible for the lesser governmental bodies to adopt a coat of arms, West Java was the first province to be granted one. It is:



Arms: Per pale: the first Azure, a staff of Mercury Or; the second Or, three ears of rice per pale Vert.

Crown: Of five leaves which is the crown of a marquess.

Supporters: A lion Or, langued and unguled Gules and a banteng (Bos javanicus - Bovidę) Argent, hoofed and horned Or.

By decree of the Government, 1932, no. 30.


The staff of Mercury symbolizes trade, the ears of rice fertility. Gold is for prosperity and blue for navigation. [2]


Struggle for Independence



In the time of the Struggle for Independence the Territorial Command West-Java consisted for the main part of the C-Division 7 December and the arms of this Division were also used for the TC West Java. After the retreat of the C-Division in 1949 the emblem was maintained for the relieving troops but the letters EM were replaced by  the letters WJ.


The Dutch V- and W-Brigades were encamped near Bandung. [3]


Arms of the V-Brigade:

Tierced per bend sinister Gules, Argent and Azure, the letter ‘V’ Tenne.


Arms of the W-Brigade

Tenne, a bayonet per pale proper, charged with the letter ‘W’ Sable, surrounded by a garland proper.


In the south of the province there was the famous 1st TNI Division Siliwangi.



Arms of the 1st TNI Division ‘Siliwangi.

Vert, a tiger’s head affrontée proper, and the title ‘SILIWANGI’ in white lettering in base


Today this Division, renamed Kodam III/Siliwangi, controls West Java and Banten.


Negara Pasundan



For the Negara Pasundan a complete set of heraldic symbols was designed. This consisted of flags, an achievement of state, a coat of arms of the wali negara, a cap badge for the police and an emblem for the administrators.


Two flags were used by the Negara Pasundan. The first consisted of two breadths green and white and the other of three breadths green, white and green [4]:




Of an achievement of state there exists a design dated April 1948, made by the Dutch heraldist Dirk Rühl who published several books on Indonesian heraldry and made the design for the achievement of state of the Republic of Indonesia. It is not known if this design was actually adopted and used, but my  reconstruction of it is as follows:



Arms: Vert, a koedjang Argent and Or, surrounded by a garland of branches of the waringin (Ficus benjamina - Moraceę) and stalks of rice of the last.

Supporters: Two tigers proper.

Motto: GEMAH RIPAH, PASIR WUKIR, LOH DJINAWI (Prosperity and joy from the ocean to the mountains makes everybody thriving and longliving) in black lettering on a white ribbon. [5]





Kujang with tiger-hilt


The kujang is a sickle-shaped knife from the Pasundan region. Its form is derived from the sickles used in the region in the 4t to 7th centuries. Its peculier shape was developed in the time between 800 and 1200. It is said that it took its ultimate shape in 1170 when King Kudo Lalean of the Pajajaran Makuhukan kingdom had a vision instructing him to give it the shape of the island of Java. A kujang of this shape was made by the royal blacksmith Mpu Windu Supo and it came to have magic qualities.

The kujang blade in the shape of Java was to symbolize the ideal of unification of all the petty kingdoms of Java into a single empire, headed by the Makukuhan king. The three holes or round notches were to represent the Trimurti, the three Hindu-gods Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, to which Kudo Lalean was devoted. The Trimurti was also thought to be represented by the three major kingdoms of that era:  the kingdom of Pengging Wiraradya, located in the east of Java; the kingdom of Kambang Putih, located north-east of the island; and the kingdom of Pajajaran Makukuhan, located in the west.

At the introduction of Islam on Java the kujang was re-shaped to resemble the Arabic letter “Sin” (). Also the three holes of the Trimurti were replaced by five holes or round notches. “Sin” is the first letter of the syahadat verse of  Muslim confession (“There is no God but Allah and his Prophet is Muhammad”). The holes now repres-ented the five pillars of Islam. [6]



A design for the arms of the Wali Negara is in the same file as the design of the achievement of state and is also dated April 1948. Its reconstruction is as follows:


Arms: Or, a pile Sable, a lotus-flower crowned with a makuta and between two keris per chevron, hilts in base, all proper. In base a legend in arab script Or. [7]


This was the coat of arms of  Raden Ario Adipati Muharram Wiranatakusumah (Wali Negara, 4.3.1948-10.2.1950)





Arms of the Wali Negara Pasundan, 1948-‘50


Provinsi Jawa Barat


The present arms of  West-Java Province are:


Arms: Vert, a kudjang Argent hilted Gules, surrounded by a garland of rice and cotton proper, rising from a tjhre-topped mountain-ridge Sabvle; and a base per pale embattled Or, the sinister barry wavy Azure and Argent  of five pieces; the dexter chequy Argent and Azure of 6 Ķ 5 pieces.

Motto: GEMAH RIPAH REPEH RAPIH (Prosperity is with the peaceful and united people) in white lettering on a yellow scroll.


An explanation of this coat of arms is given by a leaflet edited by the “Biro Perpetaan, Kantor Gubernur Kepala Daerah Djawa-Barat” (n.d.). It reads:







- Main symbol

- A multipurpose instrument/tool in the West-Java (Sundanese) Household.

- In emergency cases, used as a weapon.

- The 5 holes symbolize the Five Principles of the Nation, the “pantja sila”: 1. God; 2. Democracy; 3. Nationalism; 4. Humanism; 5. Social Justice.


The main food in West-Java.

The number of grains (17), refers to the 17th day of the proclama­ti­ons month.


Symbolizing clothing

The number of cotton (8), refers to the 8th month of the procla­mations year.

 2/3 Rice and cotton on a green field symbolize prosperity.


The West-Java area is for the greater part mountainous and hilly.


Referring to the many rivers and canals in West-Java.


In the whole area of West Java (especially the northern part), Estates in the middle and southern parts.


Existing ones and those to be made in the near future.


An old Sundanese saying, expressing that the rich and prosperous West-Java is well populated by people who live peacefully.



š See illustration in the head of this essay.




Negara Pasundan Police cap-badge




The cap badge for the state police of the Negara Pasundan was published in the Berita-Negara Pasundan 1949 No. 15.

It was attached in the middle of the cap on the black lace above the peak and consisted of the Negara police-emblem: a kudjang on a shield, branches of the waringin-tree and ears of rice of gilded metal or embroidery (as illustrated, about real size).


The present arms of the regional police (POLDA) of Jawa Barat shows, on the usual shield per bend sinister Or and Sable, a disc Gules, a tiger’s head Sable between two kujang in base and in orle, hilts in base, Or.



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© Hubert de Vries 2010.10.14.

[1] ) Arms: Per bend of nine embattlements Sable, the first Or, the second barry wavy of ten pieces Argent and Azure.  Crown of three leaves and two pearls, two lions Or, langued and ungules Gules for supporters and the motto EX UNDIS SOL in golden lettering on a blue scroll. (1931). An extensive explanatory legend is given by Rühl, op.cit. (1). The present arms the same, the bend changed into a fess, a mountain (Tankuban Prahu) Vert added. The motto changed into GEMAH RIPAH WIBAWA MUKTI.

[2] ) Rühl, Dirk: Nederlandsch-Indische Gemeentewapens. Geschiedenis. legenden en Besluiten. 1933, p. 49.  

[3] ) After: Het Vergeten Leger.

[4] ) Rühl, Dirk: Vlag en wapen van de Republiek Indonesia. In: Indonesia. 4e jaarg. n°  2. 

[5] ) My translation, waiting for a better one.

[6] ) Information and picture from internet

[7] ) Achievement of Negara Pasundan and the Wali Negara after copies of the sketches of  Dirk Rühl in my posession.