Provincie Oost Java

Negara Jawa Timur

Provinsi Jawa Timur




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East Java's history dates back to the famous ancient kingdoms of Kediri and Singhasari, which is now a city near Malang. The Majapahit empire, centered at Trowulan, Mojokerto East Java, is celebrated by Indonesians as the golden age of the archipelago. The Eastern Java region was part of the Mataram kingdom during its peak.

Eastern Java is composed of several parts of Mataram. Sumenep was annexated by the Dutch East India Company in 1705. Madura, Pasuruan, Rembang and Surabaja folllowed in 1743. Besuki came to be a possession of the V.O.C. in 1777 and Madiun became a part of the Dutch East Indies in 1830.

These residencies were united in East Java Province (Provincie Oost Java) founded in 1929.

On 26 November 1948 the State of East Java (Negara Jawa Timur) was established on the territory of East Java Province. This state was ruled by a Wali Negara by name of  R.T. Achmad Kusumonegori (1948.12.03- 1950.01.19) and for some time by a federal commissioner (1950.01.19-1950.03.09). On the last date the province was incorporated into the Republic of Indonesia.




In the time of the Kediri and Singasari empires and also in the time of the Mataram Empire the local heraldry apparently was of the Hindu-buddhist kind. When the Dutch V.O.C. took over the symbols of state of the V.O.C.  were valid.

Emblems for lower governmental bodies were introduced when Surabaja adopted a coat of arms in 1931.

No coat of arms was ever adopted for colonial East Java Province nor emblems of state are known of  the ephemeral State of East Java.


Provincie Oost Java


Capital:  Surabaja


No achievement was adopted for the Province of East Java in the time of Dutch rule. Instead there was an achievement for its capital:


Arms: Azure, a shark reguardant in chief and a crocodile to the sinister reguardant, both Argent.

Crown: A crown of three leaves and two pearls (also a mural crown of five towers).

Supporters: Two lions Or, langued and unguled Gules.

Motto: SOERA-ING-BAJA in golden lettering on a scroll Azure. [1]


A legend about the arms of Surabaya narrates:


“Very long time ago, a shark (suro) and a crocodile (bojo) constantly quarrelled with each other. Both were strong, courageous, clever and gluttonous and always when they met they waged a life and death struggle, be it on land or in the sea.

Realizing that life would be impossible for both of them in this way they made, on the proposal of the crocodile, an agreement. For the shark, who was a better swimmer than the crocodile, the sea was his territory henceforth and the crocodile declared the land to be his. The border between the two territories would be the line of low tide.

For a long time there was peace between them but then the shark realized that there was only an agreement about the land and the sea. The rivers, he thought, are also water and are not dry at low tides and consequently are a part of my territory. And so the shark, eager for booty, went into the rivers.

Once the crocodile, returning from one of his raids, ran into the shark and reproached him that he did not keep to the agreement.

The shark however said that he was of the opinion that the rivers, being water, were a part of his territory.

The crocodile did not agree with that and the quarrel went so far that a fierce struggle resulted. The water coloured red of the blood of the fighters and even the bridge nearby was coloured red. For that reason this bridge is still called “The Red Bridge”.

The crocodile was injured on his right side, there where his tail began. For that reason crocodiles still have their tails bent to the left. But he chased the shark from his territory and since then the shark never comes nearer but the mouth of the rivers.

And as a reminder to this struggle the city founded on the spot was called Surobojo.” [2]


Jembatan Merah / Roode Brug in Surabaya, end 19th c.


The present arms of Surabaya are:

Arms: Azure, a shark reguardant in chief and a crocodile to the sinister reguardant in base Or, and the Tugu Pahlawan monument in Surabaya per pale Argent.


Negara Jawa Timur



The Negara Jawa Timur was established 1948.02.26 and dissolved 1950.03-09. Its wali negara was R.T. Achmad Kusomonegoro (1948.12.03 - 1950.01.19).


This was the time after WWII of the presence of the Dutch Army and the struggle for independence  in East Jawa.

On the Dutch side initially there was the Territorial Command East Java (Territoriaal Commando Oost Java) but later this was replaced by the A-Division.

The emblem of the Territorial Command East Java consisted of the map of the Westgat and the Oostgat between Java and Madura, in chief the flag of the Netherlands and in base the crocodile of Surabaya. Over all a sword per pale, on its point the letter ‘A’ Tenne (orange). This emblem was approved by disposal of the army commander (L.C.) nr. 283/GS/35 of 11 July 1946. As the arms were judged too overloaded they were replaced by a shield approved by disposal L.C. No. 1823/GS/35 of 21 April 1947. This showed a tower on a red field, its entrance an ‘A’ of the field..

Added to the T.C. East Java was the X-Brigade established 23 February 1946 and dissolved 20 July 1949. Its arms were: Azure, the letter ‘X’ Argent charged with the Dutch Lion Orange. [3]



Around Surabaya were the 5th Division Ronggolawe, the 6th Division Brawijaya and the 7th Division  Suropati of the Indonesian Army. Of these three divisions the arms of the Brawijaya Division are known:




Arms: Per pale Gules and Tenne, a temple proper and a five pointed star Or in chief.

Title: BRAWIJAYA in white lettering on a chief Sable.


It is not known which temple is depicted on the arms.


Today TNI Kodam V/Brawijaya controls East Java Province.


Provinsi Jawa Timur


Arms: Per fess Azure and Or, the Merapi volcano Sable, smoking Argent, charged with the national monument Tugu Pahlawan between a split temple-gate, in chief a five-pointed star radiant Or and a base barry engrailed Argent and Azure.

Garland: A branch of cotton and an ear of rice, proper, a white scroll with the name JAWA TIMUR in black lettering  surrounded by a part of a cogwheel on the dexter and the sinister Azure and in base a chain Or.

Motto: JER BASUKI MAWA BEYA in black lettering on a white scroll.




·         The Merapi (2800 m) is the highest volcano of the range of nine volcanos of East Java.

·         The split temple-gate symbolizes the spiritual greatness of the people of East Java in good and bad times.

·         The Tugu Pahlawan monument in Surabaya commemorates the strugge for Independence

·         The golden base symbolizes the rich sawahs and fields of the province, the waves the rivers irrigating them

·         The golden star symbolizes the national principle of the Pancasila

·         The garland symbolizes prosperity and makes the date 17 August 1945, the day of the proclamation of the Republic of Indonesia

·         The cogwheel symbolizes industry, the chain the unity of the working class

  • The motto JER BASUKI MAWA BEYA means: No Success Without Sacrifice


ð See illustration in the head of this essay





The arms of the Regional Police (POLDA) of East Java shows, on the usual shield per bend sinister Or and Sable, a disc with the Merapi Volcano smoking.



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© Hubert de Vries 2010-10-14

[1] ) Decision of the Government 1931, No. 39.

[2] ) Rühl, Dirk: Nederlandsch-Indische Gemeentewapens. Geschiedenis. legenden en Besluiten. 1933. Pp. 45-46.  

[3] ) From: Het Vergeten Leger