The flag of Singapore has two equal horizontal bands: the one on top is red and the other is white. On the observer’s upper left side, at the red band, is a crescent. Beside the crescent, on its right, are five five-pointed stars placed in a way that a pentagram is formed.
The flag of Singapore was first flown in 1959 when the country became self-governing, although still within the British Empire. The same flag was adopted as the official national flag of Singapore when it gained its independence in August 9, 1965.
In 1959, soon after Singapore was declared as self-governing, the process for making a flag started. The project was assigned to the then Deputy Prime Minister Toh Chin Chye. Toh and his committee finished the work in two months.
Toh’s original idea for the flag’s design is a pure red background, but the Cabinet opposed the idea to avoid association with the communist; the color red, at that time, is considered a rallying point for communism. The crescent was originally included to assure the Malays that Singapore is not a Chinese state. Another initial plan is to include only three stars, but leaders such as Toh himself, expressed concern that the country might be associated with the Malayan Communist Party whose flag bears three stars.
Though the stars and crescent are considered Muslim symbolisms, the government assures and explains to its citizens that the symbols are not meant to symbolize Islam. The government has always emphasized that the moon is a symbol of a progressing country, a country “on the ascent” – remember, that the design was made shortly after becoming a self-governing state – and the five stars are symbolic of Singapore’s ideals: democracy, equality, justice, peace, and progress.
Red represents brotherhood and unity and white for purity and virtue.