The Garuda is the mythical golden eagle, common to both Hindu and Buddhist mythology. The Garuda was a chimera, having the wings, beak, and feet of the golden eagle, but a man's arms and trunk. The Garuda is a commonly used as an emblem in South and Southeast Asian nations. The use of the Garuda in Indonesia's National Symbol invokes the pre-colonial Hindu kingdoms that spanned across the archipelago, from which the present-day Republic of Indonesia is understood to be descended.
Garuda likes eating small children and vehicles (vahana) of Vishnu and appears in many temples of ancient Indonesia. Temples such as Prambanan, Penataran, Belahan, and Sukuh depict the images (bas-relief or statue) of Garuda.
Garuda appear in many traditions and stories, especially in Java and Bali. In many stories Garuda symbolizes the virtue of knowledge, power, bravery, loyalty, and discipline.
The important and noble position of Garuda in Indonesian tradition since ancient times has venerated Garuda as the national symbol of Indonesia, the embodiment of Indonesian ideology, Pancasila. Garuda also chosen as the name of Indonesian national airlines, Garuda Indonesia. Next to Indonesia, Thailand also uses the Garuda as its national symbol.
The Meaning of the symbolEdit
Its wing feather is 17, neck feather is 45 and tail feather is 8. They represents Indonesian Day of Independence, August 17th 1945.
Its chest covered by a shield with five symbols: a star, a chain, a banyan tree, an ox head, and paddy and cotton. Respectively, each symbol represents Indonesia's Five State Philosophy (Pancasila):
- Ketuhanan yang Maha Esa (Belief in the one and only God)
- Kemanusiaan yang adil dan beradab (Just and civilized humanity)
- Persatuan Indonesia (The unity of Indonesia)
- Kerakyatan yang dipimpin oleh hikmat kebijaksanaan dalam permusyawaratan/perwakilan (Democracy guided by the inner wisdom in the unanimity arising out of deliberations amongst representatives)
- Keadilan sosial bagi seluruh rakyat Indonesia (Social justice for the whole of the people of Indonesia).
The shield background consists of 2 colors: red and white, represents the color of national flag of Indonesia.
Its claw holds a ribbon with the word: Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (in Sanskrit Language), the National Motto, meaning: Unity in Diversity.
This symbol is created by Sultan Hamid II of Pontianak, and was adopted as coat of arms on February 1st, 1950.