Imperial Legacies, Intercultural Connections and the State Symbolism: the Star of the Republic of Indonesia
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Imperial Legacies, Intercultural Connections and the State Symbolism: the Star of the Republic of Indonesia
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Anton Zakharov 
Institute of Oriental Studies RAS
Moscow State University of Psychology and Education
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow

In 1959, the first President of Indonesia Sukarno established the highest order of the state, i.e. the Star of the Republic of Indonesia (Bintang Republik Indonesia). The Star has five classes. The form of its badge is a seven rays star. The first and second classes have a breast star of the same form, along with the badge itself. The Star of the Republic of Indonesia turned the second Indonesian award of a seven rays star. In 1958, the Sacred Star (Bintang Sakti) in the single class was established for the awards for military acts of valor. It also has a seven rays star form. The Star of the Republic of Indonesia, however, has been the highest order of the Indonesian State. Any President of Indonesia obtains its first class after his/her inauguration. The form of the Indonesian highest award may have originated from the Ottoman decoration system. The two most frequent and well-known Ottoman orders — Medjidie (Mecidiye Nişanı) and Osmanieh (Osmanlı Devlet Nişanı) — both have the badge of seven pointed star. Due to long historical contacts of the Indonesian archipelago communities with the Near East and especially with the Ottoman Empire, the latter’s symbolism looked attractive for the just-emerged Indonesian state. The seven rays star helped to distinguish the Indonesian awards and decorations system from its contemporaries. The form also tends to express the legacies of a mighty Moslem Empire.

Star of the Republic of Indonesia, awards and decorations system, orders, the Ottoman Empire, intercultural connections, state ideology
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