Papuans have the proud symbol with an accent of seven blue lines, six horizontal of white lines, and on the left a wide vertical of red stripe, and in the middle, there is a white star. They called the morning star. The morning star as the flag of West Papua does not appear suddenly. It has a long history in the awareness of the Papuan who are multi-ethnic and diverse language.
The History Of West Papua
If we see the documenter movie by Mark Worth entitled The Land of The Morning Star, you will see a woman from Papua was sewing a flag that has the similarity with the Dutch flag that attached star in its corner. At that time the land of Papua witnessed the Pacific War battlefield which involved America and its allies against Japan.
The morning star itself is a star that appears in the sky at dawn before sunrise. This star as a guide for the fisherman. As a guide when they are in the middle of the ocean without a compass. That morning star to be hope for the fisherman who is waiting for the morning. The Papuan community in Holandia which now refers to Jayapura has also raised the Morning Star Flag to show the existence as a sovereign nation around 1944 until 1945. This moment happened when the United States of America left Papua after The Pacific War while bringing Japanese prisoners and returning to the region was replaced by the Dutch. The Morning Star Flag was also used as long as the status of Papua was still held by the Dutch and was named New Guinea from 1949 until 1962.
The morning star on the flag of West Papua is a symbol of The Koreri movement, a cultural and traditional movement of a tribe. In 1961, the representatives of all the community in West Papua choose the symbol for national identity. Then they chose the morning star as the symbol for West Papua.
The design of Morning Star Flag was refined by Markus Wonggor Kaisiepo. Then this flag was raised for the first time in 1961 as the affirmation of independence of Papua from the Netherlands. In 1962, the former president of Indonesia, Sukarno saw that the existence of the Papuan state was the only trick that formed by the Dutch. That hoisting of Morning Star flag occurred the dispute between the Indonesian government and Papuan Nationalists.
During the dispute, West Papua temporarily handled by UNTEA (The United Nations Temporary Executive Authority ). On 1963, the West Papua was handed by the Indonesian government as mandated by the New York Agreement. The temporary surrender was carried out until the referendum held in 1969. That referendum gives the chance to the Papuan whether to join Indonesia or stand sovereign as their own country.
After the New Era had collapsed, marked by the fall of the leadership of Soeharto. The critic and protest to review the implementation of the Act were filled by the Papuan. Including efforts to raise again the flag of the Morning Star pride.
The turnover of the president makes the change of mindset and views on the land of Papua. Based on the Government Regulation number 77 of 2007 said that prohibits the using of regional attributes including raising The Morning Star Flag, the symbol of Mambruk Bird that identified as the separatist movement. With that regulation made more Papuans who are later arrested and charged with treason. According to the Human Rights Watch, Indonesian courts have long considered flag raising due to pro-independence sentiment as a symbol of sovereignty, and this is the expression to forbidden.