IDENTITY — Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim(Left) and BTA Parliament Speaker Pangalian Ali Balindong(Right) led the ceremonial signing Wednesday, October 23 of the Bangsamoro’s official flag and emblem. (GALao with photo by SSRabas)
COTABATO CITY — The Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Parliament of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) held a ceremonial signing Wednesday, October 23 of the region’s adopted official flag and emblem, or the Autonomy Acts No. 1 and 2.
Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim led the ceremonial signing together with Parliament Speaker Pangalian Ali Balindong during the Parliament’s regular session Wednesday, October 23 and the Chief Minister’s Hour delivered by the former.
The signing ceremony was also witnessed by the Members of the Parliament (MP).
The BTA Parliament passed previously Parliament Bill No. 7 which is also known as “An Act Adopting an Official Flag of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao”. The measure was passed on its third and final reading on August 22, 2019 and was signed into law on August 28, 2019 by Chief Minister Ebrahim as Bangsamoro Autonomy Act No. 1.
The Bangsamoro flag is reflective of its people’s “identity, history, heritage, struggles, and aspiration.” It has 4 colors, a crescent, a seven-rayed star, and a kris.
The top side portion of the flag is green, symbolizing Islamic teachings and principles that the majority of the BARMM population adheres to. The middle part is white, signifying peace, sakina or tranquility (sakina is a principle in the Qur’an), and righteousness.
The bottom side portion is red, which symbolizes the blood of the fallen mujahideen or those who had fought for the recognition of identity and self-determination of the Bangsamoro.
The crescent with a seven-rayed star in its center foregrounds the flag’s middle. The crescent symbolizes principles that guided the Bangsamoro people who had fought for self-determination. The star’s 7 rays represent the 7 provinces and cities that are part of the region: Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Sulu, Tawi-tawi; the cities of Marawi, Lamitan, and Cotabato; as well as the 63 barangays that were previously part of North Cotabato.
Furthermore, the middle of the red portion is a “Kris” which symbolizes the protection and resistance of the Bangsamoro and other indigenous people in the Bangsamoro territory against “oppression, tyranny, and injustice.”
The law requires all Bangsamoro offices, public and private schools, colleges and universities, public offices, government-owned or controlled corporations, and other government instrumentalities to display the new flag.
On the other hand, the BTA also passed previously Parliament Bill No. 8, which is known as “An Act Adopting an Official Seal of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao”. The measure was passed on its third and final reading on August 29, 2019 and was signed into law on September 6, 2019 by Chief Minister Murad Ebrahim as Bangsamoro Autonomy Act No. 2.
The official Bangsamoro seal is circular in design. The words “Bangsamoro Autononomous Region in Muslim Mindanao” is clearly printed at the upper portion and the same are preceded and ended by stars. The year of creation of the BARMM “2019” is printed at the lower portion.
The outermost part of the official Bangsamoro seal is bordered by a rope. In its center shall be a crescent with a seven-rayed star to its right.
The rope, the crescent and the seven-rayed star is golden yellow in color. There’s a strip, slightly red in color, in the inner portion of the rope. The crescent and the star is set against a green background. The words describe therein is written in green with white as its background.
The rope symbolizes the unity of the Bangsamoro, non-Moro indigenous people, and other people in the BARMM, as inspired by verse 3:103 of the Quran, which states “Hold tight to the rope of Allah, together. And be not divided”.
The strip, slightly red in color, represents the blood of the fallen Mujaheddin who fought recognition of identity and self-determination. The crescent stands for the “guiding principles” of the region’s people who fought for self-determination.
Meanwhile, the seven-rayed star represents the component local governments of the region; the provinces of Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi Tawi, Cotabato City, and the Bangsamoro barangays in North Cotabato. The seal contains the full name of the Bangsamoro region in English. An Arabic version of the Bangsamoro seal is also considered official.
Under the Bangsamoro Organic Law, the Parliament is permitted to adopt its own seal and symbol. (GALao, Communications and Media Unit, BTA Parliament)
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