Jakarta, IO – The National Flag Hoisting Team (Paskibraka) is an important element in every ceremony commemorating the Proclamation of Indonesian Independence at the Merdeka Palace every August 17.
Accompanied by the national anthem Indonesia Raya, 76 of the country’s best sons and daughters were tasked with hoisting and lowering the red-and-white flag.
Being a member of the elite team is a matter of pride. They have to go through a long and arduous selection process to reach the State Palace. They also have to go through education and training systems and mechanisms before being accepted, per Sindonews, Thursday (17/8).
Students who want to achieve this position can start by participating in Paskibra extracurricular activities at their own schools.
Paskibraka was conceived by Lt. Cmdr. Husein Mutahar in 1946. He was tasked by President Soekarno to prepare a flag ceremony at the Presidential Palace, Gedung Agung, Yogyakarta.
Husein then chose five young people as regional representatives, consisting of three women and two men, symbolizing the five principles of Pancasila.
When the capital moved to Jakarta in 1950, Husein was no longer in charge of the team. The national flag-hoisting ceremony became the responsibility of the President’s House until 1966 and was carried out at the Merdeka Palace. In 1967, Husein was again entrusted with organizing the Independence Day ceremony.
This time he invented a new format of 17-8-45 which signifies the date of Indonesian independence. The formation was further divided into three groups; team 17 as escort, team 8 as the core group of flag carriers and hoisters, and team 45 as bodyguards. This is the formation used to this day.
Before being known as Paskibraka, the team was called “Pasukan Pengerek Bendera Pusaka.” In 1973 it was redesignated as “Pasukan Pengibar Bendera Pusaka” (Paskibraka) by Husein Mutahar’s brother Idik Sulaeman. This is the official name that is continued to be used up to this day. (un)