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History Trivia

Mat Salleh Badger?

The coat of arms of the Brooke dynasty was based on the emblem used by the first White Rajah, Sir James Brooke. The White Rajahs ruled Sarawak from 1841 to 1946. The best place to see this crest today is on the pediment (triangular-shape roof) above the pillars of the Kuching General Post Office in town.

It consisted of a red and black cross on a yellow shield, topped by a badger, known in heraldic parlance or Middle English as a “brock.” The word “brock” is a nickname for people named “Brook” or “Brooke.” Hence it alludes to the dynastic surname of the Brookes of Sarawak. This animal is actually an European badger, ironically an animal that cannot be found in Sarawak

A crown was added in 1949, and the shield design was used as the basis of the Sarawak flag until 1973.

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