The Indonesian Flag Tailor, Ms. Fatmawati

Helloindonesia.id – Fatmawati was born on Monday, 5 February 1923 at 12.00 noon in the city of Bengkulu, as the only daughter of H. Hassan Din and Siti Chadidjah’s family. Fatmawati’s childhood was full of challenges and difficulties, due to the colonialism system which was run by the Dutch East Indies Government.

Soekarno & Fatmawati
Soekarno & Fatmawati

His father, Hassan Din was originally an employee of a Dutch company, Coming in Bengkulu. But because he did not want to leave his activities as a member of Muhammadiyah, he then left the company. After that, Hassan Din often changed businesses and moved to a number of cities in the Southern Sumatra region.
Not many people know that Fatmawati is actually a descendant of the Mukomuko Indrapura Kingdom. The father Hassan Din is the 6th descendant of the Princess of Flower Melur. Putri Bunga Melur, when interpreted, is a beautiful, simple, wise princess. No wonder Fatmawati has a wise and protective nature.
In 1944, Japan promised independence for Indonesia. The Red and White Flag was permitted to be hoisted and the song Indonesia Raya could be played throughout the archipelago. Ibu Fat, the wife of Bung Karno “The Proclamator”, was among those who were confused because they did not have a flag to be hoisted in front of her house, Jalan Pegangsaan Timur 56 Jakarta when independence would be proclaimed.

Story of Two Pieces of Red and White Fabric

In 1944, Japan promised independence for Indonesia. The Red and White Flag was permitted to be hoisted and the song Indonesia Raya could be played throughout the archipelago. Ibu Fat, the wife of Bung Karno “The Proclamator”, was among those who were confused because they did not have a flag to be hoisted in front of her house, Jalan Pegangsaan Timur 56 Jakarta when independence would be proclaimed

Imagining it is indeed difficult. When some Indonesian people do not have clothes and wear sackcloth, Fat Lady needs red and white cloth to make a flag. Fabric at that time was a rare commodity, moreover ex imported goods were all still controlled by Japan.

Mrs. Fat then called a young man named Chaerul Basri. The young man was asked to meet a Japanese official named Shimizu who was certain to be able to help find the red and white cloth. Shimizu (still alive in Japan at the age of 92 in 2004) was a person appointed by the Japanese government as an intermediary in the 1943 Japan-Indonesia negotiations. His official position at that time was the leader of the Japanese propaganda movement, the 3A Movement.

It’s true, Shimizu can help Chaerul. The red and white cloth needed by Fat Lady was obtained through the help of another Japanese official who headed the warehouse in the Gate of Water, in front of the former Capitol cinema.

Even though the womb was old (containing his first son Moh. Guntur Soekarno Putra), so he was not allowed to use a foot sewing machine, so the red and white flag was sewn with hand sewing.

An interesting note occurred in 1977, when Shimizu visited Indonesia and met with President Soeharto, in the evening, Shimizu held a meeting with Indonesian figures he had known in the Japanese era. It was on that night, Ms. Fat explained to Shimizu that the Red and White flag was first raised at Pegangsaan Timur 56 and on the day of the Republic of Indonesia’s Independence Proclamation on August 17, 1945 – now known as the Heritage Flag – the fabric came from Shimizu.

Proclamation August 17, 1945

Friday in the month of Ramadan, at 05.00 am, dawn August 17, 1945 radiated in the eastern horizon when the morning dew was still hanging on the edge of the leaf, the nation’s leaders and youth leaders came out of Admiral Maeda’s house, filled with pride after formulating the text of the Proclamation until dawn . They had agreed to proclaim the independence of the Indonesian people that day at Sukarno’s house, Jalan Pegangsaan Timur No. 56 Jakarta, at 10:00 a.m.

Exactly at 10:00, with a steady and clear voice, Soekarnomakan the text of the proclamation, Merdeka cried out and was everywhere able to preach Indonesian Independence to the entire world.

If anyone asks, what is the role of women ahead of the proclamation of independence? Of course, we will remember the figure of Fatmawati, Bung Karno’s wife. It was he who sewed the Sang Saka Merah Putih flag. After that, a Trimurti girl brought a tray and handed the inheritance flag to Latief Hendraningrat and Soehoed to be hoisted. And, all the audience sang the song Indonesia Raya on Jalan Pegangsaan Timur 56 Jakarta. On that day, Ms. Fatmawati took part in the ceremony and became a perpetrator of the history of Indonesian Independence.

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