How you develop nationalism among children? Difficult to answer as there will be so many answers. But, there is one thing for sure it will relate to the flag of the country.

Train pupils to give salute to the country flag like asking them to attend flag cermony is one of them. Unfortunately, it is not enjoyable. Nobody likes to stand for almost an hour to be in the middle of a situation that you can only stand and stare.

However, perhaps, because nobody is sure the reason of the creator, there is one way, an Indonesian way, to make it more interesting for kids to learn about how difficult it is to raise a flag of our country. It is a game and commonly known as  “Moving the Flags” game.

Yes, it is a game. For sure, playing  a game gives much more excitement than attending a flag ceremony, right?

Moving the Flags Game - Typical Game of Indonesian Independence Day Celebration B

The “moving the flags” game is a special game as it’s held usually on a specific time, which is Indonesian Independence Day, 17 of August. Every year, the game is played by many people.

Participants vary and can be anyone but this game has been mostly done for children between 4/5 – 10. Very seldom adults play it.

How to play the game is so simple and it can be played anywhere, on streets or fields. It needs very minimum equipment since it needs only :

  • 8-10 empty bottle of anything
  • small paper flags
  • bamboo stick (or coconut leave stick) to attach the flags

Then, just put 3-4 bottle with flags at one end and another 3-4 empty bottle on the other end. Give a distance around 10-15 meters.

Participants starts from the empty bottle end. They have to move the flag sticks one by one until the originally full of flag bottle empty and the empty bottle becomes full.

The fastest is the winner.

Moving the Flags Game - Typical Game of Indonesian Independence Day Celebration C

It is just s simple race. Yes, for adults, that’s why it’s not an adult game. But, for children, it is not that easy. Trying to run fast, and put the flag through the small hole of bottle mouth is not that easy.

However, inside the simplicity of the game, Indonesians hope that the pupils learn about how difficult it was to obtain and to protect the Indonesia independence, something that they expect the next generation to remember. Besides, at the same time, it teaches also pupils about being competitive.

At least, it is the interpretation of many Indonesians about the “moving flags” game. That’s why this game is played every year in many place and becomes one of the most typical game played during the Celebration of Indonesian Independence Day, besides the sack race.

Have you ever played this game in your country?