Morning Star flag is Papuan cultural identity – not only a symbol of freedom, Morning Star is a symbol of Papuan hope for justice and prosperity.
Morning Star has seven blue and six white horizontal lines, in the left is wide vertical red line with a white star in the middle.
When Gus Dur was Indonesian president, the name Irian Jaya was changed back to Papua. The changed based on the proposal of Papuan people. It is stated in Special Autonomy regulation year 2001 that Morning Star flag is considered as the symbol of Papuan identity therefore flag raising is allowed under special condition; it is lower and beside the Indonesian red and white. It is stated also in the regulation that people are allowed to sing “Hei Tanahku Papua”.
According to MuridanSatrioWidjojo, LIPI researcher for Papua, flag raising is a part of Papuan ritual. It is related to cargo-ism believe – in the nomenclature of Javanese history often stated as messianic or millennial movement, a movement which believe in the coming of new prosperous era marked by the coming of new leader from the ancestor. The flag raising is a ritual to call the leader.
In the Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono era, Morning Star was identic with separatist movement. Government regulation 77 year 2007 article 6 banned the use of local attributes including the raising of Morning Star and symbol of Mambruk bird. In this era, there were some arrests by government apparatus when they find Morning Star raising – as well as people who wearing Morning Star symbol.
The news about Morning Star raising is now rare, but the manifestation of Morning Star can be seen easily in Papua in the form of noken, bracelets, graffiti, clothes, etc. The sporadic sightings confirmed that Papuan is long for the coming of prosperous and justice era.