"Every year on Independence Day, precisely at 9:00 in the morning the President reads the familiar words, in their familiar, rhythmic intonation: Pro-kla-mas-si. Ka-mi bangsa In-do-ne-sia . . .
We the Indonesian people hereby declare Indonesia'’s independence.
Matters concerning the transfer of power and other matters will be executed in an orderly manner and in the shortest possible time.
Jakarta, dated 17-8-45
In the name of the Indonesian People.
Soekarno - Hatta
A flag-raising ceremony follows immediately. A white-uniformed student honor guard marches to the reviewing stand, where an "heirloom duplicate" flag is presented to one of its members. She (for on every such occasion that I have witnessed
the flag’s recipient has been female) then delivers the "Grand Old Red-and-White" to the team of four who perform the actual raising of the flag. Once the sergeant-at-arms has formally reported the ceremony'’s successful completion, the national anthem, "Indonesia Raya," is sung in heartfelt unison by the crowd. This entire ceremony is synchronized across the nation. You can see it on television, and imagine it being performed in exactly the same way, and at exactly the same moment, in the capital of each territorial sub-unit-province, district, subdistrict, hamlet, and so on-throughout the archipelago. In a country that spans some 13,000 islands and contains the fourth largest population in the world, this is a breathtaking display of "unity in diversity," to quote Indonesia'’s national motto."