How to Create Malaysia Flag with HTML and CSS 🇲🇾

Malaysia is now 62-years old! 🎉 Happy birthday, Malaysia! 🎂

To celebrate this big day, I have decided to create the Malaysia flag using HTML and CSS (only), and without using any JavaScript, SVG, and of course, without using any images.

Um … But technically I can use emoji right? Or maybe I can use this package?

Flag of Malaysia — Jalur Gemilang 🇲🇾

Jalur Gemilang — The Flag of Malaysia

The flag of Malaysia, also known as the Malay: Jalur Gemilang (“Stripes of Glory”), is composed of a field of 14 alternating red and white stripes along the fly and a blue canton bearing a crescent and a 14-point star known as the Bintang Persekutuan (Federal Star).

Here are the components that I need to create using HTML and CSS:

14 Alternating Red and White Stripes: Sounds easy 😎

Crescent: Hmm, a big circle and a small circle inside? 🤔

14-Point Star: I have completely no idea how to do this 🤭

Step 1: Create Flag Layout with CSS Grid

(Source: Wikipedia)

Firstly, I am going to create the flag layout with CSS Grid.

It’s pretty straight-forward, I will use grid-template-rows and grid-template-columns properties to create the flag layout with 2 rows and 2 columns.

Then, I will use grid-column: span 2 to expand the bottom column into a full row (or 2 columns).

I am also using CSS Variable too.
CSS Grid Layout for Jalur Gemilang

Step 2: 14 Alternating Red and White Stripes

The Jalur Gemilang consists of 7 red stripes and 7 white stripes. 8 of the stripes are located at the upper-right quarter, and the rest of the 6 stripes are located at the bottom part of the flag.

7 red stripes + 7 white stripes

What I need to do now, is to create 14 <div> and use CSS’s :nth-child(even) and :nth-child(odd) rules to style the stripes.

But is there any other better method to do this? 🤔

Hmm … how about using repeating-linear-gradient?

The repeating-linear-gradient() CSS function creates an image consisting of repeating linear gradients. It is similar to linear-gradient() and takes the same arguments, but it repeats the color stops infinitely in all directions so as to cover its entire container. — MDN Web Docs

With that, I can use repeating-linear-gradient to create the 14 red-white stripes without writing 14 <div>! CSS FTW! 🎉

Step 3: Crescent 🌙

The crescent can be created using a circle with an inner shadow, which can be done using the inset value. (Thanks Google!)

I found this method online ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Here’s how the flag looks like (so far).

Step 4: 14-point star

That’s the moment, I realized I have completely no idea how to create a 14-point star using CSS. (And I also forgot how to draw the 14-point star by hand 🤦‍♀️)

Yes, it’s really difficult to draw the 14-point star 🤣 (Image: submerryn.com)

So after some simple research (aka Google Search), I found 3 ways how to draw a 14-point star:

Method 1: Draw 7 lines, then draw a “V” between each tip.

  • 😀 Very easy to draw on paper
  • 😕 No idea how to recreate it with CSS
Draw 7 lines, then draw a “V” between each tip (Image Source: submerryn.com)

Method 2: 14 triangles surrounded by a circle.

  • 😀 Easy to draw on paper
  • ☹️ Hard to recreate it using CSS
14 triangles surrounded by a big circle?

Method 3: 7 long diamond shapes with different rotation values.

  • 🤷‍♀️ I guess no one uses this method to draw on paper?
  • 😍 Very easy to recreate it using CSS
7 long diamond shapes with different rotation values

Ok, now I have found a way to create the 14-point star using CSS, the next step is to create 14 long diamond shape with different rotation values.

Long diamond shape = 2 isosceles triangles

The long diamond shape can be created using 2 isosceles triangles. The code should look something like this:

The next step is to duplicate the long diamond shape for 6 more times, and add the CSS rotate function to it. As a result, the code should look like this:

Result 🇲🇾

https://codepen.io/limhenry/pen/mdbEGYg

Here you have it, I have successfully created the Malaysia flag using 30 lines of HTML and ~120 lines of CSS. 🎉

You can look at the full code on CodePen: codepen.io/limhenry/pen/mdbEGYg

What’s next?

However, this is not perfect yet. Few more things can be improved:

😤 Issue #1: Sub-pixel Rendering

Sub-pixel rendering issue on Firefox

If you open the CodePen link in Firefox, you might notice the sub-pixel rendering issue (The weird line in the 14-point star).

However, it’s actually possible to fix it using transform: translateZ(1px);(Refer to line 111). By doing this, the browser will render it using hardware acceleration or GPU acceleration, instead of the browser's slower software rendering engine.

😅 Issue #2: Flag is Not Responsive

This can be done with a few lines of JavaScript code, but maybe I can write another article just for this? 🤔

Anyway, it’s time for me to go eat some Nasi Lemak 😋 Happy Birthday Malaysia! 🎉

NG-MY KIA (The mascot of NG-MY 2019) holding the Malaysia Flag, with the Google I/O 2019 stage at the background.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MALAYSIA! 🇲🇾🎂 (Image: NG-MY KIA / Myself)

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Google Developer Expert in Web Technologies | Front-end Web Developer | Making the web better with Preact, Polymer, Web Components, PWA & Firebase

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Google Developer Expert in Web Technologies | Front-end Web Developer | Making the web better with Preact, Polymer, Web Components, PWA & Firebase

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