Studies on the state symbol of Garuda Pancasila are very few in Indonesia. Consequently, there are not many references that can comprehensively explain the origin of Garuda (eagle) as a symbol of the state. The debate about the origins of the Garuda Pancasila symbol emerged in the revolutionary era after the Independence, when Indonesia was trying to formulate an appropriate symbol of the state.
The history of Garuda symbol is still debatable, associated with who created and designed the symbol, and design development process until the symbol became as it is today. Various views of the experts and historians were expressed. However, not all explanations give a satisfactory answer.
This also attracted the attention of Nanang Rakmat Hidayat, M.Sn., a partner of the UGM Center for Pancasila Studies who is now actively involved in efforts to strengthen and civilize values of Pancasila through research in the symbol of Garuda Pancasila. A research and discourse team from the Center is interested in Nanang Hidayat’s efforts and uniqueness as artist.
On Sunday, January 15, 2012, members of the team, Hastangka and Diasma Sandi Swandaru, visited and conducted an exclusive interview with Nanang Rakhmat Hidayat, M.Sn., the founder of House of Garuda as well as lecturer of the Department of Television, Faculty of Recording Media Arts, Indonesian Arts Institute (ISI) in Yogyakarta. The team hoped to explore about the history and meaning of the Garuda Pancasila symbol, which now began to be ignored and overlooked by the public.
In the interview, Nanang said that he had established the Garuda House because he was concerned that from his observation, the socialization of four pillars of the nation and state, not even one told about the formation process of Garuda Pancasila symbol. In fact, the Garuda looks very striking and amazing as it was selected as an icon. "Ironically, we rarely hear information and education about the Garuda Pancasila symbol to the society," said Nanang.
Feeling concerned about the condition, he was determined to establish Garuda House on August 17, 2011 in Bantul Road km 7.5, Pucung sub-village, Krantil RT 55, Bantul. He initiated the Garuda House as a form of awareness and efforts to conserve the Garuda Pancasila symbol which have not been getting the attention of the academic community and the government.
Nana willingly gave up his private house to be made the House of Garuda and he rents a house in another area. At the House of Garuda can be found a number of Garuda various collection from regions in Indonesia. Until now, there are 300 photos depicting the eagle, 100 successfully printed, 7 in the three-dimension form, 100 reliefs, and 50 in the form of aluminum.
According to Nanang Hidayat, he collected photos of Garuda bird since 2003. As many as 70 percent of the photographs were obtained in Yogyakarta while the other 30 percent come from other cities or given by partners and friends. "I consider almost all aspects of meaning of the Garuda have changed, for example, in terms of functions, sometimes it is just used as an accessory," he said.
In addition, he found the symbol in aluminum is commonly found in flea markets. In terms of shape, there are many more on the streets and villages with a variety of uses, including one that is used as a time marker, as a village and area boundary marker, or as a marker of pride and love of nation and state. "Spiritual aspect are, in fact, not very visible right now," he said.
For Nanang, collecting Garuda Pancasila symbol is a form of love of the symbol. He sometimes found the symbol is used beyond the existing standard, but he understands that it may be due to the fact that the law does not reach out to the community. In fact, more often than not, the Garuda symbol is made with various backgrounds. For example, those who work as rickshaw drivers, meatballs peddlers and youth organization make the symbol happily although it is not in accordance with applicable rules. "So, don’t be surprised if some forms of Garuda in government buildings show different expressions, with different shapes of beak, eyes, wings and grip, because they leave the manufacturing up to the artists while the artists themselves have a different creativity," he said.
Nanang emphasized the meaning of Garuda is currently progressing. Garuda is the pillar of the nation's spirit, it is difficult to be discussed and described because it is in the context of faith. For him, Garuda has an extraordinary meaning so that it can make people see the Garuda symbol within a fraction of a meter on the street in a certain speed. "Instance of this is when people are crossing the street wearing the emblem of Garuda," he added as he hoped the strategy to perform education and information needs to be made with visual strategies and in greater detail can take advantage of some children's games, movies, comics, robots, puzzles and animation.