Merdeka Square is literally Independence Square, being where the Union flag was lowered and the Malaysian flag hoisted at midnight on 31 August 1957. On that occasion, the Queen was represented by her uncle, HRH the Duke of Gloucester. To this square Malaysians throng in their thousands each year to celebrate another year of independence and the annual parade is held on that date. The square was laid out by the British in 1884 during the colonisation of Malaya. It contains a fountain placed there in 1897. There is also a 95 meter-high flagpole at the southern end – one of the tallest flagpoles in the world. Until 1987 the square was known as the Selangor Club Padang or the cricket ground of the Selangor Club.
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