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Bicentennial logo launched

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It is part of activities to commemorate 200th anniversary of the arrival of Sir Stamford Raffles

As efforts are ramped up to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the arrival of Sir Stamford Raffles in Singapore, the office in charge of next year's activities has launched the bicentennial logo.

But it goes further back, signifying the evolution of Singapore over the last 700 years.

Its designers worked backwards from the idea of Singapore as a little red dot - depicted in the SG50 logo - and came up with seven red polygon-like outlines.

Each has its own distinct look to represent one century of Singapore's 700 years of history.

These outlines form a circle to symbolise the island's transformation through time, adapting and evolving to become present-day Singapore, said the Singapore Bicentennial Office in a statement.

It said the logo - created by local branding and creative design studio Roots - expresses both change and continuity, "conveying the sense that this is an ever-evolving journey for the better".

"The commemoration is an occasion for us to reflect on our history before and after Raffles, and how we've evolved from a place with a geographically strategic location to a people with a unique Singaporean DNA," said the office.

"Throughout the year, we will look at the impact powers around the region and the world have had on us; the huge cast of characters who've contributed to our evolution and more."

The commemoration will be marked by a year-long calendar of events, kicking off on Jan 28. Anchor events will not only look at Singapore's history after the arrival of Sir Stamford Raffles in 1819, but also the 500 years prior to that.

Mr Lim Chen Sian, an associate fellow at the archaeology unit of the ISEAS - Yusof Ishak Institute's Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre, said looking back at 700 years of history can benefit the people of Singapore as it provides a "sense of depth and time".

STUDY OF THE PAST

He said: "The study of the past can help us chart our future, where we want to be or where we don't, based on what worked or did not work in the past. Port cities have flashes of brilliance and then disappear as another port can rise and take prominence any time."

Historian Peter Borschberg of the National University of Singapore (NUS) noted that Singapore's early history has been acknowledged for some time at the official level, and has been taught in higher education institutions such as NUS.

Dr Borschberg said that what is new or at least unfamiliar to many Singaporeans is the way this history is being framed and some of the events or landmarks in Singapore's pre-1800 history.

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