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The Rich History Of Our National Flag And Several Milestones In Its Evolution!

Updated on July 22, 2015

We Indians are, historically, very rich. We have a rich culture, rich values and of course a rich history too. Our freedom struggle is rife with superb examples of the richness of our history. Fighting for our freedom, and then finally winning it is the best gift a nation can gift itself and for added national Pride, is the National Flag! Every free nation is proud of their flag and wishes to flaunt it proudly.

The National Flag stands for patriotism, symbolising the potency it spells for any country. It is the heart of a country. A national flag symbolises the country itself. It stands for idealism and sends a message that millions have died for it. When we look up at it our hands automatically rise in a salute and our hearts are filled with love and pride. Our dear flag, how close it is to us and is the single binding force, securing us in one single thread of national love, be it Hindus, Muslims, Christians or any other religion.

Indian National Flag By	Jpoonnolly [CC-BY-SA-3.0-migrated (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons
Indian National Flag By Jpoonnolly [CC-BY-SA-3.0-migrated (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

Pingali Venkayya’s Connection to Indian National Flag

Not many know that a humble freedom fighter Pingali Venkayya was the designer and maker of our Indian National Flag? He was highly qualified and had set up an educational institute in Machilipatnam. Not only this, he was a great authority in geology and agriculture too. However in 1963, he died in abject poverty, vastly ignored and forgotten, even by his own party, the Congress. He was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna and a postage stamp was issued in 2009 to commemorate him.

He was of course a great creator and can be called as the initial designer of the National Flag who set the wheel of its coming into a concrete shape. However, a wonderfully amazing journey was covered by our National Flag, before its final inception. The changes and the final hue it took, only shows and goes to prove the political developments that were taking place in the nation and in the society at large. There have been several milestones in the National Flags evolution.

Indian Natioanl Flag Designer - Pingali Venkayya
Indian Natioanl Flag Designer - Pingali Venkayya | Source

The Successful Adoption of the Ultimate National Flag came as Fourth Time Lucky…!

The work of carving out a perfect National Flag was naturally team-work. It was, but natural that the efforts of everyone’s labour bear fruit. But it must be remembered that before the final inception of the current flag-

  • The national flag was hoisted in 1906 in Kolkata, using three strips of red, yellow and green with vande mataram written in Hindi.

Pre-Independence Calcutta Flag of India
Pre-Independence Calcutta Flag of India | Source
  • A second time it was Madam Cama with her banished revolutionaries in 1907 who dared to hoist it in Paris. It had lotus and seven stars, being quite different from the first version. It boasted of a star and a crescent too in the lower end.

Flag used by Madam Cama in Stuttgart, Germany in 1907 as a flag of India
Flag used by Madam Cama in Stuttgart, Germany in 1907 as a flag of India | Source
  • By the year 1921, in Vijayawada all India Congress Committee designed a flag with strips of green and red with white strip and blue chakra, representing the nation’s progress.

Flag used by the Indian National Congress in 1921
Flag used by the Indian National Congress in 1921 | Source
  • However, on 22nd of July in the year 1947, during the Constituent Assembly, the national flag with tricolours was taken up, with Dharma Chakra of King Ashoka being adopted .This flag was the final choice as the National Flag of independent India

National flag with tricolours was taken up, with Dharma Chakra of King Ashoka in 22nd of July 1947
National flag with tricolours was taken up, with Dharma Chakra of King Ashoka in 22nd of July 1947 | Source

Basically Designed to Win

Basically the National Flag of India is shaped horizontally, wherein the tri-colours are used in equal proportions. The ratio of the flag's width to its length is 2:3.The centre band has a navy blue wheel representing Ashoka Chakra with 24 spokes.

Tiranga signifying the Ultimate National Objectives!

An exploration of the colours the flag is indeed an eye opener. Saffron the uppermost colour denotes courage and selflessness. It is a colour of major religions signifying renunciation and absolution of ego. A reminder to our politicians and leaders, for conducting their work, purely for the good of the nation and not for material or personal gains.

  • The central white strip represents honesty, peace and purity. Indian philosophy connects white with cleanliness and knowledge. After the bloodshed of the freedom struggle and partition it is sombre reminder that to India’s leadership, that the ultimate national objective is maintaining peace at all times.
  • The bottom green strip is representative of faith, fertility and prosperity. This colour which is festive, celebrates life and happiness. An earthy colour, which is for reminding the politicians, the need for protecting Indian soil, from destruction, both from internal and external enemies.
  • The Dharma chakra, by Emperor Asoka, within the white stripe depicts the wheel of the law. It reinstates that, there is life in movement and stopping and stagnation means death.

On 26th January, 2002, the Flag Code of India was Declared

A lot has been said, about our National Flag, its inception and coming into its own. However, what was needed was the set of laws which would govern the usage of the Indian flag by Indians or the people from all over the world. Under the flag code of India, all the pre-set rules and regulations are officially described and encompassed. The Bureau of Indian Standards is in charge of manufacturing, designing and in the correct usage of National Flag

Correct horizontal and vertical display of the Indian flag
Correct horizontal and vertical display of the Indian flag | Source

For Maintaining the National Flags glory …Understanding, Step by Step is the Correct Way

For the layman's understanding of the National Flag’s code, it is divided into 3 parts which makes it easy and simple to comprehend…

  • The first part within this national flag code contains the national flag’s general description.
  • In the second part there are instructions about how the members of private organizations, public in general and educational institutions may use the National Flag.
  • And finally the third part carries detailed instructions about the usage of the National Flag, by the State and Central Governments including their agencies and organizations.

Strict Guidelines to Preserve the Honour of our National Flag

The National Flag is something which stands for the country’s honour and pride. Of course to maintain it, is the duty of each and every citizen in the world. For this there have been strict guidelines chalked out. It should not be used for personal gains, like wearing it. It cannot be allowed to touch the ground, drag or trail in water. In all circumstances never be used to cover the top or sides or back of any vehicles. If one is using another flag along with the national flag, the national flag should be kept at a higher level. Never can the national flag be used for decorative purpose and most important it cannot be kept unfurled after sunset.

On 26th January and 15th August, after the celebrations there are small paper Indian National Flags strewn on the ground and sweepers sweep them with brooms. You think

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