The National Flags historically found their origin as military standards, which were used as field signs.
The first ever national in the whole world was introduced in the 17th century that introduced the age of sail.
It was the maritime flag which commenced the flying of flags that used to indicate the country of origin.
Indian Flag Infographics
‘Tricolor’, the national flag of India consists of three different colors, as the name suggests.
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It is made of saffron, white and green colors with a navy blue colored the Ashok Chakra placed right in the middle of the flag, on the white colored band.
Also known as the ‘Tiranga’, it was acquired as a national flag on 22nd July, 1947, i.e., just before when India got free from the British rule on 15th August, 1947.
As India attained Independence on this day, the ‘Tiranga’ was declared to be the official flag of the nation.
The national flag of India basically comes from the Swaraj Flag, the one belonging to the Indian National Congress which was designed by Mr. Pingali Venkayya.
Mahatma Gandhi had first proposed a flag for the Indian National Congress in 1921, to which Mr. Venkayya gave a design.
The flag possessed a traditional spinning wheel as suggested by Gandhi ji, which symbolized his goal of making India a self-reliant nation in order to fabricate their own clothes.
This spinning wheel was a blue-colored one which had a plain saffron background. This was the very first design of the Indian National Flag.
The flag then underwent its first ever transition in which some design modification was made. A new white background was now provided to the spinning wheel.
A white strip was placed at the centre of the flag on which was placed the spinning wheel. The white color, according to Mahatma Gandhi symbolized the equality in the various Indian religious communities.
It also indicates peace and truth. More two colors, viz. saffron and green were selected in order to avoid sectarian associations with the color scheme.
The saffron represents courage and sacrifice, whereas the green color is the one showing faith and gallantry.
This was the flag declared as the official one for the Indian nation on 15th August, 1947.
Just before the freedom on India, the specially formed Constituent Assembly came to a decision that the Indian flag must be accepted by all the Indian parties and communities as well.
The Swaraj flag was then modified, keeping the Tricolor reserved to be the Indian National Flag.
Only one small change was made in the Tricolor, and it was the spinning wheel replace by blue Ashok Chakra that represented the eternal wheel of law.
Mr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, an Indian philosopher, who was the independent India’s first ever Vice-President and second President elucidated the adopted flag and explained its significance.
According to Mr. Radhakrishnan, the saffron color, also called Bhagwa, denoted sacrifice or having freedom from bias or selfish motives.
He used to say that the nations’ leaders should not concern about the material gains, and should be totally devoted towards their work instead.
The white band in the centre most portion of the flag is the path of truth which will help us towards out conduct.
The green color represents the relationship of humans with our motherland and plant life, on which our whole life is completely dependent.
The Ashok Chakra on the white band is related to the wheel of law which indicates the motion of our life cycle.
It states that India should move and go forward in order to undergo a change.
Indian Flag History
Indian Flag History
Before the country India attained freedom in 1947 and its official national flag was finalized, the flag had undergone transitions for many times.
It was in the 1857 i.e. after the rebellion, that the idea of having a single Indian flag was put up by the British rulers in India.
The first flag had a design similar to that of the flags of other British colonies, which also included Australia and Canada.
This flag had a blue background as of the US flag and in the middle of the right half was the Star of India covered by a royal crown.
All the princely states of India had received these types of flags having the Star of India.
In the 20th century, the time when Edward VII was enthroned, debates were held onto which symbol should the Star replace in order to represent the appropriateness of the Indian empire.
A British member of the Indian Civil Service, Mr. William Coldstream gave a stand to the Government for changing the heraldic symbol to something that was more suitable, as the Star was a very common one those days.
Lord Curzon rejected Mr. Coldstream’s proposal due to some practical issues, multiple designing of the flags being the main reason.
In the meanwhile, some of the Indian nationalists came up with an idea of using a religious traditional symbol in place of the star.
Bal Gangadhar Tilak (mostly known as Lokmanya Tilak), came up with using Ganesha to replace the star, Aurbindo Ghosh and Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay opted for Goddess Kali, whereas some other person wanted a cow (Gau Mata) to be used.
As all these suggestions were related to the Hindu religion and their traditions, and were not at all appealing the unity between Hindus and Muslim, some people opposed to use these symbols.
Designing Fundamentals Of A National Flag
The art of studying and designing a flag is called Vexillography. Every national flag over the globe is rectangular in shape, the Nepal’s flag being an exceptional case.
The ratio of height to width of every nation’s flag may vary but no flag has a height larger than its width.
Again in this case Nepal’s flag is the only uncommon one of all the other national flags as its height is larger than its width.
Some exceptional cases like the flags of Switzerland and Vatican City have the shape of a square.
The height to width ratio of the Indian flag is 2:3, where the length of the flag is 1.5 times of its width. The three bands, saffron, white and green need to be equal in length and width as well.
According to the manufacturing standards of flag, there are nine different sizes of the Indian flag.
The size of the dark blued colored Ashok Chakra is not specified but it varies as per the nine different sizes of the flag.
It has 24 spokes evenly spaced. The Ashok Chakra is either printed or painted on both the sides of the flag.
The standard nine sizes of the Indian flag according to the Manufacturing standards are as below:
Basic dimensioning methodology in ‘mm’: length X breadth (size of Ashok Chakra)
• 16300 x 4200 (1295)
• 23600 x 2400 (740)
• 32700 x 1800 (555)
• 41800 x 1200 (370)
• 51350 x 900 (280)
• 6900 x 600 (185)
• 7450 x 300 (90)
• 8225 x 150 (40)
• 9150 x 100 (25)
Most of the flags are given the same pattern on both of its sides i.e. front and back side, or have a mirrored look.
The flags of Paraguay and Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic do not bear these types of either identical or mirrored designs at either of their sides.
As seen until 2011, the flag of each and every nation has at least two different colors on it represented in the forms of horizontal or vertical bands.
Some flags hold a common design of three different colored bands. Some of the nations’ flags usually share common colors like red, yellow, light green, white, navy blue, sky blue, black, etc.
Transitions Underwent By The Indian Flag
In 1905, the partition of Bengal took place due to which a new Indian flag representing the independence movement was introduced.
This flag was named as the Vande Mataram flag, which incorporated the same Indian religious symbol used in the western heraldic way.
It was a Tricolor flag which had eight lotuses placed on the upper green band.
These lotuses represented the eight Indian provinces of the old times and a sun with a semi lunar symbol on the bottom red band of the flag, and the middle section of the flag with a yellow band had a slogan, ‘Vande Mataram’ in Hindi on it.
This launch of the new flag was in the newspapers as it was a very significant transition of the flag. This new flag was then used for the Indian National congress’s annual session.
In 1907, the flag again went under a modification to a smaller extent and was used by Madam Cama at the International Socialist Congress that took place in Stuttgart, in the same year.
Another person, Sister Nivedita, who was a Hindu reformist and Swami Vivekananda’s adherent proposed for some other design for the flag.
The flag now had a thunderbolt surrounded by the caption ‘Vande Mataram’ and the border of the flag were 108 oil-lamps.
This flag was presented in the Indian National congress’s meeting in 1906. Many other proposals came forward but no nationalist movement had attraction for any of those.
The former Governor of Madras Presidency, Mr. Lord Ampthill had written to the Times of London that India does not have its own national flag to represent itself or any other Indian province.
In the year 1916, Pingali Venkayya came up with thirty new designs of the flag, and submitted those in the form of a booklet.
This initiative by him kept the flag movement alive for some more time. Annie Besant along with Lokmanya Tilak planned to acquire a new flag which had the Union Jack at the upper left corner, a star with a crescent at the opposite side of the Union Jack.
The flag had seven stars placed diagonally from the lower right corner and at the background were five red and four green colored bands placed alternately.
This flag was considered to be a part of the Home Rule Movement. In a few days of this flag’s proposal, a magistrate in Coimbatore prohibited by legal means its use, which was followed by a public debate on the grounds of significance of a national flag.
At the beginning of 1920, the British dominance again held some discussions regarding the national flag which gained a relative importance, during which a peace treaty between Britain and Ireland was signed.
In the November month of the same year, the British Indian Government proposed for a renewal of the Indian national flag.
In 1921, a journal named as ‘Young India’ was written by Mahatma Gandhi in which he expressed the need for an Indian flag.
He had a proposal of using a charkha (a spinning wheel) to be used at the centre of the flag. The man behind using the charkha was Lala Hansraj, and then Gandhiji assigned Mr. Pingali Venkayya to design the flag.
The new design had red and green colors which signified the Hindus and Muslims respectively, showing equality and unity between the two, and this design again had the spinning wheel as proposed by Lala Hansraj and Gandhiji.
Gandhiji had a desire to present this newly designed flag at the Congress Session of 1921, but unfortunately it could not be delivered on time and some other design for the flag was being proposed.
Gandhiji then wrote that there was no reason for the delay of delivering the new design, after which it came to his realization that the other relations were not represented at all.
So he re-designed the flag adding to it a white color which represented all the religions.
Then in 1929, he came up with the conclusion regarding the colors he proposed to be used in the flags, mentioning that the red color stood for the sacrifices the people had done, the white is for purity and green standing for hope or desire.
It was on the 13th April, 1923 when the Swaraj flag designed by Pingali Venkayya was hoisted at a procession carried out by some local Congress volunteers at Nagpur, in the memory of Jalianwala Baugh Massacre.
In this event a serious opposition took place between the Congressmen and the police, due to which five people were imprisoned.
A meeting was held on this, after which about hundred other protestors continued the procession. Jamnalal Bajaj, who was then secretary of the Nagpur Congress Committee, carried out Flag Satyagraha on 1st May, 1923.
This event gained attention at a national level and marked a significant point in the flag movement. The supporters of Gandhiji had immense enthusiasm about this event and actively took part in it as it was promoted by the Congress.
The other groups and the Swaraj supporters thought this idea to be an insignificant one.
An All India Congress Committee meeting was called up as postulated by Nehruji and Sarojini Naidu.
This meet resulted in the approval of the flag movement which was then led by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
His idea to promote the flag was to carry out processions in which common people would display the flags.
As the movement came to an end, about 1500 people who took part in it were arrested across the whole Indian nation ruled by the Britishers.
Different type of people were seen taking part in the movement which included farmers, labourers, students, youth populations, merchants and even some of the national servants had actively participated.
While even women had enthusiastically taken part in it, Muslims were rarely seen involved.
Gandhiji’s writings held the flag protest gain an impulsion that was further accepted politically due to the Nagpur incident.
This bonding between the flag and the nation was mentioned on a regular basis in all the newspapers, editorials and letters being sent to the editors which were published in the different journals and newspapers.
This further led to the honoring of the national flag which later on became a part of the independence movements.
When the Muslims were still not agreed with the Swaraj flag since it had no marks of the unity between the Muslims and Hindus, they put another flag movement in order to get their unity with the Hindus symbolized on the flag.
There were few people, including Nehruji, who were not ready to go with the Muslims and with the rest of his people, he enthusiastically greeted the Swaraj flag as the Indian national flag.
Since then, the Swaraj flag had become a significant structural component of the Institution of India. The British Indian government now started taking a keen interest in knowing about the new Swaraj flag that symbolized the Indian unity.
They started discussing about the norms for displaying the flag and began withdrawing funds from the ones who never went against the displaying of the Swaraj flag.
By 1931, the Swaraj flag had become Congress’ official flag at the meeting held, while it was already symbolizing the Independence movement of country India.
Prior to the Indian independence in August 1947, on 23rd June of the same year (1947), a Committee was set up in order to finalize the Indian national flag that included important nationalist of India; Dr. Rajendra Prasad was the head of the Committee Assembly.
Along with him were Sarojini Naidu, Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad, C. Rajagopalachari, K. M. Munshi, B. R. Ambedkar and many more.
The committee then came up with a recommendation to adopt the Indian National Congress’ flag to be the Indian National flag with some minor changes in it so that all the parties and communities could accept it.
The spinning wheel was replaced by Ashok Chakra as a representative of dharma and law, according to Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan. Nehruji accepted the new design with an Ashok Chakra as it was a symmetrical one now, but Gandhiji could not accept it readily as his idea of the spinning wheel as a symbol was replaced by a new one.
On 22nd July, 1947, Nehruji proposed this newly designed flag to be the national flag of India with a horizontal shape consisting of deep saffron, white and dark green to be the base colors, and a blue colored Ashok Chakra at the flag’s centre-most position.
Nehru also had the flags got manufactured in two different types of cloths; one in Khadi-silk and the other made of Khadi-cotton.
These two flags were presented in the assembly, as a result got a final acceptance in unity.
The flag was since then served as the national symbol of India between 15th August, 1947 and 26th January, 1950. Even after that until now it has been considered to be the national symbol of India without any further changes in it.
Manufacturing Of The Indian Flag
Manufacturing Of The Indian Flag
The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has issued three documents for the designing and manufacturing of the Indian flag. The flags are made out either of Khadi-silk or Khadi-cotton cloths.
When India got republic in 1950, the first official specifications were raised up by the Indian Standards Institute, which is now known as the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).
These specifications were revised later on in 1964. The reason behind the revision of these specifications was the metric system of dimensionless being adopted by India.
The standards for manufacturing the flag were decided on 17th August 1968, which were further updated in 2008. Nine different sizes were standardised according to the law.
The design and manufacturing specifications consist of all essential requirements.
The sizes, dye color, the brightness of the colors used in the flag, the thread count were all the important aspects considered for the manufacturing of the Indian flag.
If the manufacturing process results in any defects or flaws in the finally prepared flag, fines are imposed accordingly, and even jail terms are the announced in term of punishment.
If the flying flag is made of any other cloth in place of Khadi, it can be a punishable offence in which imprisonment for three years along with fine is imposed.
Cotton, silk or wool are the only raw materials to be used for preparing the Khadi flag.
The flag is basically made of two different types of Khadi cloth; the main body of the flag is made up by Khadi-bunting, and the part of the flag which holds it to the pole is made of Khadi-duck (a beige colored cloth).
It is mentioned in the guidelines that only 150 threads should be used per square centimeter, four threads per stitch, and one square foot of the flag should weight approximately 205 grams, and not more or even less than this exact figure.
In India, only four places are licensed to make the cloth used for the manufacturing of the national flag.
These places are in Karnataka, Marathwada, Barabanki in UP, and Banetha in Rajasthan. In previous days, the hand woven Khadi was manufactured in the Garag village of Dharwad district.
On 1954, a centre was established for the same by some freedom fighters under the banner of Dharwad Taluk Kshetriya Seva Sangh.
Later on, they obtained an official license for the manufacturing of the cloth.
The Khadi in a woven form is received from the handloom units in Bagalkot and Dharwad districts situated in northern part of Karnataka.
The only licensed flag production and supply unit in India is placed in Hubli the Karnataka Gramodyog Samyukta Sangha.
The final woven cloth is delivered to the BIS labs for the testing and analysis of the cloth.
After the quality testing and approval of proper grade of cloth, it is forwarded to the factory for further processes.
The cloths are separated into three batches and dyed in saffron, white and green colors. The navy blue colored Ashoka Chakra is embroidered, screen printed or stencilled on both the sides of the white cloth and special care is taken in order to check clear visibility of the Ashok Chakra.
The final flag is then stitched taking all the three different colors together according to the standardized design norms and then delivered to the BIS labs for final inspection.
Here, the labs check for the colors and the way in which the flag is stitched. After final inspection is done, the flags are now ready to be sold.
Display And Usage Of Flag
Display And Usage Of Flag
The norms for the display of the Indian national flags are decided by the Flag Code of India set in 2002, the Emblems and Names act (1950) that help prevent improper use of the flags.
The Prevention of Insults of National Honor Act of 1971 is also one of these in order to avoid indignities done to the national flag.
It is officially stated by the law and obeyed by the people and law as well that the flag should never touch the ground or water; neither shall it be used as curtains.
The flag must not be placed upside down under any circumstances; it should not be dipped into anything and nothing other than flowers or their petals should be kept in the flag and that too before hoisting it.
Nothing should be written on the flag, as it is also a form of insulting the nation. The flag should be flown in open only between the times of sunrise and sunset.
Before 2009, the flag was allowed to be flown on a public building at night under some regulations, but now it is allowed to flow a flag provided that it is hoisted only on a tall flag pole and it should be well-illuminated.
The flagpoles and ropes used for hoisting the flag must also be well maintained and should be taken care of in a special manner, as even they are an integral part of the flag.
Indian Flag Half-Mast
The flag should be flown at half-masts a sign of mourning. The decision to do so lies with the President of India, who also decides the period of such mourning.
When the flag is to be flown at half mast, it must first be raised to the top of the mast and then slowly lowered. Only the Indian flag is flown half mast; all other flags remain at normal height.
The flag is flown half-mast nationwide on the death of the president, Vice-president or prime minister.
It is flown half-mast in New Delhi and the state of origin for the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and Union Ministers. On deaths of Governors, Lt. Governors and Chief Ministers, the flag is flown at half-mast in the respective states and union territories.
The Indian flag cannot be flown at half-mast on Republic Day (26 January), Independence Day (15 August), Gandhi Jayanti (2 October), National Week (6–13 April) or state formation anniversaries, except over buildings housing the body of the deceased dignitary.
Disclaimer of Indian Flag Article – Images and the Research done from the Wikipedia.
However, even in such cases, the flag must be raised to full-mast when the body is moved from the building.
Observances of State mourning on the death of foreign dignitaries are governed by special instructions issued from the Ministry of Home Affairs in individual cases.
However, in the event of death of either the Head of the State or Head of the Government of a foreign country, the Indian Mission accredited to that country may fly the national flag at half-mast.
On occasions of state, military, central Para-military forces funerals, the flag shall be draped over the bier or coffin with the saffron towards the head of the bier or coffin.
The Indian flag should not be lowered into the grave or burnt in the pyre.