The National Flag of India is a national symbol designed in a horizontal rectangular shape. It is designed using three colours such as deep saffron (topmost), white (middle) and India green (lowermost). The middle white colour contains navy blue Ashoka Chakra (means Wheel of Law) in the centre having 24 spokes in the wheel. The present form of the national flag was adopted in the meeting of Constituent Assembly on 22nd of July in 1947.
The present Indian Flag was declared as the official flag by the authority of India. As Indian Flag contains three colours, it is also called as Tiranga. It is based on Swaraj flag (means the flag of Indian National Congress, designed by Pingali Venkayya).
The Flag of India means a lot to the people of India. It is of great significance and honour to the Indian public. Indian Flag is made using a special type of cloth called Khadi (hand-spun cloth popularized by the Mahatma Gandhi).
Bureau of Indian Standards is responsible for the manufacturing and designing process of the flag, however, Khadi Development and Village Industries Commission has the right to manufacture the flag. Karnataka Khadi Gramodyoga Samyukta Sangha has been a sole manufacturer of the Indian flag in 2009.
The National Flag Code of India governs the usage of an Indian flag (with any other national or non-national flags) as well as laws related to the national emblems. The use of National flag is totally prohibited by the private citizens (except national days). However, on the request of Naveen Jindal (a private citizen) in 2002, the law has been altered for limited usage of Flag by the Government of India (Union Cabinet of India) on the order of Supreme Court of India. It was again amended in 2005 for some additional use of Flag.
Meaning and Significance of Indian Flag
The national flag of India is also known as Tricolour Flag means Tiranga as it contains tricolours. Indian flag is designed-horizontally using three colour, wheel in the centre and Khadi clothe. The national flag was adopted on 22nd of July in 1947 in the wake of Indian independence from British rule. Indian Flag was designed and adopted as a symbol of nationalism and freedom.
Indian flag means a lot for us. It is our symbol of unity to lead us on one common way of Dharma even after being of different faiths and religions of Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism, Islam and Sikhism. The tricolour and Ashoka Chakra (means Wheel of Law) of the Indian flag reveal some meanings which are as follows:
The topmost part of the national flag is designed using a saffron colour which indicates courage and selflessness of the nation. It is the common and religiously significant colour of the religions like Hindu, Buddhist and Jain. Saffron colour indicates renunciation and absolution of the ego of the people belongs to different religion and unites to become one. Saffron colour is of great significance which reminds political leaders to devote to the nation as well as perform their work dedicatedly only for the goodness of the nation without seeking any personal benefits.
The middle part of the Indian national flag is designed using a white colour which represents the honesty, purity and peace of the nation. According to Indian philosophy, white colour also represents cleanliness and knowledge. It lightens the path of truth in order to guide the nation. It reminds the Indian political leaders to lead the country to get the ultimate national goal by maintaining the state of peace.
The lowermost part of the Indian national flag is designed using the green colour which represents the faith, fertility and prosperity of the nation. According to the philosophy of India, green colour is a festive and stabilizing colour which represents life and happiness. It indicates the greenery of the earth all over India. It reminds the Indian political leaders to lead the country by protecting the Indian soil from destruction by both, external and internal enemies.
Ashoka Chakra and 24 Spokes
According to the Hindu religion, meaning number 24 is of great significance in the Puranas. Ashok Chakra is considered as the Dharma Chakra which is also known as the Samay Chakra. Ashok Chakra contains 24 spokes in the centre which represents the 24 precious hours of the whole day. It also represents 24 Dharma Rishis of the Hindu religion Who wielded whole power of the Gayatri Mantra (a most powerful mantra of the Hindu religion). All 24 Dharma Rishis of the Himalayas gets represented with 24 letters of the eternal Gayatri Mantra (first one represents the Vishvamitra whereas the last one represents the Yajnavalkya who governs religion means Dharma).
Keeping Ashok Chakra in the middle of the Indian Flag has a great history behind. Many years ago, Lord Buddha got nirvana means Enlightenment in the Gaya. After getting nirvana he turned to Sarnath, Varanasi, where he met with his five disciples (means panch vargiya Bhikshu), named like Kaundinya, Ashwajeet, Bhadrak, Mahanaam, and Kashyap. Lord Buddha preached them his first sermon describing and distributing the Dharmachakra. This was taken by King Ashoka to represent on the top of his pillars which later become the base of origin this chakra as an Ashok Chakra in the centre of the Indian flag. The presence of Ashok Chakra in the national flag indicates the strong bond of the nation with the Buddhist faith.
The 12 spokes indicates the teachings of the Lord Buddha however another 12 are paired with their equivalent symbols such as Avidya (means lack of knowledge), Samskara (means a shaper), Vijnana (means consciousness), Namarupa (means name and form), Sadayatana (means six senses like ear, eye, tongue, nose, body, and mind), Sparsa (means contact), Vedana (means pain), Trsna (means thirst), Upadana (means grasp), Bhava (means coming to be), Jati (means being born), Jaramarana (means old age) and death.
Why Ashok Chakra is in Navy Blue Colour
Navy blue colour, of the Ashok Chakra in the centre of the white strip of the national flag, indicates the most truth of the universe. It represents the colour of the sky and ocean.
What 24 Spokes Represent
According to the Hindu religion, all the 24 spokes of the national Flag represents the Life means The Dharma which are as follows: Love, Courage, Patience, Peacefulness, Magnanimity, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Selflessness, Self-Control, Self Sacrifice, Truthfulness, Righteousness, Justice, Mercy, Gracefulness, Humility, Empathy, Sympathy, Spiritual Knowledge, Moral Values, Spiritual Wisdom, The Fear of God and Faith (Belief or Hope).
10 Interesting Facts on National Flag of India
- The first Indian National Flag was hoisted on 07th August 1906 in Calcutta at Parsee Bagan Square.
- The first person to hoist the national flag in the foreign country was Madam Bhikaji Cama on 22nd August 1907 in Germany.
- Pingali Venkayya, a farmer and a freedom fighter from Andhra Pradesh designed the national flag of India.
- A Postage stamp was issued in 2009 to commemorate the great contribution of Pingali Venkayya.
- Indian national flag was also hoisted on Mt. Everest along with the national flags of the United Kingdom and Nepal on 29th May 1953.
- Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma was the first Indian who took the tricolour in the outer space.
- Largest Human Flag formation of Indian Flag on 07th December 2014 at YMCA Ground, Chennai by around 50000 people was declared as the Guinness World Record for Largest Human National Flag.
- India became the fourth country to hoist Indian National Flag on the moon on 14th November 2008 through its unmanned lunar orbiter Chandrayaan-1.
- Flags of the countries which have very close similarities with the Indian National Flag are Niger, Ireland and Ivory Coast.
- An Indian National Flag of 9600 square feet was unfurled in March 2018 at Belgavi, Karnataka on 110-meter tall flagpole which is considered as India’s tallest national flag.
Indian Flag History
A flag becomes the symbol of the country so any independent country needs a flag to represent a unique symbol of the particular nation. The National Flag of India was first adopted in its present form on 22nd of July in 1947 in the meeting of Constituent Assembly, few days before the independence of the country from British rule on 15th of August in 1947. It was designed by the Pingali Venkayya using tricolours, Ashok Chakra and Khadi clothe.
The National flag of India is designed in horizontal shape in which all the tri-colours are used in equal proportions. The ratio of flag width to its length is 2:3. The middle white band contains a navy blue wheel representing Ashok chakra with 24 spokes.
Before the final adoption of the national flag, it goes through various amazing changes since its first inception. It was started discovering and searching for the unique national flag to recognise the country during the national struggle for freedom from British rule.
Evolution of Indian Flag
It is said that, the national flag was first time hoisted on 7th of August in 1906 in the Green Park (also called as Parsee Bagan Square) in the Calcutta (current Kolkata). It was a simply designed flag using three horizontal strips of tricolours (red, yellow and green). The uppermost green colour strip contains eight (8) white lotus flowers. The middle yellow colour strip is written in the centre with “Vande Matram” in Hindi. And the lowermost red colour strip contains a crescent (left side corner) and a Sun (right side corner).
According to the history, it is said that Indian national flag was hoisted second time in Paris by the Madame Cama with her banished revolutionary band in 1907. Later that flag was exhibited in the social conference of Berlin. The second flag was a little different from the first one. The uppermost orange colour strip contains one lotus flower and seven stars (identifying the Saptarishis). The middle yellow colour strip is written with “Vande Matram” in Hindi in the centre. And the lowermost green colour strip contains a Sun in the left corner and a white crescent and star in the right corner.
It was hoisted third time by Dr Annie Besant and Lokmanya Tilak in 1917 during the Home rule movement. It was designed using five red and four green horizontal strips (equally divided) in alternate manners. It also contains seven stars identifying the Saptarishis and a Union Jack in the left-hand top corner together with a white crescent and star in the right top corner.
In 1921, all India Congress Committee in Bezwada (Vijayawada) designed a flag (having two strips of red and green colour representing the Hindus and Muslim community) and took that to Mahatma Gandhi Ji. Where they suggested adding a white strip (in the middle to represent other communities) and a blue wheel (Charkha) to represent the progress of Nation.
Finally, in 1931 a resolution was passed to adopt a tri-colour flag (suggested by Gandhiji) in India. This flag contains the upper saffron, middle white and lower green colour strips. The middle white strip contains a spinning wheel in the centre.
However, it was adopted completely on the 22nd of July in 1947 in the meeting of Constituent Assembly. They decided to adopt a national flag with same tri-colours and significance with only a little change, the spinning wheel was altered to the Dharma Charkha of the King Asoka as an emblem on the national flag. This flag finally became the national flag of Independent India.
What is the National Flag Code of India
Indian flag is a symbol of national pride which represents hopes and aspirations of Indian people. Since the independence of India till date, brave soldiers of the Indian armed forces have saved the Tiranga from enemies and maintained its full glory.
The national flag code of India is a predefined set of laws which governs the usage of Indian Flag by the people or others from a different country. Bureau of Indian Standards is authorized to govern the manufacturing, designing and correct usage of the national flag by following set standards (created in 1968 and updated in 2008).
The national flag code on India was written in the 2002 year and merged with acts like: “Provisions of the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950 (No.12 of 1950), the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971 (No. 69 of 1971). Finally, the flag code came into effect on the 26th of January in 2002 as a “Flag Code of India, 2002”. It has three parts such as:
- The first part contains a general description of the national flag.
- Second part instructs the use of national flag by the public, members of private organizations and educational institutions.
- And third part instructs the use of national flag by the Central and State Governments including their organizations and agencies.
All the rules, laws and authority to use national flag have been officially described under the heading of Flag Code of India as follows: “The colour of the top panel shall be India saffron (Kesari) and that of the bottom panel shall be India green. The middle panel shall be white, bearing at its centre the design of Ashoka Chakra in navy blue colour with 24 equally spaced spokes.”
According to the, making national flag by someone using clothes other than the Khadi or hand-spun cloth is punishable with imprisonment for three years including fine. It is also restricted that the raw materials of khadi should be cotton, silk and wool. The flag is made up of using two kinds of khadi clothe (khadi-bunting to prepare the body of flag and khadi-duck means beige-coloured cloth to prepare ends of the flag holding the pole). It is also restricted that per square centimetre of cloth must contain only 150 threads, four threads per stitch and weight of one square foot cloth should be only 205 gm (means 7.2 oz).
What are Rules and Regulations of National Flag Code of India
According to the national flag code of India based on 26th of January, 2002 legislation, some rules and regulations must be followed to fly the flag:
- It allows the flag hoisting in the educational institutions (such as schools, colleges, universities, sports camps, scout, etc.) as an inspiration to the students to respect their National Flag. Together with the flag hoisting, a pledge of commitment should be followed in the educational institutions.
- A national flag can be hoisted by the public or private organizations on any national occasion by following the dignity and honour of the flag. According to section 2 of the new code, private citizens are also allowed to fly the flag on their premises.
- It is restricted that the flag should not be used by anyone for any communal or personal gains like using it like a cloth. It is only flown from sunrise to sunset in any weather.
- It is prohibited to touch it intentionally to the ground, floor, trail in the water, etc.
- It should not be used to cover the top, back or sides of any vehicles like car, aircraft, trains, boats, etc in any condition.
- If one is using another flag together with the national flag, he/she must become aware of that no flag other than the national flag should be at a higher level. Nothing can be placed over it or it cannot be used for decoration purpose.
Famous Saying of the Mahatma Gandhi about National Flag
“A flag is a necessity for all nations. Millions have died for it. It is no doubt a kind of idolatry which would be a sin to destroy. For, a flag represents an Ideal The unfurling of the Union Jack evokes in the English breast sentiments whose strength it is difficult to measure. The Stars and Stripes mean a world to the Americans. The Star and the Crescent will call forth the best bravery in Islam.”
“It will be necessary for us Indians Muslims, Christians Jews, Parsis, and all others to whom India is their home-to recognize a common flag to live and to die for.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Indian Flag Quotes
- “I was in high school when Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru unfurled India’s flag in New Delhi.” – A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
- “To survive in peace and harmony, united and strong, we must have one people, one nation, one flag.” – Pauline Hanson
- “I believe our flag is more than just cloth and ink. It is a universally recognized symbol that stands for liberty, and freedom. It is the history of our nation, and it’s marked by the blood of those who died defending it.” – John Thune
- “Our flag is not just one of the many political points of view. Rather, the flag is a symbol of our national unity.” – Adrian Cronauer
- “Our flag honours those who have fought to protect it, and is a reminder of the sacrifice of our nation’s founders and heroes. As the ultimate icon of America’s storied history, the Stars and Stripes represents the very best of this nation.” – Joe Barton
- “On what rests the hope of the republic? One country, one language, one flag!” – Alexander Henry
- “There is much more to being a patriot and a citizen than reciting the pledge or raising a flag.” – Jesse Ventura
- “There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.” – Howard Zinn
- “Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong.” – James Bryce
- “We give our Heads! and our Hearts! to Our Country! One Country! One Language! One Flag!” – Colonel George T. Balch.
- “It is the flag just as much of the man who was naturalized yesterday as of the men whose people have been here many generations.” – Henry Cabot Lodge
- “The union of hearts the union of hands And the flag of our Union forever.” – George Pope Morris
- “Let it be borne on the flag under which we rally in every exigency, that we have one country, one constitution, one destiny.” – Daniel Webster
- “We have but one flag, one country; let us stand together. We may differ in color, but not in sentiment. Many things have been said about me which are wrong, and which white and black persons here, who stood by me through the war, can contradict.” – Nathan Bedford Forrest