By- Khushi Bisht
The national flag of a country is a source of honor and high value since it represents the country's spirit. It serves as a symbol of freedom and its every aspect has a great significance. Therefore, it is designed with much consideration. However, the Indian National Flag has undergone several alterations since its origin. In this article, we will discuss the Indian National Flag as well its history and evolution.
Flags have been used since five to seven thousand years ago, when they were primarily employed for military purposes and to symbolize numerous empires and dynasties. Our National Flag was found during our country's battle for independence. It has gone through numerous changes to become what it is now. In some ways, it also mirrors the country's national and political changes.
Following the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, the British monarch chose to establish a single united Indian flag. The flag of the unified India was initially a foreign concept, but it was eventually established as our own.
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Much as the Sepoy rebellion contributed to the first flag of undivided India, the division of Bengal in 1905 made a vital contribution in establishing the first flag of India that symbolized the country and its people. The burgeoning Swadeshi movement required a new emblem of liberty that was devoid of British imperialistic ideals.The Vande Mataram Flag, India's first tricolour, was born as a result of this. Despite being an unauthorised flag, it was the first to symbolize the freedom of India and its people.
The Vande Mataram Flag was India's first tricolour.Wikimedia Commons
On August 7, 1906, at Calcutta's (now Kolkata) Parsee Bagan Square, it was hoisted for the first time. Green, yellow, and red bands were evenly spaced across the flag. It featured eight lotuses on the upper green strip, symbolising the Indian subcontinent's eight provinces; Vande Mataram, inscribed in Hindi, on the middle yellow stripe; and a sun and a crescent on the bottom red stripe representing India's two major faiths, Hinduism and Islam.
In 1907, Madam Bhikaji Cama, a major activist in the Indian independence struggle, carried a flag similar to this one (Vande Matram Flag). This flag's top stripe was saffron, with one lotus and seven stars signifying the Saptarishis (Seven Sages); the middle and lower stripes were the same. During that timespan, the Vande Matram flag was utilized in a number of major events. The flag, on the other hand, did not find favour with patriots and activists. As a result, the search for an appropriate flag for the Indian people persisted.
Another Indian Flag rose to popularity during the Indian Home Rule Movement (1916-1918), headed by Annie Basant and Bal Gangadhar Tilak. In 1917, the movement's flag was raised for the first time. Five red and four green stripes alternated on the flag. The Union Jack (the flag of the United Kingdom) was displayed in the top left corner. A white crescent and star are depicted in the upper right corner, with seven stars in the centre signifying the Saptarishis. The flag's layout expresses the movement's goal; to establish a self-governing government.
The flag's layout expresses the movement's goal; to establish a self-governing government.Wikimedia Commons
In 1921, a youngster from Andhra Pradesh named Pingali Venkayya made a flag and presented it to Gandhiji during the All India Congress Committee meeting in Bezwada (now Vijayawada). The flag of India, the Tiramga (Tricolour), emerged from this simple form. It was made up of two colours: red and green, which represented Hindus and Muslims, respectively. Gandhiji, on the other hand, recommended adding a white band to symbolize India's other communities and a spinning wheel to signify the nation's growth.
However, the quest for a suitable flag continued, and it was at this period that the Swaraj flag was born. This flag is a significantly updated variant of Pingali Venkayya's initial design. This flag likewise featured three horizontal stripes: saffron at the top, white in the middle, and green at the bottom. Over the white stripe, there was a depiction of a spinning wheel. Saffron, white, and green represented bravery and sacrifice, peace and honesty, and faith and chivalry respectively.
For decades, the Swaraj flag was widely used in numerous movements. The flag became a symbol of unification, and it was widely embraced. It was seen as a sign of Indian freedom. The Indian National Congress, on the other hand, chose the Swaraj Flag in 1931 and it is still their official flag today.
The Swaraj flag is a significantly updated variant of Pingali Venkayya's initial design.Wikimedia Commons
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It took another twenty years for Tiranga, India's national flag, to be unveiled.
With minor changes, the Swaraj Flag was approved as our national flag on 22 July 1947. The Dharma Chakra or the Wheel of Law, which has 24 spokes, has supplanted the spinning wheel as the central emblem. A developing nation is likewise represented by the Chakra. The chakra is meant to demonstrate that life is found in movement and death is found in stagnation.
The saffron color on the Indian flag represents the country's "power and courage." The white color represents "peace and honesty with Dharma Chakra." The green color is associated with "land's fertility, growth, and auspiciousness." As a result, the Congress Party's tricolour flag morphed into the tricolour flag of Independent India.
The Dharma Chakra or the Wheel of Law, which has 24 spokes, has supplanted the spinning wheel as the central emblem.
The 26th of January, 2002 was a very memorable day for every Indian citizen. 54 years after the Tiranga was established as the national flag, common residents were permitted to fly the tricolour above their houses and workplaces on any day, not only national holidays, as long as they followed the Flag Code's rules to prevent disrespecting the flag.