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Pingali Venkayya: The unsung hero who designed India’s National Flag

The first name was given to him for his expertise in diamond mining and the second for his interest in cotton research

We all know about freedom fighters who fought with their lives to bring freedom to their mother India. Therefore every time we hoist our Flag, we feel so proud of ourselves as an Indian. But, only a handful of people is aware of the person who designed our Tricolour Flag. Pingali Venkayya one of India’s unsung heroes, who painted India’s flag in three beautiful colours-Saffron, white and Green that portrays the canvas of courage, sacrifice, patriotism, and renunciation.

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  • Born in Andhra Pradesh on August 2nd, 1876, he joined the British Army when he was just 19 years old. He completed his primary education at the Hindu school in Challapalli but went to Colombo for his Senior Cambridge examinations. He also learnt Japanese, Urdu and History at the Anglo Vedic College in Lahore.

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  • A multilingual with a doctorate in Geology, he was known by two names, Diamond Venkaya and Cotton Venkayya. The first name was given to him for his expertise in diamond mining and the second for his interest in cotton research. An interest so strong that he came up with a study on a special variety called ‘Cambodia Cotton’.
  • The Indian flag wasn’t something he imagined one fine night in his dreams. He actually spent 5 years, from 1916 to 121, doing a detailed research on national flags of 30 countries.Follow NewsGram on Twitter: @newsgram1

    Stamp. Image source: jantarocks.wordpress.com
    Stamp. Image source: jantarocks.wordpress.com
  • Pingali Venkayya, an educationist and the son of Shri Hanumantharayudu and Smt. Venkataratnamma established an institute in his hometown, Machilipatam in Andra Pradesh.
  • Honours: A postage stamp has been issued in his name and just recently his daughter starting receiving a sum of money in the form of pension. A statue has also been set up at the All India Radio building in Vijayawada. Adding to that, on 2011 his name was proposed for Bharat Ratna.
  • Lesser-known fact: He worked as a railway guard before he went on the path to being a contributor to India’s history.

    The different versions of the Indian flag throughout History.
    The different versions of the Indian flag throughout History.

     

  • India achieved Independence on August 15th, 1947 but the flag designed by Venkayya was adopted on July 22nd
  • Even after all the above being true, even after his historic contribution to India, Venkayya lived in poverty all his life. He passed away on July 4, 1963, in a hut in Vijaywada. Today, he’s forgotten by the society.

-by Karishma Vanjani, an intern with NewsGram. Twitter @BladesnBoots

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