BY- JAYA CHOUDHARY
A flag is a significant symbol that represents a country, a culture, or a government. It is a sign of the country’s pride and a depiction of a free world. Similarly, India’s flag has proudly served the country for many years now. The tricolors of the Indian flag which is green, white, and saffron from bottom to top was designed by Pingali Venkayya. The Indian National Flag was adopted in its current design at a meeting of the Constituent Assembly on July 22, 1947, just days before India’s independence. The history of the Indian flag is fascinating as it tells the story of a country’s struggle for liberty, freedom, and unification for its people.
The many modifications that our National Flag has undergone since its birth are truly impressive. Several flags were used to represent India when it was under British rule in the nineteenth century, prior to its independence movement. The Sepoy Mutiny in 1857 was India’s first formal independent rebellion, in which the Indian people banded together and tried to abolish British rule, but were unsuccessful. Following this campaign, the British agreed that only one Indian flag should be used to represent India as a British nation.
The first national flag of India was blue in color and included the Union Flag in the left upper corner along with the star of India with the British crown over it, in its lower right section. Obviously, it was designated by the British, and the Indian people had no say in the matter. Many flags were proposed, but none of them were adopted until Mahatma Gandhi proposed one in 1906.
On August 7, 1906, the first flag of the country was raised in Calcutta’s Parsee Bagan Square. The flag featured few religious icons as well as eight roses and the texts “Vande Mataram.” Then came another flag in 1907 which was hoisted in Paris by Madame Cama and her band of fugitive rebels. This flag was somewhat similar to the first, except that the top strip had just one lotus instead of the Saptarishi’s seven stars.
Later in 1917, during the home rule campaign, Dr. Annie Besant and Lokmanya Tilak raised the third flag. This flag featured five red and four green horizontal stripes arranged alternately, with seven Saptarishi stars superimposed on top. The Union Jack was shown in the top left corner. In one corner, there was also a white crescent and star. Then, a few years later in 1921, a flag made by an Andhra youth was presented to Gandhiji. The flag’s red and green colors reflected the Hindu-Muslim culture. In addition to red and green, Gandhiji recommended incorporating white into the center of the thought of India’s peoples, as well as the spinning wheel, to demonstrate the country’s growth.
Another change occurred in the year 1931 when we adopted a tricolor flag comprising saffron, white and green with Mahatma Gandhi’s spinning wheel in the middle. A constituent assembly was established only a few days before India formally achieved independence. The assembly settled on a new Indian flag in 1947. The only change was that Emperor Asoka’s Dharma Charkha was used as the flag’s symbol in place of the spinning wheel.
In the current Indian flag, saffron represents the country’s strength and bravery, the white stripe in the center indicates harmony and truth, and the final green portion represents the land’s prosperity, development, and auspiciousness. The chakra is to show that there is life in movement and death in stagnation. Several civilians, including veterans of the armed forces, have selflessly sacrificed their lives over the last five decades to keep the tricolor flying high and every citizen of the country is proud of those heroes.