History and development:
Indian flag, representing India’s long struggle for freedom is a national treasure. it signifies the status of India as an independent republic. National flag was adopted in its present from during an ad hoc meeting of the constituent assembly held on the 22 July 1947, twenty four days before India’s independence from the British on 15 august 1947.
It has served as national flag of the dominion of India 15 august 1947 and 26 January 1950 and that of the republic of India thereafter.
The National flag, adopted in 1947, is based on the flag of the Indian national congress, designed by pingali venkayya. The flag is a horizontal tricolor of deep saffron at the top, white in the middle, and green at the bottom. In the centre there is a navy blue wheel with 24 four spokes, known as ashoka charka taken from the capital ashoka, ashoka pillar at sarnath. The diameter of this charka is three-fourths of the height of the white strip. The ratio of the width of the flag to its length is 2.3. The flag is also the Indian army’s war flag hoisted daily on military installation.
The official flag specifications require that the flag to be made only of khadi, a special type of hand-spun cloth made popular by Mahatma Gandhi; while these specification are widely respected within India. The display and use of the flag are strictly regulated by the Indian flag code.
History of national flag of India:
At the beginning of the 20th century, as the Indian independence movement seeking freedom from British colonial rule gained ground, the need was felt for a national flag that would serve a symbol of these aspirations.
In 1905, sister nivedita an Irish disciple of swami Vivekananda, came up with the first flag of India, later referred to as sister nivedita`s flag. It had 108 jyotis all along its border. It depicted vajra china in yellow with a white lotus alongside in the centre. The word bonde was on the left and the word matorom was on the right of them, in Bengali script bonde matorom. The red color signified the freedom struggle, yellow signified victory, and the white lotus signified purity. This flag was displayed in the exhibition organized by the Indian national congress in its annual session at Calcutta in December 1906.
The first tricolor was unfurled on 7th august 1906, during a protest rally against the partition of Bengal by suchitra Prasad Bose in Parsi bagan square in kolkata. This flag came to be known as Calcutta flag. It had three horizontal bands equal with the top being orange, the centre yellow and the bottom green in color. It had eight half opened lotus flowers on the top stripe, and a picture of the sun and a crescent moon on bottom stripe. The words vande mataram were inscribed in the centre in the devanagiri script.
On 22 august 1907 bhikajji cama unfurled another tricolor flag in Stuttgart Germany. This flag had green at the top, saffron in the centre and red at the bottom, the green standing for island and the saffron for both Hinduism and Buddhism. It had eight lotuses in line at the green bend representing the eight provinces of British India. The words vande mataram in the devangiri script, were inscribed on the central band.
After the outbreak of world war1, this flag became known as the Berlin committee flag after it was adopted by the Indian revolutionaries at the Berlin committee. The flag however was not freely used in public at that time in Germany. But it was actively used in Mesopotamia during World War 1 by the volunteer force organized by the Berlin committee with the help of Indian prisoners and the deserters from the British Indian army along with a group of ghadar party members.
A year earlier in 1916 pingali venkayya from a village of Andrapradesh tried to devise a common national flag. Venkayya sought Mahatma Gandhi’s approval for the flag. The mahatma suggested the incorporation of the charka or spinning wheel on the flag, symbolizing the embodiment of India and redemption of all its ill. The humble spinning wheel had become a hallowed symbol of the economic generation India under the mahatma’s championship. Pingali venkayya came up with a flag with the charka on a red and green back ground. But to address Mahatma Gandhi’s concerns, the flag was redesigned. This tricolor featured white on top, green in the centre and red at the bottom, symbolizing the minority religions, Muslims and Hindus respectively with a charka drawn across all three bands.
Later the final resolution on a flag was passed when the congress committee met at Karachi in 1931. The tri color flag then adopted was designed by pingali venkayya. It featured three horizontal strips of saffron, white and green with charka in the centre. The colors were interpreted thus: saffron for courage, white for truth and peace, green for faith and prosperity. The charka symbolized the economic regeneration of India and industriousness of its people.
A few days before India gained freedom in august 1947, the constituent assembly was formed to discuss the flag of India. The flag committee was constituted on 23 June 1947. And it began deliberation on the issue, after three weeks they came to a decision on 14 July 1947 to make it acceptable by all parties and communities. The dharma charka which appears on the abacus of sarnath was adopted in the place of the charka the flag was unfurled for the first time as that of an independent country on 15 august 1947.
Today we are proud to say that this is our national flag.
– Pavana Santhosh