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 History of Indian Flag – Amrit Festival of Independence-2022-In the early 20th century, when the Indian independence movement demanding independence from colonial rule gained momentum, the need for a national flag was felt which would serve as a powerful symbol of these aspirations to instill a sense of nationalism among the countrymen.

History of Indian Flag – Amrit Festival of Independence-2022

History of Indian Flag - Amrit Festival of Independence-2022


Table of Contents

 The first form of the Indian flag

In 1904, Sister Nivedita, an Irish (Ireland) disciple of Swami Vivekananda, came up with the design of the first flag of India, later called Sister Nivedita’s flag. It was a red square-shaped flag with a yellow inset; It depicts a “Vajra Sign” (Vajra) with a white lotus in the center. The words “বন্দে মাতরম” (Bandhe Matoram meaning “Jai Mata [land]!”) were inscribed on the flag in Bengali. The colors and insignia depicted in it are red color symbolizing freedom struggle, a yellow color symbolizing victory, and a white lotus symbolizing purity.

First Tricolor -1906

The first tricolor was hoisted during a protest rally against the partition of Bengal by Shindra Prasad Bose at Parsi Bagan Square in Calcutta on 08-07-1906. This flag came to be known as the Calcutta flag. The flag consisted of three horizontal stripes of equal width with orange at the top, yellow in the middle, and green at the bottom. On the top band were eight half-open lotus flowers, and on the bottom band were images of the sun and a crescent moon. In the center of the flag, the word Vande Mataram was inscribed in the Devanagari script.

Flag made by Bhikaji Cama

 On 08-22-1907, Bhikaji Cama unfurled another tricolor flag in Stuttgart, Germany. The flag had green at the top, saffron in the middle, and red at the bottom, with symbolic meanings – green for Islam and saffron for both Hindus and Buddhists. The flag had eight lotuses in a row on a green stripe representing the eight provinces of British India. 

The words Vande Mataram in the Devanagari script were inscribed on the middle strip. On the lowest bar was the crescent moon on the flag hoisting side and the sun on the fly. The flag was jointly designed by Bhikaji Cama, Veer Savarkar, and Shyamji Krishna Varma. After the outbreak of World War I, this flag became known as the Berlin Committee flag after it was adopted by the Indian revolutionaries in the Berlin Committee. This flag was actively used in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) during the First World War. The flag of the Ghadar Party was also briefly used as a symbol of India in the United States of America.

The form of the flag was prepared by Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Annie Besant

A new flag was adopted in 1917 during the Home Rule movement formed by Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Annie Besant, with five red and four green horizontal stripes. On the upper left quadrant was the Union Jack, indicating the Dominion status the movement sought to achieve. A crescent moon and a star, both in white, are set on the top fly. Seven white stars are arranged in the Saptarishi Nakshatra (constellation Ursa Major), which is sacred to Hindus. The flag did not become popular with the public, probably because of their opposition to the Union Jack.

A year earlier in 1916, Pingali Venkayya of Machilipatnam in present-day Andhra Pradesh tried to design a common national flag. Their efforts were noticed by Umar Sobani and SB Bomanji, who together formed the Indian National Flag Mission. When V The leadership had become a national symbol of India’s economic uplift. Pingali Venkayya came up with a flag with a charkha on a red and green background. However, Mahatma Gandhi found that the flag did not represent all the religions of India.

To address the concerns of Mahatma Gandhi, another new flag was actually designed. The tricolor is white at the top, green in the middle, and red at the bottom, symbolizing the minority religions, Muslims and Hindus respectively, with a “charkha” engraved in all three stripes. Parallels were drawn with the fact that it is similar to the flag of Ireland, a symbol of the other major freedom struggle against the British Empire. This flag was hoisted for the first time at the Congress party meeting in Ahmedabad. Although this flag was not adopted as the official flag of the Indian National Congress party, it was still widely used during the independence movement.

However, there were many who were not satisfied with the communal interpretation of the flag. The All India Sanskrit Congress held in Calcutta in 1924 suggested the inclusion of saffron or ‘Gerua’ and Vishnu’s “mace” (Gada) as symbols of the Hindus. Later that year, it was suggested that Ocher (an earthy-red color) “reflects a spirit of renunciation and symbolizes an ideal for Hindu yogis and ascetics, as well as Muslim mystics and dervishes.” The Sikhs also put forward the demand that either a yellow color be included to represent them or that religious symbolism be abandoned altogether.

 In the context of these developments, the Congress Working Committee appointed a seven-member Flag Committee on 04-02-1931 to resolve these issues. A resolution was passed that stated that “the three colors in the flag have been objected to on the ground that they have been conceived on communal lines.” The unexpected result of these alliances was a flag with only one color, ocher, and a “spinning wheel” on the upper bar.

 Although recommended by the Flag Committee, the INC did not adopt this flag, as it seemed to project a sectarian ideology.

 Pingali Venkayya, father of the modern flag

Later, the final resolution on the flag was passed at the Congress Committee meeting in Karachi in 1931. The tricolor flag adopted then was designed by Pingali Venkayya. It had three horizontal stripes of saffron, white and green, with a “charkha” in the middle. The colors were interpreted as: saffron for courage and sacrifice; white for truth and peace; Green for faith and prosperity. The “Charkha” is a symbol of the economic upliftment of India and the hard work of its people.

At the same time, a variant of the flag was being used by the Indian National Army that included the words “Azad Hind”, in lieu of the “charkha” symbolizing Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violence (non-violence) with a spring tiger under Subhash Chandra. Bose’s violent ways. This tricolor was first hoisted on Indian soil by Subhas Chandra Bose in Manipur, although this was not the official version.

Flag Committee of the Constitution and Final Form of the National Flag

A few days before India gained its independence in August 1947, the Constituent Assembly was formed to discuss the flag of India. He formed an ad-hoc committee under the chairmanship of Rajendra Prasad and it included Abul Kalam Azad, KM Panikar, Sarojini Naidu, C. Rajagopalachari, K.M. Munshi and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was its member.

Flag Committee was constituted on 06-23-1947 and it started deliberations on the issue. After three weeks they came to a decision on 14 July 1947, that the flag of the Indian National Congress should be adopted as the national flag of India with suitable modifications to make it acceptable to all parties and communities.

It was also decided that the flag should not have any communal colors. The “Dharma Chakra” as seen on the Pillar (Ashok Pillar) of Sarnath was adopted in place of the “Charkha”. The flag was hoisted as an independent country for the first time on 15 August 1947.

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