National flag - Flag of India

National flag  >  Flag of India

Flag of India

The National Flag of India is a horizontal rectangular tricolour of India saffron, white and India green; with the Ashoka Chakra, a 24-spoke wheel, in navy blue at its centre. It was adopted in its present form during a meeting of the Constituent Assembly held on 22 July 1947, and it became the official flag of the Dominion of India on 15 August 1947. The flag was subsequently retained as that of the Republic of India. In India, the term "tricolour" (तिरंगा) almost always refers to the Indian national flag. The flag is based on the Swaraj flag, a flag of the Indian National Congress designed by Pingali Venkayya.

By law, the flag is to be made of khadi, a special type of hand-spun cloth or silk, made popular by Mahatma Gandhi. The manufacturing process and specifications for the flag are laid out by the Bureau of Indian Standards. The right to manufacture the flag is held by the Khadi Development and Village Industries Commission, who allocates it to regional groups. As of 2009, the Karnataka Khadi Gramodyoga Samyukta Sangha has been the sole manufacturer of the flag.

Usage of the flag is governed by the Flag Code of India and other laws relating to the national emblems. The original code prohibited use of the flag by private citizens except on national days such as the Independence day and the Republic Day. In 2002, on hearing an appeal from a private citizen, Naveen Jindal, the Supreme Court of India directed the Government of India to amend the code to allow flag usage by private citizens. Subsequently, the Union Cabinet of India amended the code to allow limited usage. The code was amended once more in 2005 to allow some additional use including adaptations on certain forms of clothing. The flag code also governs the protocol of flying the flag and its use in conjunction with other national and non-national flags.

According to the Flag code of India, the Indian flag has a ratio of two by three (where the length of the flag is 1.5 times that of the width). All three stripes of the flag (saffron, white and green) are to be equal in width and length. The size of the Ashoka Chakra is not specified in the Flag code, but it has twenty-four spokes that are evenly spaced. In section 4.3.1 of "IS1: Manufacturing standards for the Indian Flag", there is a chart that details the size of the Ashoka Chakra on the nine specific sizes of the national flag. In both the Flag code and IS1, they call for the Ashoka Chakra to be printed or painted on both sides of the flag in navy blue. Below is the list of specified shades for all colours used on the national flag, with the exception of Navy Blue, from "IS1: Manufacturing standards for the Indian Flag" as defined in the 1931 CIE Colour Specifications with illuminant C. The navy blue colour can be found in the standard IS:1803-1973.

Note that the values given in the table correspond to CIE 1931 color space. Approximate RGB values for use may be taken to be: India saffron #FF9933, white #FFFFFF, India green #138808, navy blue #000080. Pantone values closest to this are 130 U, White, 2258 C and 2735 C.

Gandhi first proposed a flag to the Indian National Congress in 1921. The flag was designed by Pingali Venkayya. In the centre was a traditional spinning wheel, symbolising Gandhi's goal of making Indians self-reliant by fabricating their own clothing. The design was then modified to include a white stripe in the centre for other religious communities, and provide a background for the spinning wheel. Subsequently, to avoid sectarian associations with the colour scheme, saffron, white and green were chosen for the three bands, representing courage and sacrifice, peace and truth, and faith and chivalry respectively.

A few days before India became independent on 15 August 1947, the specially constituted Constituent Assembly decided that the flag of India must be acceptable to all parties and communities. A modified version of the Swaraj flag was chosen; the tricolour remained the same saffron, white and green. However, the charkha was replaced by the Ashoka Chakra representing the eternal wheel of law. The philosopher Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, who later became India's first Vice President and second President, clarified the adopted flag and described its significance as follows:

Bhagwa or the Saffron denotes renunciation or disinterestedness. Our leaders must be indifferent to material gains and dedicate themselves to their work. The white in the centre is light, the path of truth to guide our conduct. The green shows our relation to (the) soil, our relation to the plant life here, on which all other life depends. The "Ashoka Chakra" in the centre of the white is the wheel of the law of dharma. Truth or satya, dharma or virtue ought to be the controlling principle of those who work under this flag. Again, the wheel denotes motion. There is death in stagnation. There is life in movement. India should no more resist change, it must move and go forward. The wheel represents the dynamism of a peaceful change.

A number of flags with varying designs were used in the period preceding the Indian Independence Movement by the rulers of different princely states; the idea of a single Indian flag was first raised by the British rulers of India after the rebellion of 1857, which resulted in the establishment of direct imperial rule. The first flag, whose design was based on western heraldic standards, were similar to the flags of other British colonies, including Canada and South Africa; its red field included the Union Flag in the upper-left quadrant and a Star of India capped by the royal crown in the middle of the right half. To address the question of how the star conveyed "Indianness", Queen Victoria created the Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India to honour services to the empire by her Indian subjects. Subsequently, all the Indian princely states received flags with symbols based on the heraldic criteria of Europe including the right to fly defaced British red ensigns.

In the early twentieth century, around the coronation of Edward VII, a discussion started on the need for a heraldic symbol that was representative of the Indian empire. William Coldstream, a British member of the Indian Civil Service, campaigned the government to change the heraldic symbol from a star, which he considered to be a common choice, to something more appropriate. His proposal was not well received by the government; Lord Curzon rejected it for practical reasons including the multiplication of flags. Around this time, nationalist opinion within the realm was leading to a representation through religious tradition. The symbols that were in vogue included the Ganesha, advocated by Bal Gangadhar Tilak, and Kali, advocated by Aurobindo Ghosh and Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay. Another symbol was the cow, or Gau Mata (cow mother). However, all these symbols were Hindu-centric and did not suggest unity with India's Muslim population.
National flag 
Flag of India

Country - India

India (ISO: ), also known as the Republic of India (ISO: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country by area and with more than 1.3 billion people, it is the second most populous country as well as the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the northeast; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, while its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia.

The Indian subcontinent was home to the urban Indus Valley Civilisation of the 3rd millennium. In the following millennium, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism began to be composed. Social stratification, based on caste, emerged in the first millennium BCE, and Buddhism and Jainism arose. Early political consolidations took place under the Maurya and Gupta empires; later peninsular Middle Kingdoms influenced cultures as far as Southeast Asia. In the medieval era, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, and Islam arrived, and Sikhism emerged, all adding to the region's diverse culture. Much of the north fell to the Delhi Sultanate; the south was united under the Vijayanagara Empire. The economy expanded in the 17th century in the Mughal Empire. In the mid-18th century, the subcontinent came under British East India Company rule, and in the mid-19th under British Crown rule. A nationalist movement emerged in the late 19th century, which later, under Mahatma Gandhi, was noted for nonviolent resistance and led to India's independence in 1947.
Neighbourhood - Country  

  •  Bangladesh 
  •  Bhutan 
  •  Burma 
  •  China 
  •  Nepal 
  •  Pakistan 


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