history behind the evolution of the indian flag and it's hidden meanings

"Saffron, white and green; more enticing even than any rainbow ever seen."

Our national flag is the symbol of a free country. The National Flag of India is a horizontal rectangular tricolor of India saffron, white and India green. It has the Ashoka Chakra, a 24-spoke wheel, in navy blue at its center. 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.

 

History of the tricolor:

The design of the Indian flag has changed several times since its first inception. It reflects the political developments in our nation.

  1. The first Indian flag in India is believed to have been hoisted on August 7, 1906, in the Parsee Bagan Square (Green Park) in Calcutta, now Kolkata. The flag was composed of three horizontal strips of red, yellow and green.
The First Indian Flag
The First Indian Flag, Collected from knowindia.gov.in
  1. The second flag was hoisted in Paris by Madame Cama and her band of exiled revolutionaries in 1907 (according to some inl9OS). This was very similar to the first flag except that the top strip had only one lotus but seven stars denoting the Saptarishi. This flag was also exhibited at a socialist conference in Berlin.
The Second Indian Flag
The Second Indian Flag, Collected from knowindia.gov.in

 

 

  1. The third flag went up in 1917 when our political struggle had taken a definite turn. Dr. Annie Besant and Lokmanya Tilak hoisted it during the Home rule movement. This flag had five red and four green horizontal strips arranged alternately, with seven stars in the saptarishi configuration super-imposed on them. In the left-hand top corner (the pole end) was the Union Jack. There was also a white crescent and star in one corner.
The Third Indian Flag
The Third Indian Flag, Collected from knowindia.gov.in
  1. During the session of the All India Congress Committee which met at Bezwada in 1921 (now Vijayawada) an Andhra youth prepared a flag and took it to Gandhiji. It was made up of two colors-red and green-representing the two major communities i.e. Hindus and Muslims. Gandhiji suggested the addition of a white strip to represent the remaining communities of India and the spinning wheel to symbolize progress of the Nation.
The Fourth Indian Flag
The Fourth Indian Flag, Collected from knowindia.gov.in
  1. The year 1931 was a landmark in the history of the flag. A resolution was passed adopting a tricolor flag as our national flag. This flag, the forbear of the present one, was saffron, white and green with Mahatma Gandhi’s spinning wheel at the center. It was, however, clearly stated that it bore no communal significance and was to be interpreted thus.
The Fifth Indian Flag
The Fifth Indian Flag, Collected from knowindia.gov.in

 

  1. On July 22, 1947, the Constituent Assembly adopted it as Free India National Flag. After the advent of Independence, the colors and their significance remained the same. Only the Dharma Charkha of Emperor Asoka was adopted in place of the spinning wheel as the emblem on the flag. Thus, the tricolor flag of the Congress Party eventually became the tricolor flag of Independent India.
The Final Indian Flag
The Final Indian Flag, Collected from knowindia.gov.in

 

Colors of the flag:

Every color on the Indian national flag has its own significance.

Saffron:
Saffron, the upper most color of our flag, symbolizes the strength of our country. It stands for sacrifices of our freedom fighters and our history of courage.

White:
The white in the middle band of the flag symbolizes the path of truth, honesty and peace that India will take. White also stands for cleanliness and knowledge.

Navy Blue Chakra:
The Dharma Chakra in navy blue in the middle signifies the “wheel of law” made by the 3rd century BC Mauryan Emperor Ashoka. It shows that there is life in movement and death in stagnation.

Green:
The lower most color of the flag, the green color, denotes the fertility, growth, development and auspiciousness of the land. It symbolizes the value of our land that our life is dependent on.

 

 

Indian Flag represented on a spoon by Aftersearch

 

A few facts about the tricolor:

  • The Flag was designed by an agriculturist and freedom fighter of India, Pingali Venkayya. He was from Andhra Pradesh.
  • It was adopted on July 24, 1947, when India gained independence from the British rule.
  • It was unfurled by Dr.Rajendra Prasad on 26th January 1950 to mark the historic birth of the Indian Republic.
  • By Law, the Indian flag has to be made of Khadi. Khadi is a special type of hand-spun cloth of cotton or silk made popular by Mahatma Gandhi.
  • Even after 55 years of independence, the people of India where not allowed to hoist the Indian flag over their homes, offices and factories on any normal day. They were just to allowed to hoist it on National Days. But, on 26th January, 2002, flag code was revised and after several years of independence the people where finally allowed to hoist the national flag whenever and wherever they wanted as long as the provisions are strictly followed.
  • Flag Code of India, 2002, has been divided into three parts. Part I of the Code contains general description of the National Flag. Part II of the Code is devoted to the display of the National Flag by members of public, private organizations, educational institutions, etc. Part III of the Code relates to display of the National Flag by Central and State governments and their organizations and agencies.
  • As per the flag code, the flag must be hoisted in the day time and there should be no flag or any other symbolic representation above it.

Indian Flag

 

 

The Do’s:
  • The National Flag may be hoisted in educational institutions (schools, colleges, sports camps, scout camps, etc.) to inspire respect for the Flag. An oath of allegiance has been included in the flag hoisting in schools.
  • A member of public, a private organization or an educational institution may hoist/display the National Flag on all days and occasions, ceremonial or otherwise consistent with the dignity and honour of the National Flag.
  • Section 2 of the new code accepts the right of all private citizens to fly the flag on their premises.

The Don’ts:

  • The flag cannot be used for communal gains, drapery, or clothes. As far as possible, it should be flown from sunrise to sunset, irrespective of the weather.
  • The flag cannot be intentionally allowed to touch the ground or the floor or trail in water. It cannot be draped over the hood, top, and sides or back of vehicles, trains, boats or aircraft.
  • No other flag or bunting can be placed higher than the flag. Also, no object, including flowers or garlands or emblems can be placed on or above the flag. The tricolor cannot be used as a festoon, rosette or bunting.

Indian Flag

Source: https://knowindia.gov.in/my-india-my-pride/indian-tricolor.php

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