India is set to celebrate its 74th Independence Day on August 15, 2020 (Saturday) and the day will begin with Prime Minister Narendra Modi hoisting the national flag at the Red Fort. However, not many are aware of the significance of our national flag and how it came into existence. Also known as the Tricolor or Tiranga, the flag was an integral part of the Indian freedom movement and has a reach history.
Here are some interesting facts about the Indian national flag, that everyone should know about
The National Flag was adopted in its present form (horizontal rectangular tricolour) during a meeting of the Constituent Assembly held on 22 July 1947. 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
- The Indian National flag is based on the Swaraj flag, a flag of the Indian National Congress designed by Pingali Venkayya
- By law, the flag is supposed to be made of khadi
- The Bureau of Indian Standards had laid out the manufacturing process and specifications for the flag, while the right to manufacture the flag is held by the Khadi Development and Village Industries Commission
- Usage of the Indian National flag is governed by the Flag Code of India and other laws relating to the national emblems
- Initially, Gandhi had proposed a flag to the Indian National Congress in 1921, which was designed by Pingali Venkayya. In the center was a traditional spinning wheel, symbolising Gandhi's goal of making Indians self-reliant by fabricating their own clothing, between a red stripe for Hindus and a green stripe for Muslims
- The design was later modified to replace red with saffron and to include a white stripe in the center for other religious communities, and provide a background for the spinning wheel. Subsequently, to avoid sectarian associations with the colour scheme, the three bands were assigned new meanings: 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 had decided that the flag of India must be acceptable to all parties and communities
- A modified version of the Swaraj flag was later 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 center 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 center 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.