Mahatma Gandhi said, ‘A flag is a necessity for all nations. Millions have died for it. It is no doubt a kind of idolatry which would be a sin to destroy. For, a flag represents an Ideal.’ The national flag is the banner that imparts a nation its own unique identity, proclaims to the world of its sovereignty, and announces the principles on which lies the country’s foundation.
The National flag of India is rectangular in shape and consists of three colours – saffron, white and green. The present form of the flag was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India on 22 July 1947 – 24 days prior to the formal declaration of Independence.
Adopted on: July 22, 1947
The Timeline of Indian Flag
It is quite astonishing to see a great many changes our National flag has been through ever since its inception. Our national flag came into recognition at the time of our national struggle to attain freedom. Our National Flag is the most respectable national symbol. Strict rules and regulations have been implemented for its manufacturing and hoisting. According to the official specifications, the flag is supposed to be made from khadi, a special handspun yarn composed of cotton, wool and silk.
The very first National Flag of India was hoisted on August 7, 1906, in the Parsee Bagan Square in Calcutta (now known as Kolkata). Three horizontal and equal strips of green (top), yellow (middle) and red (bottom) constituted the flag. The green had eight half-opened lotus symbols printed over it and the red had two symbols, one was of sun and the other a star. The yellow strip had ‘Vande Mataram’ inscribed on it in Devanagari.
The second flag was hoisted by Madame Cama in Paris along with her band of exiled revolutionaries. This flag was very much similar to the earlier flag with the only exception that the top strip had 7 stars in place of Louts depicting Saptarishi. This flag was also exhibited at the solicit conference in Berlin.
Pingali Venkayya prepared a flag and presented it to Gandhiji during the session of the All India Congress Committee, which was held at Bezwada in 1921. The flag was made up of two colours red and green, representing the two major communities, Hindus and Muslims. Gandhiji suggested adding the white colour in between to represent the other remaining communities of India and the spinning wheel to symbolize progress of the nation.
This year is marked as the landmark in the history of the national flag. In 1931, a resolution was passed accepting the tricolour flag based on Pingali Venkayya’s design as the national flag of India. This flag comprised of saffron, white and green strips with Mahatma Gandhi’s spinning wheel at the centre.
It was on July 22, 1947 that the Constituent Assembly adopted it as the free India National flag. After the advent of independence, the colours of the national flag along with their significance remained the same, but the spinning wheel was replaced by the Dharma Chakra of Emperor Ashoka, as an emblem on the flag. Thus, the tricolour flag significant of the Congress Party subsequently became the tricolour flag of our Independent India.