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Following article on”Indian National Flag” is part of our series on general awareness:
Every free nation of the world has its own flag. It is a symbol of a free country. National flags serve not only as a means of identity but also as a symbol for a country's history and ideals.
During the 1600s, as groups of people began to organize into states and nations, flags became an important way to identify a country's territories and possessions. For its citizens, the flag grew into a symbol of pride and identity of a people and government.
Every country put an immense effort to design their flags as it is a great deal of their thoughts which reflect through country’s national flag. Colors, symbols, and layout of the design are all features that represent some principle or event that is significant to the country to which it belongs.
Historically flag was originated in ancient India more than 5000 years ago and was called as Dhvaja. In the Rig Veda which is the worlds’ oldest book (4000-5000 BC), there is mention of Dhvaja hoisted on an elephant being ridden by Devraj Indra.
Flag mentioned in Rig Veda was triangular of black colour and had some inscription in white. Use of flag came into vogue all over the world after 600 BC. Indian “national” flag was hoisted first in Calcutta on August 7, 1906 by Sir Surindranath Banerjee demanding freedom for India from British rule.
Independence Day, 15th August 1947, is the most significant day in India’s history, when India became one nation, despite partition, with one National Flag that was hoisted at 10:30 AM by Pandit Nehru.
Pt. Nehru quoted ” a flag not only of freedom for ourselves, but a symbol of freedom for all people.”
In India, the term ‘Tricolor or Tiranga’ refers to the Indian National Flag which was designed by Pingali Venkayyaand.
It is designed in such a way that reflects country’s integrity, aim for growth and peace. It is a horizontal tricolor of deep saffron (kesaria) at the top, white in the middle and dark green at the bottom in equal proportion. The ratio of width of the flag to its length is two to three. In the centre of the white band is a navy-blue wheel which represents the chakra and it has 24 spokes. National flag of India is also the war flag of Indian Defense Forces.
Each colour of flag has different significance and purposeful meaning.
•Saffron stands for courage, sacrifice and renunciation
•White stands for truth in action and purity in thoughts
•Green is the symbol of life, abundance and prosperity
•Chakra is the symbol of progress and of movement
A few days before independence, the constitution assemble was formed to select a flag of Independent India. On 23 June 1947, the assembly created a committee headed by Rajindra Prasad and other members including Maulana Abul Kalam, Sarojni Naidu, C, Raja Gopalachari, K.M.Munsi and Dr. B.R.Ambedkar. The committee recommended that the flag of the Indian national congress should be adopted as the National Flag of India. Committee also suggested some suitable modifications so that it should be acceptable to all political parties. Its main task was to select a flag that should not be a under stone of any political party and it should reflect an image of Azaad Bharat.
The flag symbolizes freedom .On 22 July 21, 1947, Pandit Jawaharlal Lal Nehru proposed Indian National Flag at the constituent assembly as a horizontal tricolor of deep saffron, white and dark green color bands in equal proportions, with Asoka wheel (Chakra) in blue in the centre of the white band.
Nehru also presented two flags, one in Khadi-silk and the other in Khadi-cotton, to the assembly. The resolution was approved unanimously. Indian Flag, by law, is to be made of khadi. 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 allocate it to the regional groups. As of 2009, the Karnataka Khadi Gramodyoga Samyukta Sangha was the sole manufacturer of the flag.
Its use and display are regulated by a code. A Flag Code was outlined to maintain the dignity and honor of the National Flag. Flag code is a set of rules which need to be followed to give respect to Indian National Flag.
On January 26, 2002, the new ‘Flag Code of India2002’ was released by the Union government. According to new code the citizens of India are allowed to hoist the Indian flag over their homes, offices and factories on any day and not just National days as was the case earlier. Now Indians can proudly display the national flag anywhere and anytime, as long as the provisions of the Flag Code are strictly followed to avoid any disrespect to the tricolor.
Following are some rules and regulations of Flag Code of India 2002:
•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 honor 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 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 tricolour cannot be used as a festoon, rosette or bunting
The Indian National Flag represents the hopes and aspirations of the people of India. Over the last five decades, several people including members of armed forces have ungrudgingly laid down their lives to keep the tricolor flying in its full glory.
The flag should be flown at half-mast as a sign of mourning. The decision to do so lies with the President of India, who also decides the period of such mourning. When the flag is to be flown at half mast, it must first be raised to the top of the mast and then slowly lowered. Only the Indian flag is flown half mast; all other flags remain at normal height. The flag is flown half-mast nationwide on the death of the President, Vice-president or Prime Minister. On occasions of state, military, central Para-military forces funerals, the flag shall be draped over the bier or coffin with the saffron towards the head of the bier or coffin. The flag shall not be lowered into the grave or burnt in the pyre.
The Indian National Flag symbol of our national pride. Achievers feel proud to proclaim with the hoisting of the national flag when they break or make new world record for the nation. TheIndian national flag was hoisted on Mt. Everest, the highest peak in the world, on May 29 1953, along with the Union Jack and the Nepalese National flag. National flag flew to space in 1984when Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma went to the space. The flag was attached as a medallion on the space suit of Rakesh Sharma. Such achievements not only bring proud feeling to the country but also spread a massive feel of inspiration among young youth.
In nutshell, to fly the national flag is a sign of pride and patriotism. It is a positive affirmation of loyalty and commitment. It marks out a country that has confidence in itself, and is comfortable with its place in the world, its history and its future.
"It will be necessary for us Indians Muslims, Christians Jews, Parsis, and all others to whom India is their home-to recognizes a common flag to live and to die for." –Mahatma Gandhi
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