The flag of India consists of three horizontal bands, from top to bottom, of Indian saffron, white, and India green. The Ashoka Chakra is pictured in the center of the white band in navy blue. This symbol is a 24 spoke wheel that has held cultural importance in the region for centuries. The flag became the official national banner on 15 August 1947 after being approved during a meeting of the Constituent Assembly in July of the same year.
The colors of the flag of India have deep symbolic meaning within the culture and society of the nation. The Indian saffron (orange color) is a symbol of Hinduism, courage, and sacrifice of the Indian people to gain independence. Green is a symbol of Islam (also used in neighboring Pakistan's flag) and faith while white is a color used to symbolize the commitment of the coexistence of Hinduism and Islam in the same country. The Ashoka Chakra has appeared in ancient scripts and artefacts dating back to the third century B.C, it is also a recognized symbol of self-sufficiency and an independent India.
The design of the flag was heavily inspired by a flag that Gandhi had proposed to the Indian National Congress in 1921. This flag was designed by Pingali Venkayya, a well-known independence advocate in Indian history, and sought to bring unity of ethnicities and religions through the national symbol as important as a flag. This flag began as a red and green bi-color, but the white was added for the other religions in the country and the Ashoka Chakra was added in 1947.
The flag of British India consisted of the Union Jack in the upper-left corner and an insignia of the Order of the Star of India on the right-hand side, this flag was used from 1880-1947. The Swaraj Flag, adopted by the Indian National Congress in 1931, was inspired by the 1921 flag of Venkayya and as used to represent the independence movement. Other flags such as the Calcutta Flags (raised in 1906 and 1907) were common as a symbol of protest against British rule.
This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018
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