NEW DELHI: India will celebrate it’s 72nd Independence Day this year. On 15th August every year, the Prime Minister of India hoists the national flag at Red Fort and addresses the nation. The National Flag, also called the tricolor, has as rich a history as our nation. The National Flag was an integral part of the national struggle for freedom and has remained a symbol of unity after freedom.
Here are some interesting facts about the national flag for students who may use this knowledge next time they are required to write an essay or prepare a class quiz.
1. The first Indian flag was hoisted on August 7, 1906 at Parsi Bagan Square in Calcutta. The first flag showed religious symbols and had eight roses with Vande Matram inscribed on it. The first version had three stripes of green, yellow and red colors in the same order.
2. The second Indian flag with partial modifications was hoisted by Madam Bhikaji Cama at the second Socialist International summit in Stuttgart, Germany. Madam Bhikaji Cama happens to be the first person to unfurl Indian National Flag on foreign soil.
3. A third, new type of flag was used by Bal Gangadhar Tilak in 1917. This flag had red and green strips with the Union Jack on top left and a crescent on top right. This flag also had seven stars in the formation of the Saptrishi constellation.
4. In 1921, a new flag was designed. The new flag had white color strip at the top representing the religious minorities, green color strip in the middle representing Muslims, and red color strip at the bottom representing Hindus. In the center of the flag was a Spinning Wheel. This flag was according to the vision of Mahatma Gandhi.
5. Another version of the flag came into existence in 1921 which was adopted by the Congress committee. This flag had saffron color at the top, white in the middle, and green color at the bottom. in the middle of the white strip was a Spinning Wheel. Our present tricolor is a modification on this flag.
6. The Indian National Flag, in its present form, was designed by Pingali Venkayya who was an educationist and a freedom fighter from Krishna District, Andhra Pradesh.
7. Karnataka Khadi Gramodyoga Samyukta Sangh of Hubli has the sole manufacturing rights for the Indian Flag. The clothe used for manufacturing of the national flag has to be Khadi. Using a flag made of any other material is a punishable offence with imprisonment of maximum 3 years.
8. Before 2002, normal citizens of India were not allowed to hoist the National Flag except on Independence Day and Republic Day. In 2002, Supreme Court of India amended the flag code and gave rights to all citizens to hoist the flag any time as per the flag code.
9. In the present National Flag, the saffron color represents courage and sacrifice, white color represents peace and green color represents prosperity. In the middle of the white strip is Ashok Chakra which is blue in color and has 24 spokes. It represents cycle of life and continuity. The length to width ratio of the flag is 3:2.
10. 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. The flag must be hoisted in horizontal direction with the saffron color on top.