Monday, June 22, 2015

Facts about Indian National Flag

Indian National Flag – Adopted on July 22, 1947

The Indian National flag had been adopted in its present form at the time of a meeting of the Constituent Assembly which had taken place on July 22, 1947, and became the official flag of the Dominion of India. The national flag symbolizes a country and is flown by the government though it can also be flown by citizens of the country.

The first national flag in India had been hoisted on 7 August, 1906, in the Parsee Bagan Square – Green Park in Calcutta now known as Kolkata. The second flag was hoisted by Madame Cama and her band of exiled revolutionaries in Paris in 1907 while the third flag had been hoisted in 1917 when the political struggle had taken a definite turn and Lokmanya Tilak together with Dr Annie Besant hoisted it during the Home Rule Movement.

At the time of the session of the All India Congress Committee that had gathered in 1921 at Bezwada, presently Vijayawada, Pingali Venkayya had prepared a flag which was made of two colours, namely red and green, representing the two major communities – Hindus and Muslims. He had taken it to Gandhiwho recommended the inclusion of a white strip to represent the remaining communities of India as well as the spinning wheel symbolising the progress of the Nation.

1931 Landmark in the History of the Flag

1931 was a landmark in the history of the flag and a resolution was passed to adopt a tricolour flag as the national flag. The flag was saffron, white and green and Mahatma Gandhi’s spinning wheel at the centre was the forbear of the present one.

On 22 July 1947, the Constituent Assembly had adopted it as Free India National Flag and after independence; the colours together with their significance remained the same with the exception of the Dharma Charkha of Emperor Asoka which was adopted instead of the spinning wheel as the emblem of the flag.

Thus eventually, the tricolour flag of the Congress Party turned out to be the tricolour flag of independent India. The national flag of India is also known by the term `tricolour’, Tiranga in Hindi due to its three dominant colours in the flag and these two terms tend to always refer to the national flag.

By law, the national flag of India is to be made of khadi, which is a special kind of hand spun cloth of cotton or silk, popularly made by Mahatma Gandhi. The only licenced flag production and supply unit in India is Karnataka Khadi Gramodyoga Samyukta Sangha which is based in Hubli.

Original Indian Flag Code - Amended

The largest flag, 21 x 14 ft.; is flown by the government of Maharashtra on top of Mantralaya building, the state administrative headquarters. The original flag code of India did not permit private citizen to fly the national flag but were only allowed on national days like the Independence Day or Republic Day.

Naveen Jindal, an Indian industrialist had filed a public interest litigation petition in the High Court of Delhi in 2001, against this, debating that hoisting the national flag with due honour and decorum was his right as a citizen as well as a way of expression of love for the country. Eventually the Union Cabinet of India amended the Indian Flag Code with effect from January 26, 2002 enabling private citizens in hoisting the flag on any day of the year subject to their preserving the dignity, honour and respect of the flag.

The general rule when the India flag is flown on Indian Territory together with the other national flags, it should be the starting point of all flags. The flag, whenever is displayed indoors in halls at public gatherings or meetings should always be on the right – observers’ left, since this is the position of authority.

Amended Code Bans Usage in Clothing Below Waist

Moreover if the flag is displayed near a speaker in the hall or a meeting place, it should be placed on the speaker’s right hand and when it is displayed at any other place in the hall, it must be to the right of the audience.Whenever a foreign dignitary tends to travel in a car which has been provided by the government, the flag should be flown on the right side of the car while the flag of the foreign country should be flown on the left side.

On May 29, 1953, the Indian national flag had been hoisted on Mount Everest, which is the highest peak in the world together with the Union Jack and the Nepalese National flag. The India flag went in space in 1971 on board Apollo-15 and flew in space as a medallion on the spacesuit that was worn by Cosmonaut Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma at the time of the Indo-Soviet joint space flight in April 1984.

The original flag code prohibited the use of the flag on uniform, costumes and other clothing, but the Government of India, amended the code in July 2005, enabling some forms of usage. However, the amended code bans usage in clothing below the waist and on undergarments as well as embroidering onto pillowcase, handkerchiefs or any other dress material.

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