The national flag owes an utmost importance for any free nation. Each country carries a national flag which symbolises the nation. Throughout the history, national flag has always been a symbol of pride. Like our country, our flag also has a history. Indian tricolor has gone through various changes and designs since its first inception in the pre-Independece period. Here is a brief history and important milestones in the evolution of Indian tricolor :
First Indian National Flag :
The Indian flag was first hoisted on August 7 1906, at the Parsee Bagan Square in Calcutta. It was a horizontal tricolor of green, yellow and red. The upper green strip had 8 lotuses, the middle yellow strip had ‘Vande Mataram‘ in Hindi; and the lower red strip had a star and crescent at the corners.
The second national flag was called as “Saptarishi flag” due to the seven stars in it. This flag was similar to that of the first national flag. It was hoisted in Paris by Madame Cama in 1907.
The third national flag was hoisted by Dr. Annie Besant and Lokmanya Tilak during the Home Rule Movement. The flag had 9 horizontal strips – 5 red and 4 green. The main noticable thing in this thing was the Union Jack at the top left corner of the flag which became the cause of its unpopularity among masses. The flag also included saptarishi with a white crescent and a star at the corner.
In an All India Congress Committee at Bezawada (present Vijaywada) in 1921, a youth came up with a flag and presented it to Gandhiji. It was made up of two colours – red and green representing the Hindu and Muslim community. Gandhi suggested him to add a white colour to represent other communities and a charkha (spinning wheel) in the middle to symbolise the progress of the nation. Though it wasn’t officially accepted by Congress but this flag was widely used.
1931 witnessed a major landmark in the history of Indian tricolor. A resolution was passed to adopt tricolor as national flag. The upper strip had a saffron colour, middle strip had a white colour and the lower strip had a green colour. The flag also had a charkha at the centre.
Just a few days before India was about to be independent, a committee was set up headed by Rajendra Prasad to select a flag for independent India. They recommended a flag similar to the ‘Swaraj Flag’ with an Ashoka Chakra in the middle instead of Charkha. Jawaharlal Nehru on 22 July 1947, proposed the flag at Constituent Assembly which was approved unanimously and became the flag of independent India.
Our Indian flag means a lot to us. It is a symbol of our unity despite being such a diverse nation. Our flag is much more than just cloth and ink but is a universally recognized symbol that stands for liberty, and freedom. It is the history of our nation, and is marked by the blood of those who died defending it.