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PM Modi starts Har Ghar Tiranga abhiyaan. How did India get its national flag?

Mohammad Bilal
Mohammad BilalAug 03, 2022 | 15:46

PM Modi starts Har Ghar Tiranga abhiyaan. How did India get its national flag?

Workers pack a giant Indian national flag at the workshop of 'The Flag Company' ahead of country's Independence Day celebrations at Naigaon in Palghar district of Maharashtra state on July 31, 2022. Photo: AFP

The national flag of India was adopted in its present form by the Constituent Assembly of India on July 22, 1947, twenty days before India got its independence. On August 15, 1947, the flag became the national flag of the country.

The man who designed the flag: The design of the national flag is largely attributed to Pingali Venkayya, a freedom fighter who met Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in South Africa during the second Anglo-Boer War (1890- 1902). Venkayya was posted there as part of the British Indian army.

It was an exercise of British soldiers to salute the Union Jack (The British National flag) that inspired Venkayya to design a national flag for India. In South Africa, Venkayya also became a staunch follower of Gandhi and his ideals. The inspiration was so strong that it lasted for nearly 50 years for the man.

Pingali Venkayya. Photo: Twitter/ @joybhattacharj

When he returned to India after the war, he devoted his time and energy towards the creation of a national flag for the country. In 1916, he published a booklet on the flag of other nations, A National Flag for India, offering nearly 30 designs of what can be the national flag of India.

The first design of the flag: Venkayaa's first design of the national flag was accepted by Mahatma Gandhi in 1921 at the Congress meeting in Vijayawada. The initial flag was called as Swaraj flag and it had two red and green bands which represented the two communities of India: Hindus and Muslims. The flag had a charkha which represented Swaraj.

Venkayya further added a white band on top on the recommendation of Mahatma Gandhi. The colour represented peace.

The first design of the Indian national flag. Photo: Twitter/ @joybhattacharj

The redesigning of the flag: Several changes were suggested for the national flag in the next decade. In 1931, the Congress session met in Karachi and adopted the tricolour as the as the national flag. However, since the flag was to have no religious interpretations, a flag committee was set up and it came up with a new idea of Purna Swaraj. It also replaced red with saffron and changed the orders of colours of the flag.

After independence, a national flag committee set up under President Rajendra Prasad replaced the charkha with Ashok Chakra. The Ashok Chakra, with 24 spokes is intended to show that 'there is life in movement and death in stagnation'.

The Indian flag. Photo: Getty Images

What do the colours mean:

  • Saffron on the top represents strength and courage. 
  • White in the middle represents truth and peace.
  • Green at the bottom stands for fertility, growth and auspiciousness of the land.

Har Ghar Tiranga campaign: As India approaches its 75th year of independence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked people to hoist national flags at their rooftops under the Har Ghar Tiranga Campaign.

Several BJP leaders in their states are also pushing the drive for the people to change their social media display pictures with the national flag.

Last updated: August 03, 2022 | 15:47
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