Indian used to be made up of different princely states with their own flags. After the 1857 revolt, the British Raj introduced a flag to represent their greater Indian territories. This was a Union Jack with the Star of India in the centre and the Tudor crown above it.
The ban on flying an Indian flag led to the use of the Swaraj flag as a sign of protest in India during the freedom struggle. This was a tricolour rectangle with a charka or a spinning wheel at its centre. The Indian flag of independent India is similar to the swaraj flag.
There are rules that govern how and for what an Indian National flag can be used for. Here are some of them:
There is currently only one licensed flag production and supply unit in India, that follows the strict guidelines of producing an Indian flag.
An Indian flag must be made of khadi cloth of silk or cotton, and each roll of cloth that eventually turns into a flag is sent to a lab to be tested for quality.
The flag must never touch the ground or water, or be used as a drapery in any form. The flag may not be flown upside down.
The rendering of the Indian flag as we see it today was a modified version of the earlier tricolour. The charkha in the center was replaced with the Chakra to borrow from the idea of law and dharma that it represents on the Lion capital of Ashoka. The chakra has 24 spokes to represent the 24 hours of progress within the day; the saffron colour represents courage and sacrifice; white – truth and purity; green – peace and prosperity.
Until 2001, private citizens were only allowed to fly the flag on national holidays. Naveen Jindal flew an Indian flag outside his office building, but he was warned that he would be prosecuted. Mr. Jindal filed suit in the High Court of Delhi seeking to strike down the restriction on the use of the flag by private citizens, arguing that it was his right as a citizen of India to hoist his national colors.
No complete representation of the flag can appear below the waist on clothing, or on undergarments.
Damaged flags must be disposed of in private by burning or any other method consistent with the dignity of the flag.
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