The Indian National Flag – Facts
Flag of Colonial India
- India 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 Swaraj Flag
- 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
The Indian flag of independent India is similar to the swaraj flag.
The saffron colour represents courage and sacrifice, the white represents truth and purity and the green represents peace and prosperity.
At the center is the Ashoka chakra to represent the ideas of low and dharma as it does on the Ashoka pillar.
The 24 spokes of the wheel represent 24 hours of progress everyday.
The National Flag Code of India
There are strict guidelines on how we can use the Indian flag and there is only one licensed flag production and supply unit in India.
- An Indian flag must be made of khadi cloth, 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. It cannot be used as drapery in any form.
- The flag many not be placed upside down. If placed vertically, the safforn edge should be on the left.
- Until 2001, private citizens were only allowed to fly the flag on national holidays. This law was changed when a citizen filed suit against the court arguing that every Indian citizen had a right to fly their national flag.
- 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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