Independence Day is celebrated throughout the country with zeal and fervor on August 15 to commemorate independence from British colonial rule. With just a few days left, preparations are in full swing to make the celebrations a memorable one. No matter where we celebrate - be it in school, college, office or at home - the Independence Day, the one thing which every one of us does is hoisting (or at least holding) a tricolour. The celebration is not completing without a flag hoisting and every Indian stand in attention to show his respect, patriotism, and loyalty. But then, do we all know how our national flag has evolved and what kind of changes it went through since its first inception.
We all know that India's flag has three strips - saffron, white and green (in the sequence of top to bottom) with a Ashoka Chakra in navy blue colour at the center. But do you know our national flag has changed six times to stop at how it looks today? Today we are going to tell you about the journey of our national flag.
Timeline of the evolution of the Indian National Flag
- The first national flag was unveiled in the year 1906 and was hoisted in 1906, in the Parsee Bagan Square (Green Park) in Calcutta (Kolkata). The flag had three strips but with different colours - green, yellow and red. The green strip had eight white lotuses representing the eight provinces and a shining sun and a crescent on the bottom red band. The central yellow band had Vande Mataram written in Devnagiri.
- The very next year (in 1907) another flag was designed. This time the tricolor was inverted and with red replaced by saffron color. The top strip now had 8 simple flowers and bottom strip had the sun on the left and crescent moon with a star on right. The central strip remained the same.
- The third flag, with five red and four green alternate horizontal strips, was unfurled in 1917. It had seven stars in the saptarishi configuration super-imposed on them. There was a Union Jack on the upper left corner and a crescent with a star in the upper right corner.
- In 1921, Andhra youth prepared a flag and took it to Mahatma Gandhi. It had two colours - red and green, representing Hindus and Muslims. However, Gandhi advised them to add a white strip that will represent all other Indian communities and the spinning wheel to symbolise progress of the Nation.
- The communal interpretation of the flag didn't go down well with many and hence ten years later (in 1931), a new flag was prepared. This flag looked very similar to the present flag. It had tricolour - saffron, white and green (from top to bottom) with a spinning wheel at the center. The flag by Pingali Venkayya was officially adopted by the National Congress.
- It was used till 1947 when on July 22, 1947 the spinning wheel was replaced by the 24-spoke Ashoka Chakra for Dharma and righteousness. The flag was first hoisted at the Council House on August 15 the same year.
Some quick facts about Indian National Flag
- Our flag has fixed dimension of 2:3 ratio, i.e. the length should be 1.5 times the breadth.
- All the three stripes should be equal in size.
- The flag should be made up of Khadi only.
- The national flag should be hoisted only during the day time and always be taken down at sunset.