National Flag of India


    In News

    • Three-quarters of a century ago on 22nd July 1947, the Constituent Assembly of India adopted the National Flag. 

    More about the news

    • Ahead of India’s 75th Independence Day anniversary, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged the citizens to participate in the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ (Tricolour at every home) movement by hoisting the national flag in their homes between August 13-15. 

    The National Flag of India:

    • Origin:
      • The National Flag of India was adopted in its present form during the meeting of the Constituent Assembly held on 22 July 1947, a few days before India’s independence from the British on 15 August 1947
      • It served as the national flag of the Dominion of India between 15 August 1947 and 26 January 1950 and that of the Republic of India thereafter. 
      • In India, the term “tricolour” refers to the Indian national flag.
      • Designed by: 
        • Pingali Venkayya.
    • Description :
      • The National flag of India is a horizontal tricolour of deep saffron (Kesari) at the top, white in the middle and dark green at the bottom in equal proportion. 
      • The ratio of the width of the flag to its length is two to three
      • In the centre of the white band is a navy blue wheel which represents the chakra
        • This Dharma Chakra depicted the “wheel of the law” in the Sarnath Lion Capital made by the 3rd-century BC Mauryan Emperor Ashoka. 
        • The chakra intends to show that there is life in movement and death in stagnation.
      • Its design is that of the wheel which appears on the abacus of the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka
      • Its diameter approximates the width of the white band and it has 24 spokes.

    Evolution of the flag

    • The first version of the Indian flag came in the year 1904 when Sister Nivedita, more fondly called as Bhagini Nivedita, a disciple of Swami Vivekananda designed a yellow and red flag with a ‘Vajra’ in the center and ‘Vande Mataram’ written in Bengali in the centre. 
    • On August 7, 1906, the first unofficial Indian flag was hoisted in Parsee Bagan (Modern day Girish Park) in Kolkata
      • This time, the flag had three equal horizontal stripes of green, yellow and red.
    • Mahatma Gandhi suggested adding a white stripe and a spinning wheel or Charkha. 
    • The spinning wheel was popularised by Gandhi as a symbol of the nationalist struggle. Later on, this flag would lay the foundation of the current tricolouor.

    Rules and Acts governing the display of the national flag of India:

    • The earliest rules for the display of the national flag were originally governed by the provisions of The Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950 and The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971.
      • It mentions that the tricolour cannot be used for commercial purposes, and cannot be dipped in salute to any person or thing.
      • The flag should not be used as a festoon, or for any kind of decoration purposes.
      • Any paper flags, which are used on occasions of national and cultural occasions or sporting events, should not be casually discarded and must be disposed of in private.
      • For official display, only flags that conform to the specifications as laid down by the Bureau of Indian Standards and bearing their mark can be used.
    • The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971 prohibits the desecration of or insult to the country’s national symbols, including the national flag, the Constitution, the national anthem and the Indian map.
      • Section 2 of the Act says, “Whoever in any public place or in any other place within public view burns, mutilates, defaces, defiles, disfigures, destroys, tramples upon into contempt the Indian National Flag or the Constitution of India or any part thereof, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.
    • Flag Code of 2002:
      • In 2002, the Flag Code of India came into effect which allowed the unrestricted display of the Tricolour as long as the honour and dignity of the flag were being respected.
      • The flag code did not replace the pre-existing rules governing the correct display of the flag; it was, however, an effort to bring together all the previous laws, conventions and practices.
      • The Flag Code of 2002 is divided into three parts:
        • A general description of the tricolour.
        • Rules on the display of the flag by public and private bodies and educational institutions.
        • Rules for the display of the flag by governments and government bodies.
      • A recent revision to the flag code has stated that the National Flag shall be made of hand spun and hand woven or machine made, cotton, polyester, wool, silk khadi bunting.

    Constitutional Responsibilities 

    • Part IV-A of the Constitution: According to Article 51A (a), It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem.