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Vexillopedia

Flag of India

India
Ratio 2:3
Adoption 1947
Design A horizontal triband of India saffron, white, and India green; charged with a navy blue wheel with 24 spokes in the centre. [0]
Colors
#FF9933
#FFFFFF
#128807
#000088

History

The National Flag of India is a horizontal rectangular tricolour of deep saffron, white and India green; with the Ashoka Chakra, a 24-spoke wheel, in navy blue at its centre. It was adopted in its present form during a meeting of the Constituent Assembly held on 22 July 1947, when it became the official flag of the Dominion of India. The flag was subsequently retained as that of the Republic of India. In India, the term "tricolour" (Hindi: तिरंगा, Tiraṅgā) almost always refers to the Indian national flag. The flag is based on the Swaraj flag, a flag of the Indian National Congress designed by Pingali Venkayya.

In April 1921, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi wrote in his journal Young India about the need for an Indian flag, proposing a flag with the charkha or spinning wheel at the centre. The idea of the spinning wheel was put forth by Lala Hansraj, and Gandhi commissioned Pingali Venkayya to design a flag with the spinning wheel on a red and green banner, the red colour signifying Hindus and the green standing for Muslims. Gandhi wanted the flag to be presented at the Congress session of 1921, but it was not delivered on time, and another flag was proposed at the session. Gandhi later wrote that the delay was fortuitous since it allowed him to realise that other religions were not represented; he then added white to the banner colours, to represent all the other religions. Finally, owing to the religious-political sensibilities, in 1929, Gandhi moved towards a more secular interpretation of the flag colours, stating that red stood for the sacrifices of the people, white for purity, and green for hope.

On 14 July 1947, the committee recommended that the flag of the Indian National Congress be adopted as the National Flag of India with suitable modifications, so as to make it acceptable to all parties and communities. It was also resolved that the flag should not have any communal undertones. The spinning wheel of the Congress flag was replaced by the Chakra (wheel) from the Lion Capital of Ashoka. According to Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the chakra was chosen as it was representative of dharma and law. However, Nehru explained that the change was more practical in nature, as unlike the flag with the spinning wheel, this design would appear symmetrical. Gandhi was not very pleased by the change, but eventually came around to accepting it. [0]

Meaning

Gandhi first proposed a flag to the Indian National Congress in 1921. The flag was designed by Pingali Venkayya. In the centre was a traditional spinning wheel, symbolising Gandhi's goal of making Indians self-reliant by fabricating their own clothing. The design was then modified to include a white stripe in the centre for other religious communities, and provide a background for the spinning wheel. Subsequently, to avoid sectarian associations with the colour scheme, saffron, white and green were chosen for the three bands, representing courage and sacrifice, peace and truth, and faith and chivalry respectively. [0]