Flag plays an important role in representing any country of the world. It is hoisted on days that hold importance in a country’s history. Like our prime minister unfurls the national flag on Independence Day at Red Fort to commemorate the day on which India got its freedom from British, who ruled our country for almost 200 years. India became a free country on August 15, 1947.
Before finally getting the present national flag, several flags had been hoisted in our country, which were designed by various Indians. Let’s have a look at the evolution of the Indian flag.
British after the revolt of 1857 decided to have a single flag for India. They designed a flag in blue colour which was based on western heraldic standards, representing the direct imperial rule in India.
Then, in 1904, the first flag of the country was designed by Sister Nivedita, an Irish disciple of Swami Vivekananda. It carried the image of a weapon (vajra) and had Vande Mataram written on it. The flag was red and yellow in colour.
Two years later, another flag was designed. It was hoisted on August 7, 1906, at an anti-partition rally in Parsi Bagan Square, Kolkata. It was said to be designed by Sachindra Prasad Bose and Sukumar Mitra. It had three horizontal strips of red, yellow and green. The red strip had had symbols of the sun and a crescent moon, while the green strip had eight lotuses. The yellow strip has Vande Mataram printed on it.
The following year Madame Cama and her exiled revolutionaries hoisted an Indian flag in Germany. It was designed by Madam Bhikaji Cama, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and Shyamji Krishna Varma. It attained the status of the first Indian flag.
Then ten years later, in 1917, Annie Besant and Lokmanya Tilak adopted a new flag for the Home Rule Movement. Featuring five alternate red and four green horizontal stripes, this flag had seven stars in the saptarishi configuration. It also carried a crescent moon and a star at the top right and a Union Jack.
In 1931, another flag was adopted which was different from previous flags in a way that it had a saffron band instead of the red one. Designed by Pingali Venkayya, it was the first official flag of India. The flag featured the saffron band on the top, the white band in the middle with a charkha symbolising the Swadeshi movement and the green band at the bottom.
Finally, on July 22, 1947, members of the Constituent Assembly of India at a meeting in the Constitution Hall in Delhi held a discussion on adopting a national flag for free India. The design of the current national flag was proposed at that meeting.
Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister hoisted the national flag from Red Fort to mark the first Independence Day.