THE NATIONAL FLAG’S EVOLUTION

An integral part of the nation’s identity, the evolution of the National Flag played a crucial role in the national struggle for freedom. These are the historical milestones in the evolution of our national flag.

Composed of three horizontal strips of red, yellow and green, the first national flag in India is believed to have been hoisted on August 7, 1906, in the Parsee Bagan Square in Calcutta.

The second flag was hoisted in Paris by Madame Cama and her band of exiled revolutionaries in 1907. The words Vande Mataram, in the Devanagari script, were inscribed on the central band, and seven stars on the top strip denoted the Saptarishi.

The third flag was hoisted by Dr. Annie Besant and Lokmanya Tilak during the Home rule movement in 1917. It featured five red and four green horizontal stripes and the upper left quadrant was the Union Jack.

The fourth flag had two colours — red and green — representing the two major communities,  i.e., Hindus and Muslims. Gandhiji suggested the addition of a white strip to represent the remaining communities of India and the spinning wheel to symbolise progress of the nation.

In 1931, a resolution was passed adopting a tricolor flag as our national flag. This flag was much like the present one with saffron, white and green colour and Mahatma Gandhi’s spinning wheel at the center.

On July 22, 1947, the Constituent Assembly adopted it as Free India National Flag. Only the Dharma Chakra of Emperor Asoka was adopted in place of the spinning wheel as the emblem on the flag.

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