Republic Day 2022: On January 26, India celebrates its 72nd Republic Day. As every year, the president of India will fly the national flag, also called the Tiranga, or tricolor, at the Red Fort, in New Delhi. Below we examine the evolution and meaning of the Indian flag.
India’s first national flag was designed in 1904 by Sister Nivedita. It was a red flag with yellow stripes on the edges, a Vajra in the middle and the inscription Vande Mataram on both sides.
On August 7, 1906, the first tricolor was resurrected at Parsee Bagan Square (Greer Park) in Kolkata. It features three horizontal bands of blue, yellow and red, with eight stars representing the eight provinces of India at the time and the words Vande Mataram written on a yellow ribbon. The lower red band represents the sun, crescent moon and stars.
Madame Bhikaji Cama waves a similar flag in Stuttgart, Germany on August 22, 1907.
In 1931, the green line moved to the top, the white line in the middle with Charkha inside, and saffron replaced the red at the bottom. Dr Rajendra Prasad replaced Charkha with Ashok Chakra after India’s independence.
The current flag was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 22 July 1947 as the flag of the Dominion of India. When India became a republic, the design was retained.
The saffron color on the flag symbolizes courage. The white part symbolizes peace and truth and the Ashok Chakra symbolizes the Dharma or moral law. The green ribbon symbolizes fertility, growth and good luck.
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