Udayavni Special

74th Independence Day 2020: The story of our National Flag

Team Udayavani, Aug 14, 2020, 4:09 PM IST

India will celebrate its 74th Independence Day on 15th of August, 2020. Although this year due to the pandemic the celebrations on Independence day  will be limited but like every year Prime Minister will unfurl the ‘tiranga’ or the tricolour on the Red Fort. The Indian flag is a symbol of the country’s sovereign state, its history and culture.But little is known of its history and the person behind the design of the flag.

Indian National Flag was designed by Pingali Venkayya who was a freedom fighter and an agriculturalist from Andhra Pradesh

He was born on 2 August, 1878 at Bhatlapenumarru, near Machilipatnam in Andhra Pradesh. Venkayya graduated from Cambridge and had great interests in geology, agriculture, education and languages.

According to Britannica, in 1921  Pingali Venkayya presented a flag design to Gandhi. The flag consisted of the colours associated with the two principal religions, red for the Hindus and green for the Muslims. Lala Hans Raj Sondhi suggested the addition of the traditional spinning wheel. Gandhi modified the flag by adding a white stripe in the centre for the other religious communities in India and also providing a clearly visible background for the spinning wheel.

Later, deep saffron was approved instead of red and new attributions were associated with the colours. Saffron stood for courage and sacrifice, white for peace and truth, and green for faith and chivalry.

On July 22, 1947, the Indian national flag was officially hoisted. The spinning wheel was replaced by a blue chakra the Dharma Chakra or the wheel of law which is associated with Emperor Ashoka

There were several other flags before the final was approved:

According to KnowIndia, The first national flag in India is said to have been hoisted on August 7, 1906, in the Parsee Bagan Square (Green Park) in Kolkata. The flag was composed of three horizontal strips of red, yellow and green.

The second flag was very similar to the first flag except that the top strip had only one lotus but seven stars denoting the Saptarishi. This flag was also exhibited at a socialist conference in Berlin.

The third flag had five red and four green horizontal strips arranged alternately, with seven stars in the saptarishi configuration super-imposed on them. In the left-hand top corner (the pole end) was the Union Jack. There was also a white crescent and star in one corner.

The fourth flag was presented by Pingali Venkayya to Gandhiji. It was made up of two colours-red(later changed to saffron) and green-representing the two major communities i.e. Hindus and Muslims.  The white and the spinning wheel was added later on

The fifth flag was saffron, white and green with Mahatma Gandhi’s spinning wheel at the center which was later replaced with Ashoka Chakra


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