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Know the Tiranga, its Predecessors and the Man who Designed it

On its 68th Anniversary, a look at the previous Indian flags and the freedom fighter who designed the tricolour.

Published
India
3 min read
(Photo: Reuters)

The National Flag of India, our pride, was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on July 22 in 1947 and marks the 68th Anniversary. Saffron stands for strength and courage of the country, white for peace, Dharma Chakra (Ashok Chakra) for truth and Green for growth & auspiciousness of our land.

But did you know, there were many other designs before the tricolour was finalised as the national flag of independent India?

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The Quint brings you some of the previous Indian flags before the Tricolour was hoisted on July 22, 1947.

  • Before the tricolour was unveiled as a national flag, there were many other designs considered. The first Indian flag  had religious symbols and eight roses on it with Vande Matram written in the middle. It was hoisted on August 7, 1906 at Parsi Bagan Square in Kolkata
(Photo Courtesy: <a href="http://markodehaeck.free.fr/IN.htm">Markodehaeck</a>)
(Photo Courtesy: Markodehaeck)
  • The second installment of the Indian flag had partial modifications. It was hoisted by Bhikaji Cama in Germany. She also became the first Indian national who raised the Indian flag on foreign soil.
(Photo Courtesy: <a href="http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/in-hist.html">CRW Flags</a>)
(Photo Courtesy: CRW Flags)
  • Late freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak waved another design of a flag in the year 1917. The flag had the Union Jack on top left and Crescent on top right corner. It also had 7 stars.
(Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)
(Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)
  • Another new flag which contained colours according to religions came into existence. This flag was introduced by Mahatma Gandhi at the Congress meeting in 1921. 
(Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)
(Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)
  • In order to avoid the spiritual intrusion and to adopt a more secular ideology, leaders in India introduced a new flag in 1931. It had three colours, Saffron, White and Green with a chakra in the middle.
(Photo Courtesy:&nbsp; <a href="http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/in-hist.html">CRW Flags</a>)
(Photo Courtesy:  CRW Flags)
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The Introduction of the Tricolour

Pingali Venkayya, a freedom fighter in Andhra Pradesh is the designer of the Indian national flag which was adopted in 1947.

While almost every Indian knows that Mahatma Gandhi, before getting into the Indian independence struggle was in South Africa, but it’s a rare known fact that Venkayya too was in South Africa and that is where is met the Mahatma for the first time.

He spent five years, 1916 to 1921, researching flags of 30 countries and finally came up with the present tricolor. It was Mahatma Gandhi himself among other leaders of the Congress who loved the design and adopted the tricolour as our National flag.

However, like every Gandhian, Venkaiah too lived in poverty all his life and quietly passed away on July 4, 1963 in a hut in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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