Happy Independence Day 15th Aug 2015 – History Of Indian National Flag
The National Flag of India is a horizontal rectangular tricolour of deep saffron, white and India green; with the Ashoka Chakra, a 24-spoke wheel, in navy blue at its centre. It was adopted in its present form during a meeting of the Constituent Assembly held on 22 July 1947, when it became the official flag of the Dominion of India. The flag was subsequently retained as that of the Republic of India. In India, the term “tricolour” almost always refers to the Indian national flag. The flag is based on the Swaraj flag, a flag of the Indian National Congress designed by Pingali Venkayya & he is honored with the AIR ( Vijaywada ) named in his name & a statue of him erected in front of the building.
The flag, by law, is to be made of khadi, a special type of hand-spun cloth, or silk made popular by Mahatma Gandhi. The manufacturing process and specifications for the flag are laid out by the Bureau of Indian Standards. The right to manufacture the flag is held by the Khadi Development and Village Industries Commission, who allocate it to the regional groups. As of 2009, the Karnataka Khadi Gramodyoga Samyukta Sangha was the sole manufacturer of the flag.
Usage of the flag is governed by the Flag Code of India and other laws relating to the national emblems. The original code prohibited use of the flag by private citizens except on national days such as the Independence day and the Republic Day. In 2002, on hearing an appeal from a private citizen, Naveen Jindal, the Supreme Court of India directed the Government of India to amend the code to allow flag usage by private citizens. Subsequently, the Union Cabinet of India amended the code to allow limited usage. The code was amended once more in 2005 to allow some additional use including adaptations on certain forms of clothing. The flag code also governs the protocol of flying the flag and its use in conjunction with other national and non-national flags.
According to the Flag code of India, the Indian flag has a ratio of two by three (where the length of the flag is 1.5 times that of the width). All three stripes of the flag (saffron, white and green) are to be equal in width and length. The size of the Ashoka Chakra was not specified in the Flag code, but it should have twenty-four spokes that are evenly spaced. In section 4.3.1 of “IS1: Manufacturing standards for the Indian Flag”, there is a chart that details the size of the Ashoka Chakra on the nine specific sizes of the national flag. In both the Flag code and IS1, they call for the Ashoka Chakra to be printed or painted on both sides of the flag in navy blue. Below is the list of specified shades for all colors used on the national flag, with the exception of Navy Blue, from “IS1: Manufacturing standards for the Indian Flag” as defined in the 1931 CIE Color Specifications. The navy blue colour can be found in the standard IS:1803-1973.
|India saffron (Kesariya)||0.538||0.360||0.102||21.5|
Display and usage of the flag is governed by the Flag Code of India, 2002 (successor to the Flag Code – India, the original flag code); the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950; and the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971. Insults to the national flag, including gross affronts or indignities to it, as well as using it in a manner so as to violate the provisions of the Flag Code, are punishable by law with imprisonment up to three years, or a fine, or both.
Official regulation states that the flag must never touch the ground or water, or be used as a drapery in any form. The flag may not be intentionally placed upside down, dipped in anything, or hold any objects other than flower petals before unfurling. No sort of lettering may be inscribed on the flag. When out in the open, the flag should always be flown between sunrise and sunset, irrespective of the weather conditions. Prior to 2009, the flag could be flown on a public building at night under special circumstances; currently, Indian citizens can fly the flag even at night, subject to the restriction that the flag should be hoisted on a tall flagpole and be well-illuminated.
The flag should never be depicted, displayed or flown upside down. Tradition also states that when draped vertically, the flag should not merely be rotated 90 degrees, but also reversed. One “reads” a flag like the pages of a book, from top to bottom and from left to right, and after rotation the results should be the same. It is considered insulting to display the flag in a frayed or dirty state, and the same rule applies to the flagpoles and halyards used to hoist the flag, which should always be in a proper state of maintenance.
The original flag code of India did not allow private citizens to fly the national flag except on national days such as Independence Day or Republic Day. In 2001, Naveen Jindal, an industrialist used to the more egalitarian use of the flag in the United States where he studied, flew the Indian flag on his office building. The flag was confiscated and he was warned of prosecution. Jindal filed a public interest litigation petition in the High Court of Delhi; he sought to strike down the restriction on the use of the flag by private citizens, arguing that hoisting the national flag with due decorum and honor was his right as a citizen, and a way of expressing his love for the country.
At the end of the appeals process, the case was heard by the Supreme Court of India; the court ruled in Jindal’s favour, asking the Government of India to consider the matter. The Union Cabinet of India then amended the Indian Flag Code with effect from 26 January 2002, allowing private citizens to hoist the flag on any day of the year, subject to their safeguarding the dignity, honour and respect of the flag. It is also held that the code was not a statute and restrictions under the code ought to be followed; also, the right to fly the flag is a qualified right, unlike the absolute rights guaranteed to citizens, and should be interpreted in the context of Article 19 of the Constitution of India.
The original flag code also forbade use of the flag on uniforms, costumes and other clothing. In July 2005, the Government of India amended the code to allow some forms of usage. The amended code forbids usage in clothing below the waist and on undergarments, and forbids embroidering onto pillowcases, handkerchiefs or other dress material.
Disposal of damaged flags is also covered by the flag code. Damaged or soiled flags may not be cast aside or disrespectfully destroyed; they have to be destroyed as a whole in private, preferably by burning or by any other method consistent with the dignity of the flag.
The rules regarding the correct methods to display the flag state that when two flags are fully spread out horizontally on a wall behind a podium, their hoists should be towards each other with the saffron stripes uppermost. If the flag is displayed on a short flagpole, this should be mounted at an angle to the wall with the flag draped tastefully from it. If two national flags are displayed on crossed staffs, the hoists must be towards each other and the flags must be fully spread out. The flag should never be used as a cloth to cover tables, lecterns, podiums or buildings, or be draped from railings.
Whenever the flag is displayed indoors in halls at public meetings or gatherings of any kind, it should always be on the right (observers’ left), as this is the position of authority. So when the flag is displayed next to a speaker in the hall or other meeting place, it must be placed on the speaker’s right hand. When it is displayed elsewhere in the hall, it should be to the right of the audience. The flag should be displayed completely spread out with the saffron stripe on top. If hung vertically on the wall behind the podium, the saffron stripe should be to the left of the onlookers facing the flag with the hoist cord at the top.
The flag, when carried in a procession or parade or with another flag or flags, should be on the marching right or alone in the centre at the front. The flag may form a distinctive feature of the unveiling of a statue, monument, or plaque, but should never be used as the covering for the object. As a mark of respect to the flag, it should never be dipped to a person or thing, as opposed to regimental colours, organisational or institutional flags, which may be dipped as a mark of honour. During the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the flag, or when the flag is passing in a parade or in a review, all persons present should face the flag and stand at attention. Those present in uniform should render the appropriate salute. When the flag is in a moving column, persons present will stand at attention or salute as the flag passes them. A dignitary may take the salute without a head dress. The flag salutation should be followed by the playing of the national anthem.
The privilege of flying the national flag on vehicles is restricted to the President, the Vice-President or the Prime Minister, Governors and Lieutenant Governors of states, Chief Ministers, Union Ministers, members of the Parliament of India and state legislatures of the Indian states (Vidhan Sabha and Vidhan Parishad), judges of the Supreme Court of India and High Courts, and flag officers of the Army, Navy and Air Force. The flag has to be flown from a staff affixed firmly either on the middle front or to the front right side of the car. When a foreign dignitary travels in a car provided by government, the flag should be flown on the right side of the car while the flag of the foreign country should be flown on the left side.
The flag should be flown on the aircraft carrying the President, the Vice-President or the Prime Minister on a visit to a foreign country. Alongside the National Flag, the flag of the country visited should also be flown; however, when the aircraft lands in countries en route, the national flags of the respective countries would be flown instead. When carrying the president within India, aircraft display the flag on the side the president embarks or disembarks; the flag is similarly flown on trains, but only when the train is stationary or approaching a railway station.
When the Indian flag is flown on Indian territory along with other national flags, the general rule is that the Indian flag should be the starting point of all flags. When flags are placed in a straight line, the rightmost flag (leftmost to the observer facing the flag) is the Indian flag, followed by other national flags in alphabetical order. When placed in a circle, the Indian flag is the first point and is followed by other flags alphabetically. In such placement, all other flags should be of approximately the same size with no other flag being larger than the Indian flag. Each national flag should also be flown from its own pole and no flag should be placed higher than another. In addition to being the first flag, the Indian flag may also be placed within the row or circle alphabetically. When placed on crossed poles, the Indian flag should be in front of the other flag, and to the right (observer’s left) of the other flag. The only exception to the preceding rule is when it is flown along with the flag of the United Nations, which may be placed to the right of the Indian flag.
When the Indian flag is displayed with non-national flags, including corporate flags and advertising banners, the rules state that if the flags are on separate staffs, the flag of India should be in the middle, or the furthest left from the viewpoint of the onlookers, or at least one flag’s breadth higher than the other flags in the group. Its flagpole must be in front of the other poles in the group, but if they are on the same staff, it must be the uppermost flag. If the flag is carried in procession with other flags, it must be at the head of the marching procession, or if carried with a row of flags in line abreast, it must be carried to the marching right of the procession.
The flag should be flown at half-mast as a sign of mourning. The decision to do so lies with the President of India, who also decides the period of such mourning. When the flag is to be flown at half mast, it must first be raised to the top of the mast and then slowly lowered. Only the Indian flag is flown half mast; all other flags remain at normal height.
The flag is flown half-mast nationwide on the death of the president, Vice-president or prime minister. It is flown half-mast in New Delhi and the state of origin for the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and Union Ministers. On deaths of Governors, Lt. Governors and Chief Ministers, the flag is flown at half-mast in the respective states and union territories.
The Indian flag cannot be flown at half-mast on Republic Day (26 January), Independence day (15 August), Gandhi Jayanti (2 October), National Week (6–13 April) or state formation anniversaries, except over buildings housing the body of the deceased dignitary. However, even in such cases, the flag must be raised to full-mast when the body is moved from the building.
Observances of State mourning on the death of foreign dignitaries are governed by special instructions issued from the Ministry of Home Affairs in individual cases. However, in the event of death of either the Head of the State or Head of the Government of a foreign country, the Indian Mission accredited to that country may fly the national flag at half-mast.
On occasions of state, military, central para-military forces funerals, the flag shall be draped over the bier or coffin with the saffron towards the head of the bier or coffin. The flag should not be lowered into the grave or burnt in the pyre.
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