Our sentiments with our nation is always high. But much needs to done in widening our knowledge about the evolution of our national flag.
Our tricolour or tiranga is a combination of top saffron colour a pristine white in the centre with green as a last band. The charka has 24 spokes and is in derived from the Ashoka pillar. The indigenous material of India khadi is required for making of the Indian national flag.
The ‘Sister Nivedita flag’ was the first ever flag of India in 1904. It was square shaped and red in colour with a yellow inside. The Vajra symbol or the thunderbolt and a lotus in white is mentioned in the middle. ‘Bonde Matorom’ or ‘Vande Mataram’ or I bow to my motherland’ is inscribed in the Bengali language. Red for struggle, white for purity and yellow for winning is symbolizes in the colours.
The Calcutta flag by Schindra Prasad Bose was hoisted in 1906 in Calcutta. This was done as a protest at a rally, protesting the partition of Bengal. Orange, Yellow and Green are the three colours as top, middle and bottom of the flag. The sun and moon were symbols in the bottom and the half bloomed eight lotuses depicted on the top orange colour. In Devanagri ‘Vande Mataram’ was inscribed.
Bhikaji Cama came up with another flag in Germany in 1907. The flag had green on top, saffron in the middle and a red bottom width. The flag had 8 lotus on the green width meaning the 8 provinces of the old India. Devanagari inscription of ‘Vande Mataram’ was in the middle. There was a crescent shape in the last band and a sun at the end. This flag was designed by Veer Savarkar, Shyamji Krishna Varma and Bhikaji Cama. The green colour stood for Islam faith whereas saffron was represented by saffron colour. The Berlin committee adopted this flag after the first world war. Later it was represented in the United states by the Ghadar party. In the first world war Mesopotamia included this flag.
In 1916, P Venkayya from Andrhra Pradesh presented his design of the Indian flag to Mahatma Gandhi who suggested that the ‘charkha’ the spinning wheel be incorporated in the national flag. The spinning wheel was a great symbol of the nations independence and hence represented the economy of the old India. Venkayya improvised further with the red and green colour flag with the charkha. As this flag was not featuring all the relgions in India this flag did not gain prominence. The Indian National flag mission was formed by Umar Sobani and SB Bomanji.
The Saptarishi constellation was shown in the Union flag owing to the formation of the Home Rule movement which was pioneered by Aniie Besant and Tilak in 1917. This flag somehow did not gain much popularity. The colour was five red and four green horizontal stripes. The upper left carried the Union flag glorifying the Dominion status of the movement.
Ireland was then under the control of British hand hence the Irish flag inspired the Indian flag. Mahatma Gandhi’s urge to implicate the communal harmony in India was essential in the new flag. The white colour was on top, green in the middle and red at the last with the charka featuring in all the bands was unfurled in Ahmedabad at the meeting of the congress party. This flag became famous in all the types of freedom movement.
As the stage for a perfect design of the national flag was aggressively being undertaken many suggestions came up to shape the final symbol.
The All India Sanskrit Congress in 1924 wanted the saffron colour and the gadha/mace of the Hindu God – Vishnu. The geru or earthy toned colour of the Hindu sadhus and Muslim fakirs was also suggested. The Sikhs came up that yellow be included.
In 1931. a seven member committee was developed by the Congress Working committee. The saffron colour dominated by the Indian National Congress rejected this communal dominance depicted in the colour.
In 1931 P Venkayya took the initiative to design the tricolour in a courageous saffron, a white for peace and truth and green mentioning faith and prosperity. The charkha surely depicted the economic independence.
The flag hoisted in Manipur by the armed struggle propagated by Subash Chandra Bose was used by the army with the words Azad Hind and a tiger instead of the charka.
A flag committee was set up a few days before the Indian independence in 1947. With increased effots the Indian National Congress adopted the National flag of India with a major depiction of communal harmony. The Dharma Chakra was used replacing the Charkha. Thus the Indian tricolour flag came into a full fledged existence.