National Flag of India - symbol of our sovereignty

The national flag of a country is the symbol of a free nation. Like national anthem, every free country in the world has its own national flag. Our country, India, also has its own national flag. It is referred to as 'Tiranga', meaning tricolour. Indian National Flag is horizontally designed tricolour strips of deep saffron, white and green with a navy blue Ashok Chakra with 24 equally spaced spokes in the middle.

The present national flag of India was adopted during a meeting of the Constituent Assembly that took place on 22 July 1947. At that time it became the official flag of the Dominion of India. Later it was identified as the flag of the Republic of India. The flag is based on the concept of 'Swaraj' and was designed by Pingali Venkayya. At that time the saffron and green strip were used to honour the two major religions of India, Hinduism and Islam. Later a white band was added in the centre with a spinning wheel in the middle to show respect to both the religions.

The blue Ashok Chakra and each colour in the Indian National Flag have its own significance and meaning. The uppermost saffron colour signifies renunciation and devotion. The white colour in the centre represents peace and harmony. The green colour at the bottom symbolises youth and energy. The Ashoka Chakra or the Wheel of Ashoka denotes courageousness and peace.

All the designing specifications and manufacturing processes are looked after by the Bureau of Indian Standards. Our national flag is always made from khadi cloth, which is a special hand-spun cloth, first introduced by Mahatma Gandhi.

During the British rule in India, our tiranga was quite frequently used by different freedom fighters in several rallies and protest marches against the British Empire. It used to induce a feeling of patriotism and unity among the Indian masses. It is for this reason many people have laid down their lives in order to preserve and uphold the dignity of our Indian National Flag. The same is true in the present age as well. Indians continue to have the same respect and love for the tricolour as during the British rule.

However, there are certain irresponsible citizens who tend to dishonour the national flag by using it in some improper ways and also for their own selfish gains. For instance, at the end of the cultural programmes during the Republic Day or the Independence Day, some people are seen throwing the national flag on the ground and walking over it. It is for this reason the Government of India has introduced certain laws such as Prevention of Improper Use Act, 1950, Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971, etc. to avoid such circumstances and duly punish the culprits.

I strongly believe that public awareness on how to honour the national flag is very important. The practice of using paper flags during national events, tying them on a string and hanging them from pole to pole should either be banned or proper care taken to bring them down with equal honour.

According to the Flag Code of India 2002, when a flag is damaged or soiled it should be "destroyed as a whole in private preferably by burning or by any other method consistent with the dignity of the flag". Paper flags should also be disposed of in a similar manner.

As responsible citizens of India, we students should always give our best in safeguarding the pride and honour of our Indian National Flag. Jai Hind!!

© Arked Infotech 2015

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