What is the Indian national flag called

National flag of India
(150 x 90 cm)

Flag of india

(from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Flag of india

Vexillological symbol:?
Aspect ratio:2:3
Officially accepted on:July 22, 1947

The Flag of india is also known as Tiranga (Hindi: तिरंगा; German: tricolor).


It consists of three horizontal stripes of equal width, saffron-colored at the top, white in the middle and green at the bottom. In the center there is a navy blue one Chakra (चक्र, German: wheel) with 24 spokes. The diameter of the wheel is 3/4 the height of the white stripe, but it is now common practice for the wheel to be up to 98% of the height of the white stripe. The flag was officially adopted at a session of the Constituent Assembly of India on July 22, 1947, shortly before India's independence on August 15, 1947. The use of the flag, which was designed by Pingali Venkayya, is subject to a carefully developed code. For example, the official flag must be made from khadi, a hand-spun yarn.

The colors of the Indian flag correspond approximately in different color models (HTML-RGB-web colors (hexadecimal notation), CMYK-equivalent, dyes and the corresponding Pantone number):

colourHTMLCMYKTextile paintPantone
saffron# FFCC000-50-90-0saffron021c
green#339933100-0-70-30Indian green341c
Navy blue#000080100-98-26-48Navy blue662c


The chakra (wheel) of the flag, introduced in 1947

The Indian National Congress (INC), India's largest pre-independence political party, adopted a white-green-red flag as its unofficial flag in 1921. The red originally stood for Hinduism, the green for Islam and the white for other minority religions. However, some also thought that white stands like a peace buffer between the two religions, such as in the flag of Ireland. This probably served as a model, as Ireland also fought for independence from the British Empire. In the center was a Charkha (चरखा, dt .: spinning wheel) shown in blue, the symbol of the striving for economic and later also political independence. In 1931 Congress officially adopted another saffron-white-green flag, also with Charkha in the middle, but it had no religious meaning: it was declared that saffron was for courage, white for truth and peace, and green for faith and prosperity and loyalty stand.

In the flag of India adopted by the Constituent Assembly in 1947, shortly before it gained full independence from Great Britain, the spinning wheel was replaced by a wheel called the Dharmachakra (Wheel of law), replaced. The Dharmachakra had already been spread throughout his empire by King Ashoka (Maurya dynasty, ruled approx. 268 BC - 232 BC), the founder of the earliest Indian empire, as a symbol of the rule of law (see also Edicts of Ashoka). For this reason it is also known as the "Ashoka Chakra". At that time it was in the original sense the symbol for the teachings of the Buddha (the Buddha-Dharma), which for Ashoka formed the basis of his legislation. While the Buddhist Dharmachakra has eight spokes, the wheel of the flag has 24 spokes, which symbolize the hours of the day.

The following interpretation of the flag comes from S. Radhakrishnan (1888–1975), who later became the second President of India:

“Bhagwa or saffron stands for renunciation and detachment. Our leaders must be indifferent to material gain and surrender to their task. The white in the center is the light, the path of truth that should guide our behavior. The green shows our relationship to the earth, our relationship to the life of plants, on which all further life depends. The Ashoka wheel in the center of white is the wheel of the law of Dharma. Truth or satya, dharma or virtue are supposed to be the principles of those who work under this flag. The wheel also stands for movement. Death lies in stagnation. There is life in movement. India shouldn't resist change anymore, it has to move and move forward. The wheel represents the dynamic of peaceful change. "

Service flags

The Indian service flags are modeled on the British flag system (Blue Ensign, Red Ensign and White Ensign).

In contrast to the British original, the Union Jack has not been used since India's independence.


At the beginning of the 20th century, when the Indian independence movement sought freedom from British rule and found its first supporters, the question of a national flag was also raised. Sister Nivedita, an Irish disciple of Swami Vivekananda, had the idea for the first flag of India, also known as the Sister Nivedita's flag is known. It was a red, rectangular flag with a yellow Vajra Chinha (lightning bolt) and a white lotus in the middle. The inscription read বন্দে মাতরম (Gang Mataram, Bengali for: Heil der Mutter! [the motherland!]). Red expressed the desire for freedom, yellow expressed victory and the white lotus stood for purity.

The flag designed by Madam Cama in 1907

Flag of the Home Rule Movement in 1917

The first tricolor was unrolled on August 7, 1906 during a protest march against the partition of Bengal by Sachindra Prasad Bose in Parsi Bagan Square in Calcutta. This flag was called the Calcutta flag known and showed three horizontal stripes of the same height: orange above, yellow in the middle and green below. Eight lotus blossoms are depicted on the upper strip, a sun and a crescent moon with a star on the lower one. Vande Mataram in Hindi (वन्दे मातरम्) the inscription is on the middle stripe.

On August 22, 1907, Madam Bhikhaji Rustom Cama unrolled another tricolor in Stuttgart. This was green at the top, yellow in the middle and red at the bottom. On the top strip were eight lotus flowers representing the eight provinces of British India. The middle stripe said here too Vande Mataram. A crescent moon was depicted on the lower strip towards the mast and a sun on the other side. The colors stood for Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism as well as Sikhism. The flag was jointly designed by Madam Cama, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and Shyamji Krishna Varma. After the outbreak of World War I, this flag was named Berlin Committee flag known because they were used by Indian revolutionaries in Berlin (Berlin Committee) was accepted. The flag was actively used in Mesopotamia during the war.

The Ghadar Party's flag was also used in the United States of America as a symbol for India for a short time.

In 1916, Pingley Venkayya from Masulipatnam in Andhra Pradesh tried to design a common national flag. Umar Sobani and S. B. Bomanji noticed his efforts and together founded the "Indian National Flag Mission". Venkayya tried to get Mahatma Gandhi to accept the flag, but he didn't like it. He suggested that Venkayya design a new flag with a spinning wheel (charkha) on it. The Charkha is "the embodiment of India" and symbolizes "the redemption from all its evil". However, Gandhi did not like the new design with a red and a green stripe and a Charkha either, as it did not reflect all Indian religions.

The so-called Home Rule Movement was founded by Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Annie Besant in 1917. Its flag consisted of five red and four green horizontal stripes and had the Union Jack in the upper left corner, symbolizing the Dominion status the movement was seeking for India. A crescent moon and star were on the top right of the flag. The seven white stars were like in the constellation sacred to Hindus Saptarishi (Seven ways, the Indian name for the constellation Great Bear). However, this flag was not very popular because of the Union Jack.

The new white-green-red flag (for the meaning of the colors see symbols) was unfurled for the first time at a party meeting in Ahmedabad. Although this flag was not officially adopted by the Indian National Congress, it was widely used among the freedom movement. However, not everyone was satisfied with the different interpretations of the flag. The All India Sanskrit Congress suggested in Calcutta in 1924, saffron or ocher and that gada (Labyrinth) of Vishnus as a symbol for the Hindus. In the same year, Geru (an earthy red color) was proposed because it stood “for the spirit of renunciation” and “the ideal common symbol for both the Hindu yogis and sannyasins, as well as for the Muslim fakirs and dervishes”. The Sikhs demanded the color yellow, which represented their religion, or the abandonment of a religious meaning.

As a result of these developments, the Congress Working Committee appointed a seven-member flag commission on April 2, 1931 to reconsider the proposals. In a resolution the three colors were rejected because they were devised on a religious basis. Therefore a single color flag was designed and used for a short time. Although the committee proposed this flag, the INC did not adopt it as it appeared that the flag represented a communalist or communist ideology. Later that year, the final resolution was passed at a committee meeting in Karachi, declaring that saffron stood for courage, white for truth and peace, and green for faith, prosperity and loyalty. A blue spinning wheel (charkha) was placed in the middle.

At the same time, the Indian National Army (an anti-British Indian auxiliary to the Imperial Japanese Army) was using another version of this flag with the words "Azad Hind" and a leaping tiger instead of the Charkhas, which was used for the violent struggle for independence of its leader (Netaji) Subhash Chandra Bose - in contrast to Mahatma Gandhi's no-violence policy - stood. The Indian tricolor of this variant was first hoisted on Indian soil by Subhash Chandra Bose in Manipur in 1944.

The unofficial flag of the 1921 National Congress of India

The flag that was adopted in 1931 and used by the during World War II Provisional Government of Free India was used

Flag of the Indian National Army in World War II

A few days before India gained independence in August 1947, the Constituent Assembly was convened to deliberate on the flag of India. It convened an ad hoc committee, chaired by Rajendra Prasad, consisting of: Abul Kalam Azad, K. M. Panikar, Sarojini Naidu, C. Rajagopalachari, K. M. Munshi, and B. R. Ambedkar. After 3 weeks of deliberation (June 23 to July 14, 1947) they came to the conclusion that the INC flag should be adopted as the national flag. However, some details have been changed to make them acceptable to all parties and communities and to avoid religious overtones. The Dharmachakra that appears on the Sarnath abacus was adopted in place of the Charkha as the emblem of the national flag. The flag was first unfurled as that of an independent state on May 18, 1947.

Before 2002, the Indian population could only fly the flag freely on national holidays. Only government buildings and higher government institutions were allowed to be permanently flagged. An industrialist from Madhya Pradesh, Navin Jindal, petitioned the High court in New Delhi to drop this restriction in the public interest. Jindal had previously hoisted a flag on his office, but it had been confiscated as it was in violation of national flag law. Jindal justified his request by saying that it was his fundamental right and that he wanted to express his love for India. The case was brought to the Supreme Court of India (Supreme Court), which recommended the Indian government to set up a commission on the subject. The Indian Union Cabinet changed the national flag law with effect from January 26, 2002. It now allows the general public to fly the flag on any day when the dignity, honor and respect for the flag are ensured at all times.

Manufacturing process

Size in mm
6300 × 4200
3600 × 2400
2700 × 1800
1800 × 1200
1350 × 900
900 × 600
450 × 300
225 × 150
150 × 100

After India became a republic in 1950, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) first issued regulations for the manufacture of the flag in 1951. They were adapted in 1964 to the Metric System, which was valid in India from that point on. On August 17, 1968, the regulations were changed again. They cover all the important areas in the manufacture of the flag including size, dye, chromatic values, brightness, thread size and hemp cord. These guidelines are very strict as any mistake in the manufacture of the flags is considered a serious criminal offense and can result in a fine or imprisonment (or both).

The largest flag of India on the Mantralaya building

Khadi or "hand-spun cloth" is the only material allowed in its manufacture. Raw materials for khadi are only allowed to be cotton, silk and wool. There are two types of khadi: one for the flag and the other for the beige fabric that holds the flag on the pole. The latter is an unusual fabric that weaves three threads together, as opposed to two threads normally. This weave is extremely rare and there are only fewer than a dozen weavers in India who have mastered it. The guidelines also stipulate that there should be exactly 150 threads per square centimeter and four threads per stitch.

The woven khadi comes from two handicraft workshops in the districts of Dharwad and Bagalkot in northern Karnataka. At the moment there is only one company licensed for flag production, which is located in Hubli. Permission to open a flag factory in India is granted by the Khadi Development and Village Industries Commission (KVIC). However, the BIS has the option of canceling licenses if companies violate the guidelines.

When the fabric is woven, it is sent to the BIS laboratories for testing. If the flag passes the strict quality controls, it will be sent back to the factory. It is then bleached and dyed the right colors. In the middle, the Ashoka Chakra is printed using the screen printing process, applied with a stencil or embroidered to match. Care must be taken that the chakra is clearly visible and congruent on both sides. The BIS checks the colors again before the flag can be sold.

40 million flags are sold in India every year. The largest flag of India (6.3 mx 4.2 m) is hoisted by the government of Maharashtra on the Mantralaya building, the government building of the state.

Proper use of the flag

Respect for the flag

Private individuals have only been allowed to use the Indian flag since 2002. Indian law states that the flag must be treated with dignity, loyalty and respect at all times. The Flag Code of India - 2002, which replaced The Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950, deals with the use of the flag. The official rules stipulate that the flag must never touch the ground or water, be used as a tablecloth, draped in front of a platform (speaker's platform) or cover a statue, foundation stone, etc. Until 2005, the flag was also not allowed to be used as an item of clothing, uniform or costume. On July 5, 2005, the Indian government changed the law to allow the flag to be used as an item of clothing or uniform. However, it must not be used below the waist, on handkerchiefs, underwear or pillows.

The flag should not be intentionally hung upside down or immersed in anything. When rolled up, it must not contain anything other than petals before it is unfolded. No inscriptions are allowed on the flag.

Handling the flag

There are many traditional rules of respect that should be observed when dealing with the flag. Outside of buildings, the flag should always be hoisted at sunrise and raised at sunset, regardless of the weather conditions. If the flag is illuminated, it can also fly on public buildings at night.

The flag should never be hoisted, displayed or depicted upside down. Tradition also stipulates that the flag should not be rotated more than 90 degrees when draped vertically. The flag should be able to be "read" like a book from top to bottom and from left to right. It is also offensive to display the flag frayed or soiled. The flagpole and the lines used for hoisting and hauling should also be in good condition.

Correct representation

The rules, which deal with the correct methods of displaying flags, dictate that two flags placed horizontally behind a podium, with their brackets to each other, with the saffron-colored stripes on top.If the flag is displayed on a short flagpole, it should be placed at an angle to the wall so that the flag can be tastefully draped. When setting up two national flags with crossed poles, the brackets should face each other and the flags should be fully extended.

Together with other countries

When the national flag is hoisted together with national flags of other states, there are some rules. Most importantly, it always flies in the honor position, that is, it must be the flag furthest to the right (left of the viewer). Next to it come the other flags, sorted alphabetically according to the English names of the states. All flags should be about the same size, but none larger than the Indian one, and hoisted on separate masts. No national flag should fly on the same mast over another.

It is permissible to start and end the series with an Indian flag as well as to arrange them in alphabetical order. If the flags are arranged in a closed circle, the Indian flag marks the beginning of the circle, the other flags follow in clockwise direction. The Indian flag must always be hoisted first and brought down last. The United Nations flag can be located either to the left or to the right of the Indian flag. Usually it is on the far right (far left from the viewer).

With non-national flags

If the Indian flag is displayed together with company flags or advertising banners and is on its own pole, it should be placed either in the center or furthest to the left of the viewer, or at least one flag width higher than the other flags. The flagpole of the Indian flag must be in front of the other masts; should all flags be flown on a mast, the Indian one is the top one.

Use indoors

When the flag is displayed indoors at all types of gatherings, it must always be in the right position. So she stands on the right hand of a lectern (seen from the audience on the left). If it is shown elsewhere in the hall, it is on the right of the audience.

The flag should be shown fully extended, with the saffron-colored stripe on top. When mounted vertically on the wall behind the podium, the saffron colored stripe should be to the left of the audience facing the flag.

Parades and ceremonies

During processions or parades, the flag should be carried on the right (in the direction of movement) or individually in the middle and at the head of the procession. The flag may play an important role in the revelation of statues, monuments or plaques, but never serve to cover them. Out of respect for the flag, it should never be lowered in front of a person or object. Flags of regiments, organizations or institutions can, however, be lowered as a tribute.

During the flag-raising or lowering ceremony, or when the flag is being carried in a parade, all persons should face the flag and be in an alert position while the flag is being carried by. Anyone wearing a uniform should salute. Dignitaries are allowed to salute without their hats. After the salute for the flag, the Indian national anthem was to be played.

Representation on vehicles

The privilege to display the flag on a vehicle is reserved for a select group of people, namely the President of India, the Vice President and Prime Minister, Governors, Deputy Governors and Prime Ministers of Indian States, Cabinet Ministers and Junior Cabinet Ministers of the Indian Parliament or the parliaments of the Indian states, the speakers of the Lok Sabha (lower house of the Indian parliament) and the state parliaments, chairmen of the Rajya Sabha (upper house of the Indian parliament) and the legislative councils (upper houses of parliament of some Indian states), judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts as well high-ranking officers of the Indian Army, Navy or Air Force.

You can hang the flag on your vehicle if you deem it necessary or appropriate. The flag should be attached to a pole in the center of the front of the bonnet or on the far right. When a foreign dignitary is traveling in a car provided by the Government of India, the Indian flag is on the right side of the car and the foreign flag is on the left.

The flag should fly together with the flag of the visiting country on an airplane when the President, Vice-President or Prime Minister is traveling with it on a visit to a foreign country. In addition to the Indian flag, the flag of the country visited is also shown, but the flag of the respective country is shown instead as a sign of goodwill and courtesy when stopping in other countries.

When the President is traveling within India, the flag will be displayed on the side of the plane on which he is boarding or disembarking. Even if the President is traveling on a special train, the flag is displayed on the side of the driver's cab that faces the departure platform. However, the flag only flies when the special train stops or arrives at its destination station.

Half mast

As a sign of mourning, the flag only flies at half-mast if the President gives the order to do so. It also determines the duration of the mourning. First the flag is hoisted all the way and then slowly lowered to half mast. If it is to be caught again in the evening, it is pulled all the way up, then lowered completely. Only the Indian flag flies at half-mast, all other flags fly at normal height.

The flag flies at half-mast across India in the event of the death of the President, Vice-President or Prime Minister. For the spokesman of the Lok Sabha, a minister of state or the presiding judge of the Supreme Court, it is hoisted to half-mast in Delhi, for a minister of the Union cabinet in Delhi and the capitals of state. When a governor, deputy governor or head of government of a state or union territory dies, the flag in the affected state flies at half-mast.

If news of the death of one of the above mentioned dignitaries does not arrive until the afternoon, the flag should not be lowered to half mast until the next day, unless the funeral took place before sunrise on that day. On the day of the funeral, the flags fly at half-mast at the place of the funeral.

If a half-mast day coincides with Republic Day, Independence Day, Mahatma Gandhi's birthday, national week (April 6-13) or another day of national jubilation, such as the anniversary of the founding of an Indian state, it is forbidden to raise the flag Lower the mast to half mast, except on the building where the corpse lies until it has been removed. The flag is then to be pulled up again.

State mourning at the death of a foreign dignitary is announced by the Indian Ministry of the Interior in special cases. In the event of the death of the head of state or government of a foreign state, the Indian embassy in that country can lower the Indian national flag to half mast, even if the day of death falls on an Indian national holiday. In the event of the death of other dignitaries of that country, the Indian flag should not be lowered to half-mast, unless required by diplomatic protocol or the customs of the country concerned.

At a state funeral or a military funeral, the flag with the saffron-colored stripe facing the head of the deceased should be placed on the coffin or bier. However, the flag may not be lowered into the grave or burned with the dead.


If the flag is in an unusable condition, it should be destroyed in a respectable way, preferably by incineration.


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  • Ministry of Information and Broad Casting, Publications Division: Our flag. India 1963 (English).
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  • Nicki Grihault: India: A Quick Guide to Customs & Etiquette. Graphic Arts Center Publishing Company, Portland Or. 2003 (English). ISBN 1-55868-705-X
  • Dorling Kindersley: Complete Flags of the World. Dorling Kindersley, London 2005. ISBN 1-4053-1170-3 (Information on symbolism and history, English)
  • Eva Grieger: Flag ABC. 196 national flags. Delius Klasing Verlag, Hamburg 2001. ISBN 3-89225-441-9
  • Dietmar Rothermund: History of India. From the Middle Ages to the present. C.H. Beck Verlag, Munich 2002. ISBN 3-406-47994-4

This article is based on the article Flag of India from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and is under the GNU Free Documentation License. A list of the authors is available on Wikipedia.