List of Indian flags

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This is a list of flags used in India. For more information about the national flag, visit the article Flag of India.

National flag[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of India.svg 1947–present National flag of India A horizontal tricolour of saffron at the top, white in the middle, and green at the bottom. In the centre is a navy blue wheel with twenty-four spokes, known as the Ashoka Chakra. The world's largest and tallest Indian tricolour was unfurled at Town Park in Faridabad. The flag weighs 48 kilograms and has a 96 feet by 64 feet dimension. It was hoisted at a height of 250 feet (75 meters), making it the largest and the highest hoisted Indian flag in the world.

Governmental flag[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of the President of India.svg 1950–present Standard of the President of India 1st quarter: state emblem (the lions of Sarnath) to represent national unity; 2nd quarter: elephant from Ajanta Caves to represent patience and strength; 3rd quarter: scales from the Red Fort, Old Delhi to represent justice; 4th quarter: lotus vase from Sarnath to represent prosperity.

Ensigns[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
Civil Ensign of India.svg Civil ensign A Red Ensign with the flag of India in the canton.
Government Ensign of India.svg State ensign A Blue Ensign with the flag of India in the canton, and a yellow anchor horizontally in the fly.

Military flags[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of Indian Army.svg Flag of the Indian Army A red field with the flag of India in the canton, and the Army badge in the fly
Naval Ensign of India.svg Ensign of the Indian Navy It is built up of the Indian National Flag, a Vertical and a Horizontal Red Stripe, the Indian State Emblem in golden yellow colour on a white background.
Ensign of the Indian Air Force.svg Flag of the Indian Air Force A sky-blue ensign with the flag of India in the canton, and the Air Force roundel in the fly
Indian Coast Guard flag.png Ensign of the Indian Coast Guard A Blue Ensign with the flag of India in the canton, and the Coast Guard badge in the fly

Naval flags[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of India.svg Admiral of the Fleet (rank has never been used)
Admiral-ensign-Indian-Navy.svg Admiral (Chief of Naval Staff)
Vice Admiral of the Indian Navy rank flag.svg Vice Admiral
Rear Admiral of the Indian Navy rank flag.svg Rear Admiral
Commodore of the Indian Navy rank flag.svg Commodore

States and Union territorial flags[edit]

De jure state flags[edit]

The states and Union territories do not have de jure flags, except for Jammu and Kashmir.[1]

Flag Date Use Description
Jammu-Kashmir-flag.svg Jammu and Kashmir 1972–present Flag of Jammu and Kashmir The flag is red to symbolize labour, with three white vertical stripes in the hoist (which do not run the whole height of the flag). The stripes stand for the three divisions of the region namely; (Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh). On the right side of the flag is a white plough with the handle facing the stripes. The ratio of the flag to its width is 3:2.

De facto state flags[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of Karnataka.svg Karnataka 1965–present Unofficial Kannada flag, used as a de facto state flag in Karnataka[2] Two horizontal strips of equal length and breadth with yellow strip on the top and red strip at the bottom.
Flag of Sikkim (1967-1975).svg Sikkim 1967-1975 Flag of Sikkim, used as a flag when Sikkim was an independent kingdom before its annexation to India Buddhist khorlo prayer wheel with the gankyil in the center, on a field of white with a red border.

The Kannada flag is actually the flag of a political party, Kannada Paksha, which was formed in 1965 by M. Ramamurthy. The flag is now used for the Kannada Rajyothsava and Kannada-oriented celebrations. The yellow and red colours in the flag stand for arshina (turmeric) and kumkuma (vermilion), respectively.[3] The yellow and red colours signify Peace and Courage respectively.

The Sikkim flag lost its official status when Sikkim became a part of India after the Sikkimese monarchy referendum, 1975.

Historical[edit]

Pre-colonial states[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of the Mughal Empire.png 1526–1857 Flag of Mughal Empire A dark green flag with a rising sun, partially eclipsed by a lion.
Flag of the Maratha Empire.svg 1674–1818 Flag of Maratha Empire (Bhagwa Dhwaj)[4] A saffron-coloured swallowtail flag.
Nishan Sahib.svg 1707–1849 Flag of Sikh Confederacy and then Sikh Empire The last state in India to be subjugated by the British Empire. The political flag is closely based on the Nishan Sahib, the Sikh religious flag.

British India[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg 1858–1947 The official state flag of the Indian Empire for use on land The flag of the United Kingdom.
Flag of the Governor-General of India (1885–1947).svg c. 1885–1947 Flag of the Governor-General of India The Union Flag defaced with the insignia of the Order of the Star of India beneath the Imperial Crown of India.
Flag of the Governor-General of India (1947-1950).svg 1947–1950 Dark blue field emblazoned with the royal crest (a Tudor Crown surmounted by the lion of England, itself wearing the crown), beneath which was the word 'India' in gold majuscules. Similar to flags used by other Governors-General of Commonwealth realms.
British Raj Red Ensign.svg c. 1880–1947 Flag of British India An unofficial, or semi-official land flag used to represent British India in international events and associations A Red Ensign with the Union Flag at the canton, and the Star of India displayed in the fly.
Flag of Imperial India.svg 1863–1947 1879–1928 ensign of Her Majesty's Indian Marine / Royal Indian Marine

1928–1947 naval jack of the Royal Indian Marine / Royal Indian Navy
A Blue Ensign with the Union Flag at the canton, and the Star of India displayed in the fly.
Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg 1928–1950 Ensign of the Royal Indian Marine / Royal Indian Navy The White Ensign of the Royal Navy.

French India[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
Pavillon royal de France.svg 1667-1791, 1815-1830 Flag of the Kingdom of France The flag of the Kingdom of France.
Flag of France.svg 1791–1815, 1830-1954 The flag of France.

Portuguese India[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
Flag Portugal (1495).svg 1495–1521 Flag of the Kingdom of Portugal.
Flag Portugal (1521).svg 1521–1578 Flag of the Kingdom of Portugal.
Flag Portugal (1578).svg 1578–1640 Flag of the Kingdom of Portugal.
Flag Portugal (1616).svg 1616–1640 Putative flag of the Kingdom of Portugal.
Flag Portugal (1640).svg 1640–1667 Flag of the Kingdom of Portugal.
Flag Portugal (1667).svg 1667–1706 Flag of the Kingdom of Portugal.
Flag Portugal (1707).svg 1706 - 1750 1826 - 1830 Flag of the Kingdom of Portugal.
PortugueseFlag1750.png 1750–1816 Flag of the Kingdom of Portugal.
Flag United Kingdom Portugal Brazil Algarves.svg 1816–1826 Flag of the Kingdom of Portugal.
Flag Portugal (1830).svg 1830–1910 Flag of the Kingdom of Portugal. Vertical bicolour blue-white. Proportion of the fields: 1:1.
Flag of Portugal.svg 1911-1961 The flag of Portugal. The final state flag of Portuguese India. Used from the declaration of the Republic of Portugal in 1910.

Flags used by the Indian independence movement[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
20th Century Pre-Independence Calcutta Flag of India.png 1906 Calcutta Flag Three horizontal bands of equal width with the top being orange, the centre yellow, and the bottom green. It had eight half-opened lotus flowers on the top stripe, and a picture of the sun and a crescent moon on the bottom stripe. वन्दे मातरम् (Vande Mātaram) was inscribed in the centre in Devanagari. [Note 1]
India1907Flag.png 1907 Early Indian nationalist flags [Note 2]
1907-India-flag.svg 1907
Flag of India 1917.svg 1917 Flag of the Home Rule Movement Five red and four green horizontal stripes
On the upper left quadrant was the Union Jack, which signified the Dominion status that the movement sought to achieve. A crescent and a star, both in white, are set in top fly. Seven white stars are arranged as in the Saptarishi constellation (the constellation Ursa Major), which is sacred to Hindus. [Note 3]
1921 India flag.svg 1921 Gandhi's flag, introduced at the Indian National Congress meeting in 1921
1931 Flag of India.svg 1923–1947 The Swaraj Flag, officially adopted by the Congress in 1931
Flag of Azad Hind.svg 1942–1945 Flag of Provisional Government of Free India Three horizontal strips of saffron, white, and green, with a springing tiger in the center
Although this symbolized the armed resistance of the Azad Hind Movement lead by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose (as opposed to Gandhian pacifism), the 1931 flag of the Indian National Congress was used when the Indian National Army hoisted its flag in Moirang, Manipur. Both flags were used interchangeably.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The partition of Bengal (1905) resulted in the introduction of a new Indian flag that sought to unite the multitude of castes and races within the country. The Vande Mataram flag, part of the Swadeshi movement against the British, comprised Indian religious symbols represented in western heraldic fashion. The tricolour flag included eight white lotuses on the upper green band representing the eight provinces, a sun and a crescent on the bottom red band, and the Vande Mataram slogan in Hindi on the central yellow band. The flag was launched in Calcutta bereft of any ceremony and the launch was only briefly covered by newspapers. The flag was not covered in contemporary governmental or political reports either, but was used at the annual session of the Indian National Congress. A slightly modified version was subsequently used by Madam Bhikaji Cama at the Second Socialist International Meeting in Stuttgart. Despite the multiple uses of the flag, it failed to generate enthusiasm amongst Indian nationalists.[5]
  2. ^ Around the same time, another proposal for the flag was initiated by Sister Nivedita, a Hindu reformist and disciple of Swami Vivekananda. The flag consisted of a thunderbolt in the centre and a hundred and eight oil lamps for the border, with the Vande Mataram caption split around the thunderbolt. It was also presented at the Indian National Congress meeting in 1906.[6] Soon, many other proposals were initiated, but none of them gained attention from the nationalist movement.
  3. ^ In 1916, Suraiya Tayyabji submitted thirty new designs, in the form of a booklet funded by members of the High Court of Madras. These many proposals and recommendations did little more than keep the flag movement alive. The same year, Annie Besant and Bal Gangadhar Tilak adopted a new flag as part of the Home Rule Movement. The flag included the Union Jack in the upper left corner, a star and crescent in the upper right, and seven stars displayed diagonally from the lower right, on a background of five red and four green alternating bands. The flag resulted in the first governmental initiative against any nationalistic flag, as a magistrate in Coimbatore banned its use. The ban was followed by a public debate on the function and importance of a national flag.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Haynes, Ed (24 September 1996). "Jammu and Kashmir (India)". Flags of the World. Retrieved 22 October 2010. 
  2. ^ Nozomi Kariyasu (21 March 1999). "Karnataka (India)". Flags of the World. Retrieved 22 October 2010. 
  3. ^ http://flagspot.net/flags/in-ka.html
  4. ^ McMillan, Joe (26 February 2003). "India before British Rule". Flags of the World. Retrieved 22 October 2010. 
  5. ^ Virmani 1999, pp. 175–176
  6. ^ Roy 2006, pp. 498–499
  7. ^ Virmani 1999, pp. 176–177

External links[edit]