The Republic of India has several official national symbols including a historic document, a flag, an emblem, an anthem, a memorial tower as well as several national heroes. All the symbols were picked up at various times. The design of the national flag was adopted by the Constituent Assembly just before independence, on 22 July 1947. There are also several other symbols including the national animal, bird, flower and tree.
An adaptation of Lion Capital of Asoka at Sarnath was adopted as the National Emblem of India on 26 January 1950, the day India became a republic. Forming an integral part of the emblem is the motto inscribed below the abacus in Devanagari script: "Satyameva jayate" (English: Truth Alone Triumphs), a quote taken from Mundaka Upanishad, the concluding part of the sacred Hindu Vedas.
Saka calendar was introduced by the Calendar Reform Committee in 1957, as part of the Indian Ephemeris and Nautical Almanac, which also contained other astronomical data, as well as timings and formula for preparing Hindu religious calendars. Usage officially started at 1 Chaitra 1879 Saka Era, or 22 March 1957.
Indian banyan (Ficus bengalensis) root themselves to form new trees and grow over large areas. Because of this characteristic and its longevity, this tree is considered immortal and is an integral part of the myths and legends of India.
Indian peacock (Pavo cristatus) is designated as the national bird of India. A bird indigenous to the subcontinent, peacock represents the unity of vivid colors and finds references in Indian culture.