In India, the word “tricolor” predominantly refers to the Indian national flag, which is one of the prominent national symbols of India. The national flag has Indian saffron, white and Indian green colored horizontal rectangular bands with a navy blue, 24-spoke wheel, “Ashoka Chakra” at its center. India adopted this existing form of the flag in the year 1947, during a constituent assembly meeting held on 22nd July. On 15th August of the same year, it officially became the flag of the Union of India.

Several Indian rulers used their flags, which barely had any national-wide significance during the period before the Indian Independence Movement. This idea of a single national flag was brought about by the British rulers. Since then, the Indian national flag has undergone many changes. The first National flag’s design was in close proximity with the flags of other British colonies. It had a Union Jack in the upper-left portion of the red field and an indian star inside the royal crown at its central- right part.

History of Flag

In the twentieth century, a discussion on heraldic symbol that would represent Indian empire made waves. This period had a substantial increase in the people with nationalist opinions, that led to representation of flag as one of the national symbols of India. However, they were rejected for being Hindu- centric. After the partition of Bengal, the first tricolor flag was designed to represent Indian Independence movement. It had eight white-lotuses on the upper green band, the Vande Mataram slogan on the central yellow band and at the bottom red band, a sun and a crescent. In the year 1907,  Bhikaji Cama raised the official Calcutta based flag of Indian Independence in Berlin.

The third Indian flag came into existence in 1917 during the Home Rule movement, when the Indian freedom struggle was taking a definite form. Lokamanya Tilak and Dr. Annie Besant hoisted the flag as a part of the Home rule movement. This flag included alternatively arranged five red and four green horizontal bands. At the upper-left corner, it had the Union Jack with a crescent and a start in the upper-right. The design also consisted of seven stars in the Saptarishi arrangement, placed diagonally from the lower-right quadrant of the red-green stripes background.

In 1921, an Andhra youth designed a flag and brought it to Gandhiji, during a committee meeting in Vijayawada, earlier known as  Bezawada. It had two rectangular horizontal bands in green and red, representing the two major communities- Hindus and Muslims. In this, All India Congress Committee session, Gandhiji suggested adding a white stripe representing other Indian communities and the spinning wheel indicating the nation’s progress.

In 1931, India adopted yet, another flag, which was the battle symbol of the Indian National army. This year set a benchmark for the one of the most important national symbols of India. This tricolor flag was very similar to the present flag having saffron, white and green colored rectangular stripes and with a spinning wheel at the center.

The latest tricolor flag of India is not only one of the most significant nationals symbols of India but, it is also the indicator of Free India. This flag has Ashoka’s Dharma chakra instead of the spinning wheel. Thus, the congress party’s flag eventually become India’s national flag, Tiranga.