India is celebrating its 75th Independence Day tomorrow on August 15, 2021. The Indian national flag, also known as Tricolor or Tiranga, is an integral part of the Indian freedom movement. Here are some of the lesser known facts about the tricolor which you must know.
- The National Flag of India that we have today is horizontal with the tricolor of saffron, white and green with a Ashoka Chakra in the middle. In its earliest version, however, when the Flag was hoisted on August 7, 1906, the flag had strips of green, yellow and red. The first version of the Indian Flag also had various religious symbols besides eight roses and Vande Mataram written on it.
- The second version of the National Flag of India was hoisted by Madam Bhikaji Cama at the Socialist International Summit in Stuttgart, Germany. The third version of the national flag had green and red stripes with the Union Jack, which is the national flag of the United Kingdom, on the top left with a crescent on the top right and seven stars looking like the Saptarishi constellation. In 1917, The flag was used by Bal Gangadhar Tilak.
- It is also said that two more versions of the flag were designed in 1921 with the first one having a white stripe at the top, a green one in the middle and a red stripe at the bottom. In the first design, while the white represented religious minorities, green represented Muslim and red represented Hindus with a spinning wheel placed in the middle. This flag was designed keeping in mind the vision of Mahatma Gandhi. Another version of the flag was adopted by the Congress committee. It had saffron at the top, white in the middle, and green at the bottom, with a spinning wheel in the middle of the white stripe.
- The National Anthem ‘Jana Gana Mana’ was originally composed by Rabindranath Tagore in Bengali as Bharoto Bhagyo Bidhata. The national anthem was publicly sung the first time at the Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress on December 27, 1911. Rabindranath Tagore has also written the national anthem of Bangladesh – Amar Sonar Bangla.
- Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose for the first time termed the National Anthem as ‘Jana Gana Mana’ during the meeting of the German-Indian Society on September 11, 1942. It was first used in the film Hamrahi (1945 ), before officially becoming the national anthem of India in 1950.