Know Your National Flag

1. What is the difference between a flag and National-flag?

Ans. A flag is a piece of cloth attached to a flagpole, representing a clan, community, army, office of authority, industrial house or an individual. In modern times a flag is commonly rectangular varying is size, colour and the design on it. On the contrary, a National-flag is more than a piece of cloth. It is the most solemn and constitutionally or traditionally authorized symbol of a country. It represents the whole country, the entire nation, its ideals, hopes, aspirations and the pride. People throughout the history of mankind have laid down life for their National-flag, as it is the strongest patriotic symbol.

2. What is the nickname of our National-flag?

Ans. We fondly call our flag Tiranga, meaning having three colours. The nickname, however, is a misnomer because the flag in fact has four colours not three as is commonly understood. The forth colour blue of the Chakra is often not mentioned being a secondary colour in the flag.

3. When was the National-flag for Independent India adopted?

Ans. After the British government declared to free India on the 15th of August 1947, Indian leaders realized the need to have a National-flag for Independent India. Accordingly, an ad-hoc Flag Committee was formed to finalize the Flag. On its recommendation the Constituent Assembly on 22nd July 1947 adopted the Tiranga as the National-flag for free-India.

4. Name the person, whose design of the National-flag for free-India was finally accepted by the Constituent Assembly in 1947.

Ans. The design of the National-flag for Independent India submitted by Mrs. Suriaya Badr-ud-Din Tyabi was finally approved and accepted by the Flag Committee on 17th July 1947. She was an artist of repute and her husband B.H.F.Tyabji (ICS) was then a Deputy Secretary in the Secretariat of the Constituent Assembly.

5. After India became an independent State, where did the first outdoor official flag hoisting take place in the world on the 15th of August, 1947?

Ans. The first outdoor official flag hoisting of Tiranga on the 15th of August 1947, took place inCanberra, Australia at the residence of Sir Raghunath Paranype, the High Commission of India in Australia at 1200 hrs local time and at 0730hrs IST which means three hours in advance of the first flag hoisting in India that took place at 10:30AM on the day at the present day Parliament House.

6. The National Anthem of India “Jana-Gana- Mana” was adopted on the 24th of January, 1950 then which anthem was played / sung at the UN Headquarters in Washington on the 15th of August, 1947, when the Tiranga was first hoisted there amidst the flags of other free nations of the world?

Ans. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s version of “Jana-Gana-Mana” was played at the UN HQ’s as the National Anthem of India. Netaji had recorded the song as his army’s anthem while he was in Germany. The UN HQ’s had a disc of the song available with them and the same was played by the UN orchestra while hoisting the Tiranga. Interestingly, Jana-Gana-Mana by then had not being adopted as the National Anthem of India.

7. On the midnight of the 14-15 August, 1947 after the official declaration of India’s Independence in the Central Hall of the Council House (now known as Parliament House) a lady leading a group of 72 womenhad presented the first Tiranga to Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the Chariman of the Constitutent Assembly. Name the lady.

Ans. She was Mrs. Hansa Mehta from Gujarat, an educationist, orator and a freedom fighter who was i m - p r i s o n e d several times by the British India Government. She was known in her circle as a dictator. Mrs. Mehta died at the age of 98 in Bombay in 1995.

8. Who said in the Council House on the midnight of the 14th-15th of August, 1947, “It is in the fitness of things that the first flag of free-India that is to fly over this August House should be a gift from the women of India”?

Ans. It was Mrs.Hansa Mehta who made this emotional statement, while presenting the first Tiranga to Dr.Rajendra Prasad, the then chairman of the Constituent Assembly.

9. Where did the first flag hoisting take place in India after the first Indian government took the oath of office on the 15th of August 1947?

Ans: At the Council House (now known as Parliament House) at 10:30am. The Union Jack there was lowered for the last time personally by Lord Louis Mountbatten, the first Governor General of India, giving way to the Tiranga, which was raised for the first time on the flagmast by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.

10. When was Tiranga unfurled for the first time on the ramparts of the Red Fort after Independence?

Ans. On the 16th of August 1947, which was a Saturday, at 8.30 A.M. On the 15th of August as both, theJawahar Lal Nehru, the first Prime-Minister of India were pre-occupied with many other inevitable official formalities, the flag hoisting at Red Fort was planned and executed on the next day i.e.,16th August 1947.

11. Where was Tiranga first publically hoisted in New Delhi on the 15th of August, 1947?

Ans. The first public flag hoisting took place at the Princess Park near India Gate, New Delhi in the afternoon of 15th of August 1947. Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru did the honour of hoisting the Tiranga. Mysteriously, as the Tiranga was unfurled a rainbow appeared on the skyline. The rareoccurrence amazed many including, Lord Louis Mountbatten whose carriage could not reach up to the dias due to the exuberant and unmanageable crowd that came to witness the ceremony.

12. How many colours are there in our National flag?

Ans. There are four colours in our Flag; the saffron, white and the green as principal colours, and the navy blue of the Ashok Chakra is the secondary colour.

13. What are the official names of the Saffron and Green, the two principal colours used in our National-flag?

Ans. The official name for saffron is “India-Saffron” and for green it is “India-Green”. While describing the colours of our flag to any international organization, the two colours are to be described and specified as explained because the two colours have many shades. Hence, we specify the two colours as India-Saffron and India-Green.

14. What is the significance of the Saffron colour in our Flag?

Ans. The Saffron stands for courage, sacrifice, valour and the spirit of renunciation. It points to both wisdom and action. The colour also represents the scorched condition of the earth caused by the torrid heat of the Indian sun. It is the colour of spiritual life lead by sadhus, saints, pirs, fakirs and pundits.

15. What is the significance of the White colour in our Flag ?

Ans. The White in Tiranga stands for purity. It is symbolic of the sun’s rays and thus denotes the path of light. It is also for peace and tranquility. The White of the Flag as well represents every religion and every language in the country.

16. What is the significance of the Green colour in our Flag?

Ans. The Green is for growth and also denotes our relation with earth. Hence, it is the colour of vegetation, agriculture and plant life on which all other life depends. The Green also stands for hope and largely we live on hope.

17. What is the significance of the Blue colour in our Flag?

Ans. The Blue in our flag signifies the boundless sky above and the fathomless sea below. The Blue also implies inner energy. The Chakra with its 24 spokes suggests continual progress of the country.

18. What is the significance of the Ashok Chakra as shown in our Flag?

Ans. The wheel has been used since ancient times in India as a solar symbol. In July 1947, the Flag Committee chose the Ashoka’s Dharma Chakra for the reason that amongst all the chakras that came to their mind the “Sarnath Chakra” was the most beautiful and artistic. On the flag, it signifies India’s continual progress and growth.

19. How many spokes are there in the Ashok Chakra on the centre band of the Flag?

Ans. There are 24 equally spaced spokes in the Chakra, signifying the 24 hours of the day.

20. In which colour is the Ashok Chakra printed or embroidered on the Flag?

Ans. The Ashok Chakra in the centre on the white band of our flag is in navy blue.

21. Which colours are mixed to form the Saffron in our Flag?

Ans. Red and yellow colours are mixed in a particular ratio to form the Saffron shade of our flag. Philosophically, the red denotes both valour and action whereas the yellow stands for wisdom.

22. Who suggested, the Ashok Chakra in lieu of the Charkha, to the Flag Committee, while adopting the Tiranga in July, 1947?

Ans. The Ashok Chakra in place of the Charkha, which was in use earlier during our struggle for freedom, on the flag for Free-India was suggested to the Flag-Committee by Mr. Badr-ud-Din H.F.Tyabji, a Deputy Secretariat in the Constituent Assembly and the grandson of the great Tyabiji who was once the President of the Indian National Congress. Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the chairman of the Committee advised him to consult Gandhiji on the proposal to replace the Charkha with Know Your National Flag 23 Chakra. Gandhiji wanted to see for himself the look of the change before consenting. Mr. Tyabji’s wife prepared a sample by painting the Chakra on the white band of a sample flag. Gandhiji was happy with the proposed change and the Flag- Committee adopted the Chakra on the flag in place of Charkha.

23. If the length of our National-flag is 18 feet, what will be its width?

Ans. It will be 12 feet.

24. What is the ratio of the length to the width of our National-flag?

Ans. The ratio of the width to the length of the Flag shall ordinarily be two breadths to three breadths. In other words, the ratio is 2 : 3.

25. Which type of fabric can be used for manufacturing the Tiranga to be used by general public?

Ans. Flags meant to be used by general public can be made of any fabric, preferably with hand-spun cotton or silk Khadi. Earlier it was mandatory to be of only Khadi.

26. What type of fabric is to be used for manufacturing Tirangas meant for government offices, its agencies and government officials?

Ans. The flags meant to be used on government buildings are to be mandatorily made only of hand-spun cotton or silk Khadi. Even the stitching thread has to be Khadi for such flags.

27. How many standard sizes of our National-flag are there as per the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and the Flag Code of India?

Ans. As per the Flag Code of India and the Indian Bureau of Standards there are nine standard sizes of our National-flag. Earlier, they were only five which were later increased to severn. Flags of larger dimension can be made keeping the ration of 3:2.


28. Name the official book / booklet that lays down the Code for the use of our National-flag?

Ans. It is the ‘Flag Code of India’.

29. Can you fly your National-flag at your home or at your work place on all the 365 days of the year?

Ans. Yes. In 2002, the Government of India had allowed citizens to fly the National-flag on all days, but by then it was not a Fundamental Right.

30. Between what time to what time is the National-flag normally flown during day time?

Ans. The Flag is normally flown between sunrise and sunset.

31. On what occasions do we fly the National-flag at half-mast?

Ans. In the event of death of certain dignitaries recognized by the centre/state governments, the National-flag shall be half-mast at certain places and for specified days.

32. Name a few VVIP’S who can fly the Nationalflag on their car?

Ans. The President and Prime-Minister of India, Judges of the Supreme Court, Indian Ambassadors appointed in foreign lands, etc. can fly the National-flag on their car.

33. Can you fly a miniature National-flag inside your car?

Ans. Yes, Indian citizens can fly the National-flag inside their car on the dash board or on the wind screen.

34. Can you write a patriotic slogan or a message on the face of our National-flag?

Ans. No, lettering of any kind is not to be put upon the Flag.

35. Can you print, stitch, embroider Tiranga as a part of your dress or costume? If yes, is there any restriction?

Ans. Yes, you can do so, but not below the waistline.

36. Can you embroider or print the image of Tiranga on cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins or undergarments, etc?

Ans. No, it is not allowed nor it is desirable.

37. How is an old, unclean, multilated or torn National-flag disposed off ?

Ans. It is destroyed in whole in private preferably by burning or by any other method consistent with the dignity of the Flag such as burying it deep with respect or by immersing it into the Ganga duly folded.

38. While using the Tiranga on a dead body, how is the Flag placed on the body—horizontally or vertically?

Ans. It is placed horizontally on the chest of the deceased. The saffron band is to touch the neck of the body. The flag must not be placed over the body or coffin like a Chadar to avoid touching the feet of the deceased.

39. How is the Flag placed on the dead body of a person disposed off?

Ans. The flag placed on a dead body is destroyed in private, away from public gaze preferably by burning or burying it deep or immersing it into the Gange.

40. Can a Judge of a High Court fly the Nationalflag on his/her car?

Ans. Yes, the High Court judges can now fly the Nationalflag on their car. Earlier, they were not allowed to do so.

41. Can the National-flag be flown during night? if yes, what are the restrictions?

Ans. The Flag can be flown during night hours provided, it is on a 100ft or above flagpole and is adequately illuminated.

42. On a day when it is raining heavily do you have to lower the National-flag?

Ans. No, the Flag is to fly between sunrise and sunset regardless of weather conditions.

43. When the Tiranga is to be flown with the National-flag of another country which side will the Tiranga be placed or flown — to the right or to the left?

Ans. While flying Tiranga besides another country’s National-flag, it will be placed / flown to the left as one looks at it.

44. In case of death of a VVIP on 25th January or 14th August, or 1st October and a 7 day state mouring is declared, will the Flag fly half-mast the next day on 26th of January, 15th August, or 2nd October as the case may be?

Ans. No, in a such a case, the Flag will fly full-mast on 26th January, the Republic Day similarly on 15th August, the Independence Day and on the Gandhi Jayanti Day.

45. In case of death of a VVIP on Republic Day 26th of January or on Independence day 15th of August or on 2nd of October and a state mourning is declared by the Government, will the Flag fly halfmast on the day?

Ans. No, it will fly full-mast, except on the building where the dead body lies in State. And as the body is removed from there for cremation, the flag will be raised fullmast on the building.

46 . When state mourning is declared by the Government on the death of a VVIP are the members of public suppose to fly the Flag at halfmast?

Ans. No, the general public is not suppose to half-mast the flag; however, they may do so at their discretion. It is so because the Flag is to be half-masted only on Govt. buildings on receiving instructions from the Government. Since no instructions are issued to public to half mast the flag, members of public are not obliged to do so.

47. As per convention all jail buildings are suppose to fly the National-flag. After an execution of a prisoner in a particular jail, how will the Flag fly—half-mast or full-mast on the day?

Ans. The flag will fly full-mast on the jail building after execution of a prisoner . However, earlier it used to fly half-mast. In the Navy, if there is a death on board a ship while on the high sea her ensign is half-masted.

48. When a foreign dignitary travels in a car provided by the Government of India or by a State Govern-ment, on which side of the car will the Indian National-flag be flown ?

Ans. On the right side of the car and on the left side, the National-flag of the dignitry’s country will be flown.

49. When our National-flag is flown with the United Nation's Flag, on which side of it will the Tiranga fly?

Ans. When the Tiranga is flown besides the UN Flag, it can be flown on either side of it.