“A national spirit is necessary for national existence. A flag is a material aid to the development of such a spirit,” said ‘Mahatma’ Mohandas Gandhi. And indeed, India, and the freedom fighters who worked for the country’s liberation before it was an independent state, have always looked to have a flag that represented their movement.
It is said that the first national flag was hoisted in Kolkata on August 7, 1906. It was then a tricolour composed of three horizontal lines – red, yellow and green. Bhikaji Cama hoisted another flag in Berlin the following year, while Dr. Annie Besant and Lokmanya Tilak raised another one in 1917 during the Home rule movement.
The design of the national flag underwent several changes reflecting the political developments in the nation. While the earlier flags carried a saptarishi denoted by seven stars, the ones raised later also carried the Union Jack in the background until a spinning wheel was added when Mahatma Gandhi led the freedom movement. Independent India’s flag however, has its own history.
Do you think you know all about it from your history lessons? Take this quiz to find out.