What Do The Colors And Symbols Of The National Flag Of India Mean?

By Benjamin Elisha Sawe on August 7 2017 in World Facts

A textured image of the flag of India.

The Flag of India is a national symbol and is locally known as the “Tiranga” which loosely translates to “tricolor” as a testament to the three colors that make up the flag. India adopted its current national flag on July 22, 1947, as the country was about the gain independence from Britain on August 15, 1947.

Description Of The National Flag Of India

The Flag Code of India establishes that the National Flag of India should be set on a horizontal rectangle in the proportions 2:3 meaning that the flag’s length should be 1.5 times its width. The flag is made of a triband of the three colors; (arranged from top to bottom) saffron, white, and green with the three stripes being equal in length and width. It is from these three colors that the flag derives its nickname “tiranga” (translated to mean tricolor). The center of the flag is charged with a navy-blue wheel known as the Ashok Chakra which has 24 blue spokes with equally spaced and are spread all around the wheel’s circumference.

What Do The Colors Of The Indian National Flag Symbolize?

The meaning of the three colors which make up the Flag of India is a controversial subject which has spurned numerous theories. One explanation behind the symbolism of the colors is based on the religions found in India. According to this controversial theory, the saffron color being traditionally associated with Hinduism and Buddhism represents the Hinduism and Buddhism in India while green is used to represent Muslims in the country and white is said to represent other minority religions including Christianity. This theory was first mentioned by India’s second President, President S. Radhakrishnan. A more widely accepted explanation behind the colors associates the colors to symbolize morals and ethics practiced by Indian people. According to this explanation, saffron represents selflessness and sacrifice expected of political leaders. Saffron can also be said to represent courage and strength of the Indian people. White can be said to represent honesty, purity, and peace in the country. White can also be said to symbolize knowledge and light or a path of truth on which the country walks. Green is seen as a symbol of fertility of the earth and can also represent prosperity and growth of the country.

Symbolism: Ashok Chakra

The Ashok Chakra is a navy-blue wheel located at the center of the Indian flag. The Ashok Chakra is inspired by the Hindu symbol; the Dharma Chakra which according to the Hindu faith symbolizes that life thrives with the movement or progression of a community but stagnation of movement or progress brings death to the community. Therefore, the Ashok Chakra can be said to represent the progress of the country. The Ashok Chakra is also believed to represent the wheel of law. The 24 equally-spaced spokes inside the Ashok Chakra are said to symbolize the 24 hours in a day. According to Buddhism, the 24 spokes symbolize the 24 elements which make up the human body and the wheel on which the 24 spokes are connected symbolize the self-realization of perfection.

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