The Tricolor, as the Indian flag is called, is the pride and the identification of the country. The national flag comprises of Saffron on the top, white in the middle, green at the bottom and Ashok Chakra, a 24 spoke wheel, in the center. The flag was designed by Pingali Venkayya in the year 1947, when India attained its independence.
When we talk about our national flag or the patriotism, we must understand and know the “Code of the Indian Flag”. It’s all about the basic rules that one needs to follow while hoisting the flag. Laws, practices and conventions is what Code of the Indian flag is all about. The code has been segregated in three parts. The first part talks about the general description of the flag. Second, is for the general public over the display of the flag and the third code is for Central and state government bodies and their organizations and agencies over the display. The Code of Indian Flag came into existence on January26, 2002.
Let’ have a look at those three different codes.
The general description
Here, it officially announces that the top color of the flag is Saffron and the bottom panel is green. The middle part displays the Ashok Chakra on white background. The series should never be tampered with intentionally. The material allowed should either be “khadi” or hand-spun cloth and any other material used while flying the flag is a punishable offence and calls for a three years of imprisonment along with a fine. There are two uses of khadi in the Indian flag, “Khadi bunting” and “khadi-duck”. Khadi Bunting is used for the flag body, wherein khadi duck is a beige-colored cloth that holds the flag to the pole. The weaving of Khadi duck is extremely surreal and there are not more than 20 experts in the country who know the skill. There are strict guidelines in regards to the stitching and the number of threads used to sew and that one square foot should weigh exactly 205 grams.
Following is the specification that we must follow while displaying the National Flag:
Length and width in millimeters
- 6300 × 4200
- 3600 × 2400
- 2700 × 1800
- 1800 × 1200
- 1350 × 900
- 900 × 600
- 450 × 300
- 225 × 150
- 150 × 100Display Codes:
While displaying the flag on the walls behind a podium, their hoists should be facing each other and the saffron stripes should be at the top. Whereas while displaying the flag on a short flag pole, this should be mounted at an angle to the wall with the flag draped tastefully from it. If two national flags from different countries are displayed on crossed staff, the hoists should face each other and also must be completely spread out. It is to be remembered that the national flag should never be used a table covers, or cover the lecterns, podiums or the buildings.
The national flag should always be positioned on the observers’ left in an enclosed hall for public meetings or gatherings being this the position of authority. The national flag should always be hung with the saffron stripe on the top and must be completely spread out. In case, the flag is hung vertically, the saffron stripes should be on the left side of the audience.
During a procession or a parade, the flag should be on the marching right or in front in the center. The flag can be a featured while unveiling a plaque, building or a statue; however, it must never be used to cover objects. Also, the national flag should never be dipped to something or to any person as a sign of respect. While the flag passes through a throng during a ceremony or any parade or procession, all persons present at the moment should face the flag and stand at attention. And the staff in uniform must render a salute to the flag. The flag salutation isn’t complete without the national anthem.
Only a handful of dignitaries are authorized to fly the national flag on their vehicles and they are President, Vice President, Chief Justice and other justice of Supreme Court and Prime Minister, Governors and Lieutenant Governors, Justice and Justice of High court of States, Union Ministers, members of the Parliament Of India and state legislatures of the Indian states (Vidhan Sabha and Vidhan Parishad), and flag officers of the Army, Navy and the Air Force. The flag has to be flown either in the middle of the car (in front) or on the right side of the car, affixed on a small pole. If a car is carrying a foreign dignitary, offered by the Indian government, the Indian flag should be flown on the right side of the car, while the flag of the other country should be on the left. While a flight carries the top most dignitaries out of the country, a flag should always be flown on the aircraft along with a flag of the country intended to visit. Also, if the aircraft has any stopover in any other country than the destination, the aircraft must display that country’s flag too.
Half- masting of the National Flag
As a sign of respect to the dead, the national flag must be flown at half mast. It is initially flown at the top and is lowered down slowly as an indication of mourning. The other flags remain at a normal height.
The flag is flown at half mast at the death of the following dignitaries and at the respective places of importance:
- The flag is half masted nationwide on the death of Prime Minister, President and Vice President.
- On the event of death of the Chief Justice of India and Lok Sabha speaker, the flag is flown at half –mast in the capital city, Delhi.
- And on the demise of Supreme court Judge and top Union Ministers, the national flag is flown half mast in the capital city, state of origin and the respective departments.
- On deaths of Governors, Lt. Governors and Chief Ministers, Chief Justice of High Courts and for Judge of the flag is flown at half-mast in the union territories and respective states, and for High Court Judges’ and top Cabinet Ministers’ respective origin districts.
According to Chief Justice V N Khare, the common people of India have the fundamental rights to hoist the national flag at their private premises provided that the respect of the Tricolor is not undermined.