National Insignia

  • National Flag The National flag was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India on July 2, 1947 and presented to the nation at the midnight session of the Assembly on August 14, 1947 on behalf of the woman of India. The flag was unfurled on Parliament House.
  • Background: The tricolour flag was first born in the All India Congress Committee (AICC) meeting at Bezwada in 1912 when a flag was shown by an Andhra youth and improved by Mahatma Gandhi with the addition of a white band and Chakra.
  • Dimension: The ratio of the width (proportion) of the flag to its length is 2 : 3. All the three bands are of equal width with deep saffron at the top, white in the middle and dark green at the bottom.
  • Wheel (Chakra): In the centre of the white band is a wheel blue colour. The design of the wheel is that of the abacus of the Srinagar Lion Capitol. Its diameter approximates the width of the white band and it has 24 spokes.
  • Colours

(i) Saffron:  Signifies courage and sacrifice

(ii) White:  Signifies truth and peace

(iii) Green:  Signifies faith and chivalry

The wheel symbolises India’s National ancient culture, dynamism and peaceful change, and is adopted from the Dharma Chakra of Emperor Ashoka.

Even an unusable national flag cannot be destroyed. There is a code as to how to put aside the unusable national flag prescribed by the government.

  • National Emblem: The National Emblem and Seal of the Government of India is a replica of the Capitol of Ashoka’s Pillar at Sarnath.

In the original capitol of the stone pillarfour lionsare carved outstanding back to back. In the emblem, however, only there lions are visible as it appears in print; the fourth one remains hidden from the view.

The Capital is mounted on an abacus (base plate). There is  a Dharma a Chakra in the centre of the base plate, on the right of which is a figure of abull and on the left that of a horse. There is an inscription in Devanagari script, a quotation from  the Mundak Upanishad below the base plate which reads ‘Satya Meva Jayate’ Which means ‘Truth alone triumphs’.

  • Background: The original lioned Capitol of the Ashoka Pillars was designed between 242-232 BC to hallow the spot where Buddha first initiated his disciples into the eight-fold salvation.

The Nation al Emblem was adopted by the Government of India January 26, 1950.

  • National Anthem (Jana Gana Mana)

Composer:  Rabindranath Tagore in 1911

First Sung: December 27, 1911 du ring the Indian National Congress Session at Calcutta

When adopted: January 24, 1950 by the Constituent Assembly of India

English translation: Rendered by Tagore himself in 1919 under the title ‘Morning Song of India’

  • Background: It was originally composed in Bengali language and first published in January 1612 under the title ‘Bharat Vidhata’ in Tatva-Bodhi ni Patrika edited by Tagore himself. The complete song consists of five stanzas. However , the first stanza has been adopted by the defence forces of India to be sun g on all ceremonial occasions and it constitutes the full version of the National Anthem.
  • Playing Time: About 52 seconds for the full version. However, a shorter version comprising first and last lines of the stanza has a playing time of 20 seconds and is played on ceremonial occasions.
  • National Song (Vande mataram) About 52 seconds for the full version. However, a shorter version comprising first and last lines of the stanza has a playing time of 20 seconds and is played on ceremonial occasions.
  • National Song (Vande mataram)

Composer: Bankim Chandra Chatterjee

First Sung: 1896 session India national Congress

When adopted: January 24, 1950 along with the National Anthem

English translation:  Rendered by Sri Aurobindo

  • Background: Both the National Song and the National Anthem were adopted together and have equal status.

It has been taken from Bankim Chandra Chatterjee’s novel Ananda Math published in 1882. It had been a source of inspiration to the people in their struggle for freedom.

  • National Calendar (Saka) At the time Independence, the Government of India followed the Gregorian calendar based on the Christian Era. From March 22, 1957 (Saka 1879) a unified Indian National Calendar to be used for official purpose was introduced based on the Saka era which began with vernal equinox of 78 AD.
  • Use of National calendar: The national calendar is used for the following official purpose of the Government of India, viz.

(i) Gazette of India

(ii) News broadcasts Akashwani

(iii) Communications addressed to the public by the Government of India.

It is issued by the Government of India.

  • Commencement of National Calendar: Chaitra 1, Saka 1879 correspondingto March 22, 1957 AD.


Saka months No. of days Corresponding Gregorian Dates
1 Chaitra 30 (31 in leap year) March 22 (21 in leap year)
1 Vaishaka 31 April 21
1 Jyaistha 31 May22
1 Asadha 31 June 22
1 Sravana 31 July 23
1 Bhadra 31 August 23
1 Asvina 30 September 23
1 Kartika 30 October 23
1 Agrahayana 30 November 22
1 Pausa 30 December 22
1 Maha 30 January 21
1 Phaguna 30 February 20