India recently celebrated her 75th Independence Day and a lot of us in our celebratory fervour went ahead with our usual display of “patriotism” using the tri-color or some version of the colors themselves. Many of my friends also celebrated the day by dressing up for the flag-hoisting in their unique take on the tri-color and all of them looked so vibrant and lovely. Thankfully, maybe because of the pandemic, I didn’t see as many plastic flags carelessly strewn or discarded after the celebrations as is the usual norm.
As is usual at this time, I also got many forwards on Independence Day and congratulatory messages. One such message was interesting and caught my attention – though I have watched the Independence Day & Republic Day parades on TV and participated in ‘flag-hoisting’ events in school, college, workspace and community, I had not consciously register the difference till date.
Of course, I knew that the Independence Day flag is hoisted at the Red Fort by the Hon. Prime Minister Of India whereas on Republic Day, the flag is ‘hoisted’ at Rajpath by the Hon. President Of India. But I didn’t not know that on I-Day the flag is hoisted and on R-day it is unfurled. This is a very small difference and may not be noticed by many, like me. However, this is a very significant difference and is deeply symbolic. So apart from forwarding this particular message, I thought I would also create a small blog about it and also includes guidelines of the proper usage of flags.
Independence Day is celebrated on 15th August to honor the date that India got freedom from the British Raj and honours the memory so many Freedom Fighters who helped us achieve it. On this day, the flag is folded and tied to the middle of the flag pole. It is then pulled up or ‘hoisted’ up to the top of the pole with the help of the rope and then is opened with a tug to let it fly in all its glory. This is symbolic of India’s journey to freedom and what is celebrated on that day.
Republic Day is celebrated on 26th January to mark the day when India as a Republic and the Indian Constitution came into effect. On this day, the Indian tri-colour is folded and tied to the top of the flagpole. It is then just unfurled and spread out with a tug of the rope. This is symbolic of a country that is already free. Hence, the flag is not placed at a lower level or at the middle of the flagpole to be hoisted.
When I was researching this interesting trivia, I also came across the Flag Code Of India as mandated by the Ministry Of Home Affairs, Government Of India. From the color panels to be used, the correct sizes to be followed, which side it should face to where it should be placed, the documents covers everything one needs to know. If you want to read more about the same, click here for the Flag Code Of India official document. This document is useful all citizens of India who want to display the flag to show their patriotism, as well as for people who are in charge of organising events for such celebrations. As the document says, “The Indian National Flag represents the hopes and aspirations of the people of India. It the symbol of our national pride.” While there is undeniable pride and love for the tri-color, let us consciously learn to respect it too by displaying it correctly.
I had also previously written a post on how we can show our patriotism in the everyday things we do, which also included a video on the tri-color. To read more, click here.