New Delhi, Aug 30
The Indian Navy will get a new ensign – the flag that is hoisted atop all Naval warships, ground stations and naval air bases.
This is the fourth time since 1950 that the Naval ensign would undergo a change.
The new one would be unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 2 when the first indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant is commissioned at the Cochin Shipyard Limited Kochi, Kerala.
“During the event, the Prime Minister will also unveil the new Naval Ensign (Nishaan), doing away with the colonial past and befitting the rich Indian maritime heritage,” The Prime Minister’s Office said in statement on Tuesday.
On 26 January 1950, when India became a republic, the Navy Crest and flags were duly changed to represent an independent India. Part of the flag retained the British legacy — the Red St. George’s Cross. The Union Jack was replaced by the Tricolour on the left top corner of the flag.
The Red St George’s Cross was retained till Aug 15, 2001, when the Cross made its way out and the Navy blue colour Indian Navy crest was added.
In 2004, the St George’s Cross was back with the addition of the Ashoka emblem in the intersection of the cross. And the Naval crest was dropped. In 2014, acting on directive of the Union Home Ministry, the national motto “Satyameva Jayate” was added under the Ashok Emblem.
The one adopted in 2014 is the current ensign of the Navy. A white flag with horizontal and vertical red stripes, symbolising the Cross of Saint George, with the Ashoka emblem and the words ‘Satyameva Jayate”. The tricolour is placed in the right top corner.
Possible additions to be unveiled by Modi include reverting to the 2001 status when the cross was removed. Possibly the naval crest depicting an anchor would be added.
The Vikrant is named after her illustrious predecessor, India’s first Aircraft Carrier which had played a vital role in the 1971 war. It has a large number of indigenous equipment and machinery, involving major industrial houses in the country as well as over 100 MSMEs.