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Indian Navy to change its ensign

Josy Joseph in New Delhi | April 23, 2004 17:41 IST
Last Updated: April 24, 2004 02:51 IST

On the eve of Independence Day in 2001, the Indian Navy got rid of a 250-year-old colonial hangover: St George's Cross that cut across its ensign, flags and pendants.

History, however, has a quirky way repeating itself.

So this April 25, the Indian Navy will bring back the cross, with some Indian touches.

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Ever since the Navy made sweeping changes in its ensign and distinguishing flags and pendants of its officers, there was a complaint, especially from those who went out to the sea that the flags merged with the blue colour of the sea and the sky and were not visible from far.

To overcome those shortcomings and to represent national symbols better, it is introducing a new flag, naval ensign and pendants from April 25, when INS Tarangini, the sail training ship that has been going around the world for almost a year, would return to India.

President APJ Abdul Kalam will unveil the new designs at Kochi when he would receive INS Tarangini. Simultaneously, all naval establishments, ships and other units would also introduce the new symbols.

The new ensign is officially described as: A white ensign, with a horizontal red stripe and a vertical red stripe intersecting at the centre of the flag, a golden yellow state emblem (Dharma Chakra) superimposed on the intersection, and the national flag in the upper canton next to the staff.

A Navy spokesman said the two important constituents chosen for building the ensign were the national flag and the state emblem (to symbolise national unity).

"Various combination of vibrant colours were tried out with the state emblem," he said adding the selected design 'made a very highly visible ensign, while presenting a strong motif of national character and unity'.

A similar combination of horizontal and vertical stripes intersecting at the centre of the flag with the blue Dharma Chakra in the middle was found to be very suitable for distinguishing flags/pendants.

External Link: Website of the Indian Navy

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