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Indian Navy's new Flag / ensign, How it looks, What does in it

The new ensign/flag consists of the National Flag on the upper canton, a blue octagon encasing the National emblem atop an anchor imposed on a shield.

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 02 unveiled the new ensign(flag) of The Indian Navy which was inspired from the seal of the great Indian Maratha Emperor Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, during the occasion of the commissioning of the India's first Indigenously Aircraft carrier(IAC-1) INS Vikrant in Kochi.

What is in the new ensign?

The new ensign/flag consists of the National Flag on the upper canton, a blue octagon encasing the National emblem atop an anchor to depict steadfastness, superimposed on a shield with the Navy’s motto “Sam No Varuna” (a Vedic mantra invoking the god of seas to be auspicious) in Devanagari.

The octagon represents the eight directions and has been included as a symbol of the Navy’s “multidirectional reach and multidimensional operational capability”. The golden borders of the octagon have been inspired by the seal of Maratha Emperor Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

The Old ensign -

The ensign of the Indian Navy has undergone multiple changes since India gained Independence from the British empire. Before Independence, the Navy’s ensign carried the Union Jack on the upper canton along with St. George’s Cross. In 1950, the Union Jack was replaced by the Indian flag but the cross was retained.

In 2001, St. George’s Cross was replaced with the naval crest, but the cross was brought back in 2004 – this time with the national emblem superimposed in the middle of it. In 2014, “Satyamev Jayate” was written in Devanagari script, right below the emblem.

Background of Indian Navy ensign - 

  • The origins of the Indian Navy date back to the colonial period. According to information shared on a website of the Indian Navy, on October 2, 1934, the name of the naval service was changed to Royal Indian Navy (RIN), headquartered at Bombay (now Mumbai).
  • After independence, with the partition of India, the Royal Indian Navy was divided into the Royal Indian Navy and the Royal Pakistan Navy.
  • With India becoming a Republic on 26 January 1950, the prefix 'Royal' was dropped and rechristened(give a new name) as the Indian Navy.
  • After independence in 1947, the Union Jack was replaced by the tricolor in the canton.
  • The horizontal and vertical red stripes, symbolizing St George's Cross, are reminiscent of the colonial era, and are likely to be dropped in the included design for the new Flag.
  • On 26 January 1950, the Crown in the naval crest, depicted with an anchor, was replaced by Ashokan Lion for the Indian Navy's Emblem. The invocation of the Lord Varuna (the sea god) in the Vedas was adopted for its symbol, whose motto was: "Sam no Varunah", which means: 'Be auspicious unto us Oh Varuna'. The inscription 'Satyameva Jayate' was included in the crest below the state Emblem.

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