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List of Indian flags

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List of Indian flags

This is a list of flags used in India. For more information about the national flag, visit the article Flag of India.

National flag

Flag Date Use Description
1947–present National flag of India A horizontal tricolour of saffron at the top, white in the middle, and green at the bottom. In the centre is a navy blue wheel with twenty-four spokes, known as the Ashoka Chakra

Governmental flag

Flag Date Use Description
1950–present Standard of the President of India 1st quarter: state emblem (the lions of Sarnath) to represent national unity; 2nd quarter: elephant from Ajanta Caves to represent patience and strength; 3rd quarter: scales from the Red Fort, Old Delhi to represent justice; 4th quarter: lotus vase from Sarnath to represent prosperity.


Flag Date Use Description
Civil ensign A Red Ensign with the flag of India in the canton.
State ensign A Blue Ensign with the flag of India in the canton, and a yellow anchor horizontally in the fly.

Military flags

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of the Indian Army A red field with the flag of India in the canton, and the Army badge in the fly
Ensign of the Indian Navy It is built up of the Indian National Flag, a Vertical and a Horizontal Red Stripe, the Indian State Emblem in golden yellow colour on a white background.
Flag of the Indian Air Force A sky-blue ensign with the flag of India in the canton, and the Air Force roundel in the fly
Ensign of the Indian Coast Guard A Blue Ensign with the flag of India in the canton, and the Coast Guard badge in the fly

Naval flags

Flag Date Use Description
Admiral of the Fleet (rank has never been used)
Admiral (Chief of Naval Staff)
Vice Admiral
Rear Admiral

States and Union territorial flags

De jure state flags

The states and Union territories do not have official flags, except for Jammu and Kashmir.[1]
Flag Date Use Description
Jammu and Kashmir 1972–present Flag of Jammu and Kashmir The flag is red to symbolize labour, with three white vertical stripes in the hoist (which do not run the whole height of the flag). The stripes stand for the three divisions of the region namely; (Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh). On the right side of the flag is a white plough with the handle facing the stripes. The ratio of the flag to its width is 3:2.

De facto state flags

Flag Date Use Description
Karnataka 1965–present Kannada flag, used as a de facto state flag in Karnataka[2] Two horizontal strips of equal length and breadth with yellow strip on the top and red strip at the bottom.
Sikkim 1967-1975 Flag of Sikkim, used as a flag when Sikkim was an independent kingdom before its annexation to India Buddhist khorlo prayer wheel with the gankyil in the center, on a field of white with a red border.

The Kannada flag is not officially or unofficially the Karnataka flag. It is actually the flag of a political party, Kannada Paksha, which was formed in 1965 by M. Ramamurthy. The flag is now used for the Kannada Rajyothsava and Kannada-oriented celebrations. The yellow and red colours in the flag stand for arshina (turmeric) and kumkuma (vermilion), respectively.[3] The yellow and red colours signify Peace and Courage respectively.

The Sikkim flag was lost its official status when Sikkim became a part of India after the Sikkimese monarchy referendum, 1975.


Pre-colonial states

Flag Date Use Description
1526–1857 Flag of Mughal Empire A dark green flag with a rising sun, partially eclipsed by a lion.
1674–1818 Flag of Maratha Empire (Bhagwa Dhwaj)[4] A saffron-coloured swallowtail flag.
1707–1849 Flag of Sikh Confederacy and then Sikh Empire The last state in India to be subjugated by the British Empire. The political flag is closely based on the Nishan Sahib, the Sikh religious flag.

British India

Flag Date Use Description
1858–1947 The official state flag of the Indian Empire for use on land The flag of the United Kingdom.
c. 1885–1947 Flag of the Governor-General of India The Union Flag defaced with the insignia of the Order of the Star of India beneath the Imperial Crown of India.
c. 1947–1950
c. 1880–1947 Flag of British India An unofficial, or semi-official land flag used to represent British India in international events and associations A Red Ensign with the Union Flag at the canton, and the Star of India displayed in the fly.
1863–1947 1879–1928 ensign of Her Majesty's Indian Marine / Royal Indian Marine

1928–1947 naval jack of the Royal Indian Marine / Royal Indian Navy
A Blue Ensign with the Union Flag at the canton, and the Star of India displayed in the fly.
1928–1950 Ensign of the Royal Indian Marine / Royal Indian Navy The White Ensign of the Royal Navy.

Flags used by the Indian independence movement

Flag Date Use Description
1906 Flag of Calcutta Three horizontal bands of equal width with the top being orange, the centre yellow, and the bottom green. It had eight half-opened lotus flowers on the top stripe, and a picture of the sun and a crescent moon on the bottom stripe. वन्दे मातरम् (Vande Mātaram) was inscribed in the centre in Devanagari.
1907 An early Indian nationalist flag
1907 An early Indian nationalist flag
1917 Flag of the Home Rule Movement Five red and four green horizontal stripes
On the upper left quadrant was the Union Jack, which signified the Dominion status that the movement sought to achieve. A crescent and a star, both in white, are set in top fly. Seven white stars are arranged as in the Saptarishi constellation (the constellation Ursa Major), which is sacred to Hindus.
1921 Gandhi's flag, introduced at the Indian National Congress meeting in 1921
1923–1947 The Swaraj Flag, officially adopted by the Congress in 1931
1942–1945 Flag of Provisional Government of Free India Three horizontal strips of saffron, white, and green, with a springing tiger in the center
Although this symbolized the armed resistance of the Azad Hind Movement lead by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose (as opposed to Gandhian pacifism), the 1931 flag of the Indian National Congress was used when the Indian National Army hoisted its flag in Moirang, Manipur. Both flags were used interchangeably.

See also


  1. ^ Haynes, Ed (24 September 1996). "Jammu and Kashmir (India)". Flags of the World. Retrieved 22 October 2010. 
  2. ^ Nozomi Kariyasu (21 March 1999). "Karnataka (India)". Flags of the World. Retrieved 22 October 2010. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ McMillan, Joe (26 February 2003). "India before British Rule". Flags of the World. Retrieved 22 October 2010. 


  • "India - Index of all Pages". 
  • "Indian Ensigns". 
  • "British Rule in India". 
  • "India: Historical Flags". Flags of the World. Retrieved 2010-10-22. 
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