Kochi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday unveiled new Naval Ensign inspired by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s Navy during the commissioning of the country’s first indigenously built and designed aircraft carrier INS Vikrant here.
“Today, India has taken off a trace of slavery, a burden of slavery. Indian Navy has got a new flag from today. The identity of slavery remained on the flag of Indian Navy. But from today onwards, inspired by Chhatrapati Shivaji, the new Navy flag will fly in the sea and in the sky,” he said.
The Prime Minister talked about the Indian Maritime tradition and naval capabilities. Chhatrapati Veer Shivaji Maharaj, he said, built such a navy that kept the enemies on their toes.
“When the British came to India, they used to be intimidated by the power of Indian ships and trade through them. So they decided to break the back of India’s maritime power. History is witness to how strict restrictions were imposed on Indian ships and merchants by enacting a law in the British Parliament at that time,” the Prime Minister said.
“Resonant to the ongoing national endeavour to move away from colonial past, need was felt to transition to a new design that drew inspiration from our history.
“In order to address this necessity, design inputs were invited from the entire Navy.
“Responses poured in from Naval personnel from all formations and various hierarchies, reflecting enthusiasm for the endeavour, and have helped in developing the new design of the Naval ensign,” the Navy said.
The White Ensign identified nation-wide with the Navy, now comprises of two main constituents – the National Flag in the upper left canton, and a Navy Blue – Gold octagon at the centre of the fly side (away from the staff), it added.
The Octagon is with twin golden octagonal borders encompassing the golden National Emblem (Lion Capital of Ashoka – underscribed with ‘Satyamev Jayate’ in blue Devnagri script) resting atop an anchor; and superimposed on a shield. Below the shield, within the octagon, in a golden bordered ribbon, on a Navy Blue background, is inscribed the motto of the Indian Navy ‘Sam No Varunah’ in golden Devnagri script.
The design encompassed within the octagon has been taken from the Indian Naval crest, wherein the fouled anchor, which is also associated with colonial legacy, has been replaced with a clear anchor underscoring the steadfastness of the Indian Navy.
The Navy Blue colour of the above octagonal shape depicts the Blue Water capabilities of the Indian Navy. The twin octagonal borders draw their inspiration from Shivaji Maharaj Rajmudra or the Seal of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, one of the prominent Indian kings with a visionary maritime outlook.
The Octagonal shape also represents the eight directions (four cardinal and four inter cardinal), symbolising the Indian Navy’s global outreach.
The Octagon stands for good fortune, eternity, renewal and draws positive energy from all directions. The new Naval White Ensign is thus, rooted in the glorious maritime heritage of India, as well as reflective of our Navy’s present –day capabilities, the Navy added.
President of India Droupadi Murmu approved the introduction of the new designs of the Naval Ensign, as also the Distinguishing Flags, Masthead Pennants and Car Flags for the Indian Navy.
INS Vikrant will adorn the new White ensign with effect from its commissioning on Friday.
Formations, ships and establishments of the Indian Navy would be adopting the new Naval ensign, as also the new distinguishing flags, car flags and masthead pennants, the Navy said.
This White ensign that has been flown by all formations, ships and establishments of the Indian Navy till Friday, included the National Flag in the upper left canton, red vertical and horizontal stripes and a golden yellow State Emblem superimposed on the intersection of the red stripes. The national motto ‘Satyamev Jayate’ engraved in Devanagari script, was included underneath the State Emblem.