PM Modi Unveils New Ensign 'Nishaan' of Indian Navy; How Is It Different From Previous One

With the commissioning of the first indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant, the Indian Navy got a new naval ensign today (September 2). This will be the fourth time that the ensign will change since 1950.

By Shivam Shandilya
Updated: Sun, 18 Sep 2022 01:44 PM IST
Minute Read
PM Modi Unveils New Ensign 'Nishaan' of Indian Navy; How Is It Different From Previous One
PM Modi Unveils New Ensign 'Nishaan' of Indian Navy

The Prime Minister unveiled a new Naval Ensign of the Indian Navy during the commissioning of the country's first indigenously built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant in Kochi.

Addressing the ceremony, PM Modi said that with the new Indian Navy Ensign(Nishaan),"India has shed its colonial past".

"Till today Indian Naval flags carried a sign of slavery which has been replaced with a new one inspired by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj," he added, as quoted by news agency PTI.

The Indian Navy has got the new insignia featuring the Indian tricolour flag. It has replaced the Saint George's cross which featured on the flag ever since the British put it there during the pre-independence era.

The History of the Naval Ensign

Prior to the unveiling of the new ensign, the Indian Navy's ensign was a white flag with vertical red stripes, representing the Cross of Saint George, with the Indian emblem superimposed on the intersection. The Triclour is placed in the upper canon next to the staff. As per the reported information, this is the fourth time since 1950 that the Naval Ensign has undergone a change.

When India became a republic in 1950, the naval ensign was "Indianised." It changed from the red Cross of St. George on a white background with the Union Jack of the United Kingdom in the top left corner to the Red Cross of St. George with the Union flag replaced by the Tricolor. After the year 1950, the same ensign continued till the year 2000.

In 2001, the Indian Navy decided to replace the Cross of St. George with the naval badge, an anchor within a frame surmounted by the state emblem, the Sarnath Lion Capital. This change was made in response to calls to change the ensign.

However, due to complaints that the new flag was indistinguishable because the blue of the navy crest merged with the skies and the sea, the ensign was changed back to the red Cross of St. George in 2004. The flag was altered, and the Cross of St. George now featured the state emblem derived from Ashoka's Lion capital in the centre. The flag was altered, and the Cross of St. George now featured the state emblem derived from Ashoka's Lion capital in the centre.

The national motto "Satyameva Jayate" was added to the ensign in Devanagari script in 2014.

(Disclaimer: St. George's Cross was removed from the Navy flag in 2001, citing the mindset of carrying the colonial heritage, but in 2004, it was once again added to the flag (with some changes). Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister of the country when this symbol was removed from the Navy's flag in 2001 and in 2004 when it was again added to the Navy's flag. The new insignia was unveiled by the then President APJ Abdul Kalam in April 2004 in Kochi.

Our published news said that the Manmohan Singh government of Congress had added the St George's Cross in the Navy flag, which was a factual mistake. This information was based on inputs released by news agency ANI, which has been rectified after FactCheck. We apologize for the inconvenience caused to the readers and as part of our commitment to provide accurate information, the entire article has been updated to correct this mistake.)

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