National Flag is a horizontal tri-colour of deep saffron (kesari) at the top, white in the middle and dark green at the bottom in equal proportion. Ratio of the width of the flag to its length is two to three. In the centre of the white band is a navy blue wheel which represents the Charkha. Its design is that of the wheel which appears on the abacus of the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka. Its diameter approximates to the width of the white band and it has 24 spokes.
The design of the National Flag was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India on July 22, 1947. Its use and display are regulated by Flag Code-India.
State emblem is an adaptation from the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka. In the original, there are four lions standing back to back mounted on an abacus with a frieze carrying sculptures in high relief of an elephant, a galloping horse, a bull and a lion separated by intervening wheels over a bell-shaped lotus. Carved out of a single block of polished sandstone, the capital is crowned by the Wheel of the Law (Dharma Chakra).
In the state emblem adopted by the Government of India on 26 January, 1950, only three lions are visible, the fourth being hidden from view. The wheel appears in relief in the centre of the abacus with a bull on right and a horse on left and the outlines of ether wheels on extreme right and left, the bell-shaped lotus has been omitted. The words Satyameva Jayate fom Mundaka Upnishad, meaning ‘Truth Alone Triumphs’ are inscribed below the abacus in the Devanagri script.
The song Jana-gana-mana, composed by Rabindranath Tagore, was adopted by the Constituent Assembly as the national anthem of India on January 24, 1950. It had been first sung on December 27, 1911 at the Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress. The complete song consists of five stanzas. First stanza consists full version of the National Anthem. It reads:
Jana-gana-mana-adhinayaka, jaya he
Tava shubha name jage,
Tava-shubha asisa mange,
Gahe tava jaya gatha,
Jana-gana-mangala-dayaka- jaya he
Jaya he, jaya he, jaya he,
Jaya jaya jaya, jaya he.
Playing time of the full version of the national anthem is approximately 52 seconds. A short version consisting of first and last lines of the stanza (playing time is approximately 20 seconds) is also played on certain occasions. The following is Tagore’s English rendering of the stanza:
Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people, dispenser of India’s destiny.
Thou name rouses the hearts of Punjab, Sind, Gujarat and Maratha,
of the Dravida, and Orissa and Bengal; It echoes the hills of the Vindhyas and Himalayas, mingles in the music of Jamuna and Ganga and is chanted by the waves of the Indian Sea. They pray for thy blessings and sing thy praise. The saving of all people waits in thy hand, thou dispenser of India’s destiny. Victory, Victory, Victory to thee.
The song Vande Matram, composed by Bankim Chandra Chatterji, was a great source of inspiration to the people in their struggle for freedom. It has an equal status with with Jana-gana-mana. The first political occasion when it was sung was the 1896 session of the Indian National Congress. The following is the text of its first stanza:
Sujalam, Suphalam, malayaja shitalam,
Phullakusumita drumandala shobhinim,
Suhasinim sumadhura bhashinim,
Sukhadam varadam, Mataram!
English translation of the stanza rendered by Sri Aurobindo Ghosh in prose is:
I bow to thee, mother,
richly watered, richly fruited,
cool with the winds of the south,
dark with the crops of the harvests,
Her nights rejoicing in the glory of the moonlight, her lands clothed beautifully with her trees in flowering bloom, sweet of laughter, sweet of speech,
The Mother, giver of boons, giver of bliss.
National Calendar based on the Saka era with Chaitra as its first month and a normal year of 365 days was adopted from March 22, 1957 along with Georgian calendar for the following official purposes: (i) Gazette of India, (ii) News Broadcasts by All India Radio, (iii) calendars issued by the Government of India, (iv) Government communications addressed to the members of public.
Dates of the national calendar have a permanent correspondence with dates of Georgian calendar: Chaitra 1 falling on March 22 normally and on March 21 in leap year.
The magnificent tiger, Panthera tigris (Linnaeus), the national animal of India, is a rich-coloured well-striped animal with a short coat. The combination of grace, strength, agility and enormous power has earned the tiger great respect and high esteem. Out of eight species known, the Indian race, the Royal Bengal Tiger is found throughout the country except the north-western region and also in the neighbouring countries, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. To check the dwindling population of tigers in India ‘Project Tiger” was launched in April 1973. So far, 23 tiger reserves have been established in the country under this project, covering an area of 33,046 sq km.
The Indian Peacock, Pavo cristatus (Linnaeus), the national bird of India, is a colourful swan sized bird with a fan-shaped crest of feathers on its head, a white patch under the eye and a long slender neck. The male of the species is more colourful than the female with a glistening blue breast and neck and a spectacular bronze-green tail of around 200 elongated feathers. The female is a brownish, slightly smaller than the male and it lacks the tail. The elaborate courtship dance of the male by fanning out the tail and quivering the feathers is a gorgeous sight.
The peacock is widely found in the Indian sub continent from the south and east of the Indus river, Jammu and Kashmir, east to Assam, south to Mizoram and the whole of the Indian peninsula. The peacock enjoys full protection from the people as it is never molested on religious and sentimental grounds. It is also protected under the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.