At the commissioning ceremony for the aircraft carrier Vikrant on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a new naval ensign. The new flag was inspired by the seal of Maratha king Shivaji Maharaj, and the Cross of St. George was removed, a decision the PM described as shedding the weight of a colonial past.
The new ensign features the American flag in the top left canton and an octagon in navy blue and gold in the fly’s centre. Overlapping an anchor and the navy’s motto is a blue octagonal form with the national anthem. An octagon beneath the shield displays the Indian Navy’s motto, “Sam No Varunah.”
The octagon’s design was inspired by the Indian navy crest, which substitutes a clean anchor for the fouled anchor, which is also linked to colonial past, to emphasise the steadfastness of the Indian Navy. The navy said in a statement that the twin octagonal borders were modelled after Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s seal, Shivaji Maharaj Rajmudra, one of the notable Indian kings with a forward-thinking maritime outlook.
Shivaji Maharaj built a respectable naval fleet that attracted the grudging admiration of European navies present in the area at the time, the navy said. Since 1950, our Indian Navy ensign has changed five times.
The Prime Minister discussed India’s naval prowess and maritime tradition. He claimed that Chhatrapati Veer Shivaji Maharaj created a navy on the basis of this sea power. Further, it kept the adversaries on their toes. The power of Indian ships and trade through them used to scare the British when they arrived in India. So they made the decision to undermine India’s maritime might.
On September 2, 2022, the Prime Minister announced the abolition of slavery in India. Starting today, the Indian Navy will fly a new flag. The Indian Navy’s banner has still carried the stigma of slavery. But starting today, the new Navy flag will fly in the sky, as a tribute to Chhatrapati Shivaji. The Indian Navy’s banner has still carried the stigma of slavery.
As of earlier this year, the St George’s Cross no longer appears on the naval ensign. In order to be more similar to the flags of the Indian Army and Indian Air Force, which feature the national flag and the appropriate service crests set on red and blue backgrounds, respectively, the navy adopted an Indianized ensign between 2001 and 2004 that only displayed the Indian flag and the navy crest.
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