Being under British rule for a long time, India has had a series of struggles. One of the pressing issues was to unite its different religious and sectarian groups into a common leadership. It was because of the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi when economic, political and civil reforms were championed to progress India into a better country. The story behind the Indian flag is remarkably one of the more dramatic stories in history and also one of the most democratic processes known. In creating an emblem for the new era, Gandhi’s first suggestion was developed into the flag that is hoisted and is fluttering across the vast lands of India today.
The original design submitted to the Indian National Congress in 1921 was a two-colored flag – red for the Hindus and green for Muslims. Found in the middle was a spinning wheel that depicts Gandhi’s objectives of making the citizen self-reliant through industry and hard work. However, the design was modified to include a white bar in the middle to accommodate the other religions in the country as well as provide a background for the picture of the machine. Subsequent revisions were made to the original suggestions up to the time when the color scheme of saffron, white and green was chosen to be the hues of the insignia. The horizontal bars of colors were presented from top to bottom in that order and depicted courage and sacrifice, peace and truth, and faith and chivalry respectively.
Days before the declaration of independence the assembly decided to make the flag more acceptable to all parties in India. The traditional spinning wheel was replaced by the Ashoka Chakra, a 24-spoke blue-colored wheel, which was placed at the center of the white central stripe. The symbol was representative of the Eternal Wheel of Law according to traditional Indian belief showing the importance of religion in India’s then new government.