Today is India’s 73rd Independence Day. Today People all over the country are hoisting the Indian Flag and being proud of our country. Do you know why countries have different flags? Why are flags so carefully designed? Do you know what is the meaning of our flag? Let me tell you what Mahatma Gandhi said. He said that a flag is a symbol of a freedom. Our flag show’s the world a India’s identity. Flags of different countries represent their own beliefs and morals. Before Independence, we had five flags which kept changing before we settled on the current flag. The flag was designed very carefully. Our flag was carefully designed so that the world knows what being an Indian truly means. Our flag was designed by a farmer and freedom fighter named Pingali Venkayya. He designed our flag. The Indian Flag contains three colours and is called ‘Tiranga’. Since there are three colours, it is also called the ‘Tricolour”. The top most is saffron or orange in colour. The middle is white and the bottom is green. The wheel is Navy Blue in colour. It is called the Ashoka Chakra. The wheel has 24 spokes. Each of it represents a law about how one must live their life. The flag was declared as the Indian flag on 22nd July 1947. The flag was selected before independence. Mahatma Gandhi popularised Khadi, a special and famous cloth and told everyone to wear clothes from it. He spun the cloth all by himself. The Khadi Development and Village Industries Commission has only allowed a unit in Karnataka to make the cloth for the flag. No private entity is allowed to do this, only they are allowed. Our Indian flag has a very deep meaning. In India there are many religions such as Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Hinduism, Christanity, Sindhis and so many others. The flag represents the country’s unity. The Ashoka Chakra means the Wheel of Law. There is a very deep meaning. Let me explain it to you. The top most part of the national flag is saffron (orange). What does it mean? It means brave and not being afraid. Being brave means a person will do anything. For example, being afraid of participating in sports but still taking part is brave. A person may be afraid of science but they still study, that is bravery. Not being afraid and bravely carrying out business and studying hard is called bravery. The middle part is white in colour and means Honesty, Purity in words and peace According to Indian culture the mind must be clean and not have any negativity. If the mind is clean it leads to knowledge. It brightens the path of truth. The lowermost colour is green. It stands for progress. Just like how a plant grows and turns into a tree if watered well. This greenery represents how when children are born they are nurtured, given education and encouraged. They grow up, make India proud as they have faith on the country. The circular symbol is the Ashoka Chakra. The wheel represents 24 hours in a day. There are 24 spokes. When the wheel moves, there is no stagnation. The movement of the wheel symbolises a continuous change in India which leads to its development. There is a another meaning as well. Each of the 24 spokes of the wheel stands for values such as love, Patience, unity, selfishness, selflessness, helpfulness and 24 other values. These are all represented in our Indian flag. The Ashoka Chakra in the middle of the flag is navy blue in colour. The white strip behind the the navy blue Ashoka Chakra symbolises the sky and the ocean. The blue colour of the ocean and sky can never change. It remains the same. Its extremely clean. Just like that, a person must also be clean and remain constant and not change so that India progresses. The Ashoka Chakra was engraved by the Empreror Ashoka The statute was engraved at the Sarnath Lion which is currently known as Varanasi, UP. The Chakra was engraved by Ashoka, below the Ashoka Pillar in which fours lions are standing. He engraved it after getting inspired by the teachings of Buddhism. The laws of the wheel and the teachings changed his life and so he engraved it. The same Chakra was then included in our flag to represent progress. I just explained the meaning of the colours in our flag. Indians are very proud of the Indian Flag and it is very important to all of us. There are laws created for our flag as well. It is the National Flag Code. The flag can never be disrespected. There are strict laws for this. For example, the flag must be of a certain dimension. You can not make a mistake. The flag can not be made from any cloth material. It must be made from hand-spun khadi. If anybody ignores this, and uses any cloth they can be imprisoned for three years. It is important how you hoist and lower flag and also how you handle the flag after that. All these rules are mentioned in depth in the law. I will explain this to you later. Everyone is very proud of the Indian flag. Today is 15th August 2019 and in a very long time for the first time, two festivals are on the same day. These are Raksha Bandhan and Independence Day. How fortunate! what is the meaning of Raksha Bandhan? A girl ties a rakhi to the boy. They are both brothers and sisters. After tying the rakhi, the brother promises to care for her protect her. Both of them become responsible to care for each other. You must all fight for gender equality, so that none of your sisters suffer. When the British captured India, they divided us. We became weak as there was no unity among people. That’s right. Now India is independent and the British have gone. Now since we are independent, remember, today as Independence Day and Raksha Bandhan are on the same day, we must stay united forever. Happy Raksha Bandhan! Happy Independence Day!