As regards “Quest for a National flag for India” my endeavour is to present through brief write-ups, and pictorial illustrations, and relevant philatelic materials of the different phases of our freedom struggles manifested through hoisting of flags. You will also find the texts and visuals appearing here are arranged chronologically, as far as possible, however, for the sake of thematic contents, a little variation could not be avoided. The task is uphill, because I believe; history must be impartial, true and factual. I, therefore, also request my readers to correct and clarify factual errors in the write-ups ( if any) appeared in the “Flags and Stamps”. Kindly bring errors or omissions to my attention, by e-mail for taking immediate corrective action. While on the subject, I would also cordially invite my readers to send hitherto unknown (or may be known only to a few historians) anecdotes, flag events, etc, for publication in this blog
Hindustan Ghadar Party was established by the Punjabi Sikhs of the United States and Canada in June 1913. Lala Hardayal was the founding member of the party. The main aim of the party was to free India from the British Rule. The word `Ghadar` literary means “rebellion" or "revolt". Ghadar party was originally built around the weekly paper The Ghadar. The paper carried the caption on the masthead: Angrezi Raj Ka Dushman (an enemy of the British rule).
Kuli Kuli Pukarda Jag Saanun
Saada Jhulda Kitey Nishan Kiyon Nahin
Kikoon Bachangey Sada Ghulam Rahkey
Saanun Rajniti Wala Giyan Kiyon Nahin
Dhayi Totru Kha Gaye Khet Sada
Hindustan da Koi Kisan Kiyon Nahin
(We are called coolies in countries abroad. We do not have a flag of our own. Will we always live the life of slaves? Why do we not know the science of politics? A handful people have taken control of our land. Why is not there a caretaker of Hindustan?)
The Berlin Committee flag was a simple tricolor ‘Green over Yellow over Red’ without any other charge or symbol. It was (reportedly) not freely used in Germany, but was widely used by the Indian volunteer force in Mesopotamia (Iraq). The Berlin Committee formed in 1914 during World War I by the Indian students and political activists residing in Germany, later known as the Indian Independence Committee after 1915. Prominent members of the committee includes Virendranath Chattopadhyaya, Champakaraman Pillai and Abinash Bhattacharya. Many of their members later joined the Indian Communist Party.
The Swaraj flag was not a unanimous choice as 'National flag for whole of India'
The Swaraj flag (white over green over red), which had the blessings of Mahatma Gandhi and was initially flown by the Indian crowd rejoice fully, irrespective of their political affiliations (perhaps, political awareness was not crystallized yet to understand the importance of a national flag). Conflicts around the Swaraj flag began to surface from 1920s, objections were raised for its communal interpretations of the colours. In north India Sikhs wanted inclusion of a Sikh colour in the flag. Many considered the Swaraj flag as the flag of the Congress party and not a unanimous choice of a National flag for whole of India.
‘White, Green and Red’ these three colours already figure in the flags of at least four different countries – Italy, Mexico, Persia (Iran) and Bulgaria. The dispositions of the colours of Swaraj flag was in identical arrangement with the flag of Bulgaria. This was felt confusing and undesirable by many. (To be continued)