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Ensign Inspired by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, PM Modi unveils New 'Nishaan' for Indian Navy at INS Vikrant commissioning

Source : News18

Ensign Inspired by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, PM Modi unveils New 'Nishaan' for Indian Navy at INS Vikrant commissioning
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi (Left) and New Indian Navy Ensign (Right)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday unveiled the new naval ensign or the ‘Nishaan’ that is inspired by the great Maratha Emperor, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. The unveiling came alongside the commissioning of aircraft carrier Vikrant. For years, a red cross on a white background, with the national flag in the corner and the Ashok Stambha in the centre had been the flag of the Indian Navy.

While the new design was kept under wraps till Thursday, the Prime Minister’s Office said “this will a burial of our colonial past”. In a statement, the PMO said, “During the event, the Prime Minister will also unveil the new Naval Ensign (Nishaan), doing away with the colonial past and befitting the rich Indian maritime heritage.”

It was speculated in the defence corridors that the new ensign will do away with the St George’s Cross — the Red Cross on the white background. The Cross symbolised British Missionary Warrior St George’s conquests.

Christian Warrior St George is believed to have been a crusader during the Third Crusade. It was adopted by the British Royal Navy and stayed on in the Indian Navy Ensign after Independence as the Indian defence forces continued with the British colonial flags and badges till an Indianised version was adopted on January 26, 1950.

The Navy flag saw the Union Jack of Britain get replaced by the Indian Tricolour in the canton (top left corner) but Saint George’s Cross was retained. In 2001, the Cross was replaced by the Navy crest. But it made a comeback in 2004. In 2014, the naval ensign changed again with the National Emblem – the Ashok Stambh and Satyameva Jayate — incorporated at the centre of the flag.

“The Red Cross has nothing to with India’s history. So demands have been made for a change,” an official told News18.

Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Pakistan, South Africa, Bangladesh are Commonwealth nations, which have already changed their ensign.

PM’s unveiling of the new ‘Nishaan’ for the Indian Navy is the culmination of the long-pending demand to make the Naval ensign more Indian and not the upholder of its colonial past.

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