- The Indian flag was officially adopted on July 22, 1947, as the Indian subcontinent divided into India and Pakistan.
- The orange represents courage and sacrifice. The green symbolizes faith and chivalry. The white symbolizes peace and truth.
- The symbol in the middle is called a chakra, a Sanskrit word that translates as "wheel" or "turning". Chakra is a concept referring to wheel-like vortices that, according to traditional Indian medicine, are believed to exist in the human body. Chakras are said to be "force centers" or whorls of energy permeating from a point on the physical body. It is believed there are 7 chakras in the body (image).
- The Indian flag is similar to the flag of Niger (image), which has a small orange disk in the middle.
India: National Symbols
National Bird: Peacock
The peacock is a native of India, with striking plumage and impressive upper tail feathers marked with iridescent ocelli. Found wild in India (and also domesticated in villages), they live in jungle lands near water. They were once bred for food but now hunting peacocks is banned in India. The peahen (female) does not have the impressive fan-like tail feathers that the make does. Why do you think this is?
National Animal: Tiger
The Asian tiger is a large carnivorous (meat-eating) feline. The tiger does not have a mane and is a tawny yellow color with blackish stripes and a white belly. The tiger is well known for its power and its magnificence. There are very few tigers left in the world today. The government of India, under its Project Tiger program, started a massive effort to preserve the tiger population. Today, thanks to Project Tiger, India's population of tigers has considerably increased.
National Flower: The Lotus (Water Lily)
The lotus is an aquatic plant with broad floating leaves and bright fragrant flowers that grows only in shallow waters. Lotuses, prized for their serene beauty, are delightful to behold as their blossoms open on the surface of a pond. In India, the sacred lotus is legendary and much folklore and religious mythology is woven around it.
National Monument: Taj MahalThis most famous monument was constructed by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, the “Lady of the Taj.” It has been described as the most extravagant monument ever built for love. A total of 20,000 people worked on the building from 1631 to 1653.