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Star of India (flag)

This article is about the flag known as the "Star of India". For other items of the same name, see Star of India (disambiguation).

The Star of India refers to a group of flags used during the period of the British Raj in the Indian subcontinent. India had a range of flags for different purposes during its existence. The Princely states had their own flags which were to be flown alongside the British flag as a symbol of suzerainty. The official state flag for use on land was the Union Flag of the United Kingdom and it was this flag that was lowered on Independence Day in 1947. The flag of the governor-general of India was defaced with the Star of India. The civil ensign and naval ensign were the Red Ensign or Blue Ensign, respectively, defaced with the Star of India emblem.

Indian Empire
NameFlag of the Viceroy and Governor-General of India
Proportion1:2
Adopted1885–1947
DesignUnion Jack with the Order of the Star of India in the center, surmounted by the Tudor Crown.
Variant flag of Indian Empire
UseCivil ensign
Proportion1:2
Adopted1880–1947
DesignRed Ensign with the Union Jack occupying one quarter of the field placed in the canton and defaced with the Order of the Star of India.
Variant flag of Indian Empire
UseNaval ensign
Proportion1:2
Adopted1879–1947
DesignBlue Ensign with the Union Jack occupying one quarter of the field placed in the canton and defaced with the Order of the Star of India.

Contents

Ideas for a flag for areas under British India were initially imperial ones, rather than nationalist ones. After the Indian Rebellion of 1857 and the later establishment of the British Raj, a representative symbol of the new government was pending. Various designs were proposed for the first Star of India flag in 1863, keeping similar flag designs adopted in other British colonies such as Canada and Australia, combining symbols of Imperial authority such as the Union Jack, the royal crown, with symbols specific to the colony in question.

Company flag

  • Flag of the East India Company from 1600 to 1707.

  • Flag of the East India Company from 1707 to 1801.

  • Flag of the East India Company from 1801 to 1858.

Upon receiving Royal Assent to trade in the Indian Ocean by Queen Elizabeth I in 1600, the English East India Company adopted a flag of thirteen red and white stripes with the flag of England in canton. The flag in the canton eventually changed to the flag of Great Britain in 1707 and later to the Union Jack in 1801. These flags were also used during the Company rule in India.

After the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the British government passed the Government of India Act 1858, nationalising the East India Company and taking over all of their possessions within India, where they would be considered legally a part of the British Raj. The striped banner of the Company was thus replaced by the Union Jack.

Blue Ensign

After Queen Victoria became Empress of India through the proclamation of 1876, a naval ensign with the symbol of the Order of the Star of India was warranted by the Admiralty to the Indian Marine in 1877. It was used on vessels of Her Majesty's Indian Marine (Later called the Royal Indian Navy) and for other military and naval purposes.

Its usage was altered from 1928, when the Royal Indian Navy switched to White Ensign as naval ensign, and the Blue Ensign became the naval jack.

Red Ensign

While the Blue Ensign was used for military and naval purposes, the Red Ensign was used as the civil ensign and sometimes represented India in international events, notably in the Declaration by United Nations during World War II. The ensign used on merchant ships registered in British Indian ports was the undefaced red ensign.

Flag of the Viceroy and Governor-General

From around 1885, the viceroy of India was allowed to fly a Union Flag augmented in the centre with the 'Star of India' surmounted by a Crown. It was often used to represent India, acting as an "unofficial national flag", in international events etc. This flag was not the Viceroy's personal flag; it was also used by governors, lieutenant governors, chief commissioners and other British officers in India. When at sea, only the viceroy flew the flag from the mainmast, while other officials flew it from the foremast.

As Independent Dominions

The Star of India series of flags were discontinued from 1947, when the newly independent Dominions of India and Pakistan were established by the Indian Independence Act 1947. The newly formed offices of the governor-generals of India and Pakistan used a dark blue flag bearing the royal crest (a lion standing on the Tudor Crown), beneath which were the words 'INDIA' and 'PAKISTAN' in gold majuscules respectively.

These flags were ultimately discontinued when India and Pakistan when they abolished their Dominion status after becoming constitutional republics in 1950 and 1956 respectively.

Flag of British Indian Army

  • Ensign of the British Indian Army

  • Flag of the British Indian Army

The British Indian Army used red field emblazoned with Star of India crossed by two swords and beneath the Tudor Crown as ensign and a blue ensign with the Union Flag defaced at the canton, and the Star of India crossed by two swords displayed in the fly as war flag.

Flag of Royal Indian Air Force

  • Royal Indian Air Force ensign

  • Royal Indian Air Force roundel

The Royal Indian Air Force used the roundel that of Royal Air Force augmented in centre of a star. The roundel is not superimposed on the 'Star of India' as used on the Union Jack and Blue Ensign but some other star. The ensign had a field of air force blue with the United Kingdom's flag in the canton and the Royal Indian Air Force's roundel in the fly.

Proposed flags

  • Mountbatten's proposed flag for India

  • Mountbatten's proposed flag for Pakistan

Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India in 1947 proposed two separate flags for India and Pakistan to be used after Partition of India. The flag for India consisted of the flag of the Indian National Congress defaced with a Union Jack in the canton. It was rejected by Nehru, as he felt that the more extremist members of Congress would see the inclusion of the Union Jack on an Indian flag as pandering to the British. The flag for Pakistan consisted of the flag of the Muslim League defaced with a Union Jack in the canton. It was rejected by Jinnah, as he felt that a flag featuring a Christian Cross alongside the Islamic Crescent would be unacceptable to the Muslims of Pakistan.

Other flags

Flag of Home Rule

Home Rule flag variants

Indian Home Rule movement used a five red and four green horizontal stripes flag. On the upper left quadrant was the Union Flag, which signified the Dominion status that the movement sought to achieve. A crescent and a seven-pointed star, both in white, are set in top fly. Seven white stars are arranged as in the Saptarishi constellation (the constellation Ursa Major), which is sacred to Hindus.

Coronation Standard

  • Coronation Standard of British Raj

  • Anon Cigarette Silk (1915)

Coronation Standard of British Raj had a Saint George's Cross augmented in the centre with the 'Star of India' surmounted by a Crown.

Flag of Bengal Presidency

  • Flag of Bengal Presidency

  • Badge of Bengal Presidency

The flag of Bengal Presidency had a blue field emblazoned with badge of Bengal. The badge had a passant tiger with a sailing ship below it.

Flag of Commissioners of the Port of Calcutta

  • Flag

  • Emblem

Flag of the Conservator of the Port of Bombay

  • Flag

  • Emblem

Flag of Indian Local Maritime Government

  • Ensign

  • Emblem

Flag of the Trustees of the Port of Bombay

  • Flag of the Trustees of the Port of Bombay

Flag of State's Merchant

  • Badge of the Viceroy of India (1876-1904) depicted with St. Edward's Crown

  • Badge of the Viceroy of India (1904-1947) depicted with Tudor Crown

  • Badge of the British Indian Army (1895-1947)

The Star of India was the symbol of the Order of the Star of India, a chivalric order of knighthood. It was a sunburst with twenty-six large rays alternating with twenty-six small rays. In the centre of the sunburst was a light blue ribbon bearing the motto of the Order, Heaven's Light Our Guide. Within the ribbon was a five-pointed star, decorated with diamonds. The motto chosen was neutral so as to appeal to people of different faiths due to the religious diversity of India, with Heaven also referring to the stars, and their light that sailors used to circumnavigate to India. Unlike most British symbols, the Star did not have Christian connotations, as they were deemed unacceptable to the Indian Princes.

Badge of the Monarch of India (1947–1950)

After Indian independence in 1947, King George VI became the Monarch of India and remained so till 1950. The Badge of the Monarch of India had the Ashoka Chakra surmounted by the Tudor Crown.

The flags were replaced by the Tiraṅgā (Indian Tricolour) after Independence on 15 August 1947 in the independent Dominion of India, and by the Parc̱am-e Sitārah o-Hilāl (Flag of the Star and Crescent) in the independent Dominion of Pakistan, which used the star as the basis of its .

The emblem was used as a basis for many emblems of British India and continues to be used in modern India. The emblem is still used as a basis for the logos of many organisations such as The Oriental Insurance Company, Board of Control for Cricket in India, Indian Olympic Association, Mumbai Police etc.

Flag Date Description
1733–1858 Flag of the Governors of the Presidency of Fort William (Bengal).
Flag of the East India Company.
1858–1947 Flag of the United Kingdom, the official flag of the British Empire.
1885–1947 Flag of the Viceroy and Governor-General of India.
Often used to represent India in international events etc.
1880–1947 Civil ensign of British India, which was also sometimes used to represent India internationally.
1879–1947 1879–1928 Naval ensign of the Indian Marine (later called the Royal Indian Marine)
1928–1947 Naval jack of the Royal Indian Marine (later called the Royal Indian Navy).
1884–1928 Naval jack of the Royal Indian Marine (later called the Royal Indian Navy).
1928–1950 Ensign of the Royal Indian Marine (later called the Royal Indian Navy).
Same as the White Ensign of the Royal Navy.
1942–1947 Ensign of the British Indian Army.
1945-1947 Ensign of the Royal Indian Air Force.
  1. In 1916, Suraiya Tayyabji submitted thirty new designs, in the form of a booklet funded by members of the High Court of Madras. These many proposals and recommendations did little more than keep the flag movement alive. The same year, Annie Besant and Bal Gangadhar Tilak adopted a new flag as part of the Home Rule Movement. The flag included the Union Jack in the upper left corner, a star and crescent in the upper right, and seven stars displayed diagonally from the lower right, on a background of five red and four green alternating bands. The flag resulted in the first governmental initiative against any nationalistic flag, as a magistrate in Coimbatore banned its use. The ban was followed by a public debate on the function and importance of a national flag.
  1. "The Book of Flags". Oxford University Press. Gordon Campbell & Idrisyn Oliver Evans. 1965.
  2. "8th/13th Victorian Mounted Rifles Regimental Collection". Victorian Collections. Museums Victoria, Victorian State Government. 14 Dec 2017.
  3. "FLAGS OF THE BRITISH RAJ & THE INDIAN PRINCELY STATES". War Flags Glossary. Thomas M. Gregg. 7 February 1999.
  4. Roy, Srirupa (2002). "A symbol of freedom: The Indian flag and the transformations of nationalism"(PDF). The Journal of Asian Studies. Retrieved4 July 2019.Cite journal requires |journal= ()
  5. "Republic Day Celebration 2021 - Republic Of India - Know India: National Portal of India". knowindia.gov.in. Retrieved2021-04-04.
  6. "Pakistan - Political decline and bureaucratic ascendancy". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved2021-04-04.
  7. Virmani, Arundhati (August 1999). "National Symbols under Colonial Domination: The Nationalization of the Indian Flag, March–August 1923". Past & Present. 164 (164): 176–177. doi:10.1093/past/164.1.169. JSTOR 651278.

Star of India (flag)
Star of India flag Language Watch Edit This article is about the flag known as the Star of India For other items of the same name see Star of India disambiguation The Star of India refers to a group of flags used during the period of the British Raj in the Indian subcontinent 1 2 3 India had a range of flags for different purposes during its existence The Princely states had their own flags which were to be flown alongside the British flag as a symbol of suzerainty The official state flag for use on land was the Union Flag of the United Kingdom and it was this flag that was lowered on Independence Day in 1947 The flag of the governor general of India was defaced with the Star of India The civil ensign and naval ensign were the Red Ensign or Blue Ensign respectively defaced with the Star of India emblem Indian EmpireNameFlag of the Viceroy and Governor General of IndiaProportion1 2Adopted1885 1947DesignUnion Jack with the Order of the Star of India in the center surmounted by the Tudor Crown Variant flag of Indian EmpireUseCivil ensignProportion1 2Adopted1880 1947DesignRed Ensign with the Union Jack occupying one quarter of the field placed in the canton and defaced with the Order of the Star of India Variant flag of Indian EmpireUseNaval ensignProportion1 2Adopted1879 1947DesignBlue Ensign with the Union Jack occupying one quarter of the field placed in the canton and defaced with the Order of the Star of India Contents 1 History 1 1 Company flag 2 Flags 2 1 Blue Ensign 2 2 Red Ensign 2 3 Flag of the Viceroy and Governor General 2 3 1 As Independent Dominions 2 4 Flag of British Indian Army 2 5 Flag of Royal Indian Air Force 2 6 Proposed flags 2 7 Other flags 2 7 1 Flag of Home Rule 2 7 2 Coronation Standard 2 7 3 Flag of Bengal Presidency 2 7 4 Flag of Commissioners of the Port of Calcutta 2 7 5 Flag of the Conservator of the Port of Bombay 2 7 6 Flag of Indian Local Maritime Government 2 7 7 Flag of the Trustees of the Port of Bombay 2 7 8 Flag of State s Merchant 3 Emblem 3 1 Badge of the Monarch of India 1947 1950 4 Legacy 5 List of flags used in British India 6 Notes 7 ReferencesHistory EditIdeas for a flag for areas under British India were initially imperial ones rather than nationalist ones After the Indian Rebellion of 1857 and the later establishment of the British Raj a representative symbol of the new government was pending Various designs were proposed for the first Star of India flag in 1863 keeping similar flag designs adopted in other British colonies such as Canada and Australia combining symbols of Imperial authority such as the Union Jack the royal crown with symbols specific to the colony in question 4 Company flag Edit Main article Flag of the East India Company Flag of the East India Company from 1600 to 1707 Flag of the East India Company from 1707 to 1801 Flag of the East India Company from 1801 to 1858 Upon receiving Royal Assent to trade in the Indian Ocean by Queen Elizabeth I in 1600 the English East India Company adopted a flag of thirteen red and white stripes with the flag of England in canton The flag in the canton eventually changed to the flag of Great Britain in 1707 and later to the Union Jack in 1801 These flags were also used during the Company rule in India After the Indian Rebellion of 1857 the British government passed the Government of India Act 1858 nationalising the East India Company and taking over all of their possessions within India where they would be considered legally a part of the British Raj The striped banner of the Company was thus replaced by the Union Jack Flags EditBlue Ensign Edit Ensign of the Royal Indian Marine later called the Royal Indian Navy Photograph of the Blue Ensign used as the naval jack of the Royal Indian Navy After Queen Victoria became Empress of India through the proclamation of 1876 a naval ensign with the symbol of the Order of the Star of India was warranted by the Admiralty to the Indian Marine in 1877 It was used on vessels of Her Majesty s Indian Marine Later called the Royal Indian Navy and for other military and naval purposes Its usage was altered from 1928 when the Royal Indian Navy switched to White Ensign as naval ensign and the Blue Ensign became the naval jack Red Ensign Edit Civil ensign of British India which was also sometimes used to represent India internationally A Somerset Light Infantry Regiment member hoists the Civil Ensign The Red Ensign used to represent India as a member of the Allies in World War II showing the original United Nations in 1942 While the Blue Ensign was used for military and naval purposes the Red Ensign was used as the civil ensign and sometimes represented India in international events notably in the Declaration by United Nations during World War II The ensign used on merchant ships registered in British Indian ports was the undefaced red ensign 3 Flag of the Viceroy and Governor General Edit Flag of the Viceroy and Governor General of India Indian hockey players arrive in the Netherlands for the 1928 Summer Olympics Flag of the Viceroy of India being used to represent India at the 1936 Summer Olympics From around 1885 the viceroy of India was allowed to fly a Union Flag augmented in the centre with the Star of India surmounted by a Crown It was often used to represent India acting as an unofficial national flag in international events etc This flag was not the Viceroy s personal flag it was also used by governors lieutenant governors chief commissioners and other British officers in India When at sea only the viceroy flew the flag from the mainmast while other officials flew it from the foremast As Independent Dominions Edit Flag of the Governor General of the Dominion of India 1947 1950 Flag of the Governor General of the Dominion of Pakistan 1947 1953 depicted with Tudor Crown Flag of the Governor General of the Dominion of Pakistan 1953 1956 depicted with St Edward s Crown The Star of India series of flags were discontinued from 1947 when the newly independent Dominions of India and Pakistan were established by the Indian Independence Act 1947 The newly formed offices of the governor generals of India and Pakistan used a dark blue flag bearing the royal crest a lion standing on the Tudor Crown beneath which were the words INDIA and PAKISTAN in gold majuscules respectively These flags were ultimately discontinued when India and Pakistan when they abolished their Dominion status after becoming constitutional republics in 1950 and 1956 respectively 5 6 Flag of British Indian Army Edit Ensign of the British Indian Army Flag of the British Indian Army The British Indian Army used red field emblazoned with Star of India crossed by two swords and beneath the Tudor Crown as ensign and a blue ensign with the Union Flag defaced at the canton and the Star of India crossed by two swords displayed in the fly as war flag Flag of Royal Indian Air Force Edit Royal Indian Air Force ensign Royal Indian Air Force roundel The Royal Indian Air Force used the roundel that of Royal Air Force augmented in centre of a star The roundel is not superimposed on the Star of India as used on the Union Jack and Blue Ensign but some other star The ensign had a field of air force blue with the United Kingdom s flag in the canton and the Royal Indian Air Force s roundel in the fly Proposed flags Edit Mountbatten s proposed flag for India Mountbatten s proposed flag for Pakistan Lord Mountbatten the last Viceroy of India in 1947 proposed two separate flags for India and Pakistan to be used after Partition of India The flag for India consisted of the flag of the Indian National Congress defaced with a Union Jack in the canton It was rejected by Nehru as he felt that the more extremist members of Congress would see the inclusion of the Union Jack on an Indian flag as pandering to the British The flag for Pakistan consisted of the flag of the Muslim League defaced with a Union Jack in the canton It was rejected by Jinnah as he felt that a flag featuring a Christian Cross alongside the Islamic Crescent would be unacceptable to the Muslims of Pakistan Other flags Edit Flag of Home Rule Edit Home Rule flag variants Indian Home Rule movement used a five red and four green horizontal stripes flag On the upper left quadrant was the Union Flag which signified the Dominion status that the movement sought to achieve A crescent and a seven pointed star both in white are set in top fly Seven white stars are arranged as in the Saptarishi constellation the constellation Ursa Major which is sacred to Hindus Note 1 Coronation Standard Edit Coronation Standard of British Raj Anon Cigarette Silk 1915 Coronation Standard of British Raj had a Saint George s Cross augmented in the centre with the Star of India surmounted by a Crown Flag of Bengal Presidency Edit Flag of Bengal Presidency Badge of Bengal Presidency The flag of Bengal Presidency had a blue field emblazoned with badge of Bengal The badge had a passant tiger with a sailing ship below it Flag of Commissioners of the Port of Calcutta Edit Flag Emblem Flag of the Conservator of the Port of Bombay Edit Flag Emblem Flag of Indian Local Maritime Government Edit Ensign Emblem Flag of the Trustees of the Port of Bombay Edit Flag of the Trustees of the Port of Bombay Flag of State s Merchant Edit Flag of Travancore State Merchant Flag of Porbandar State Merchant Flag of Nawanagar State Merchant Flag of Sachin State Merchant Flag of Janjira State Merchant Flag of Jafarabad State Merchant Flag of Junagadh State Merchant Flag of Cutch State Merchant Flag of Cochin State Merchant Flag of Cambay State Merchant Flag of Bhavnagar State Merchant Flag of Baroda State MerchantEmblem EditSee also Order of the Star of India Star of India ArmigerEmperor Empress of India Viceroy of IndiaAdopted1861Motto Heaven s Light Our Guide Order s Order of the Star of IndiaUseEmblem of the Indian Empire alongside the Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom Badge of the Viceroy of India 1876 1904 depicted with St Edward s Crown Badge of the Viceroy of India 1904 1947 depicted with Tudor Crown Badge of the British Indian Army 1895 1947 The Star of India was the symbol of the Order of the Star of India a chivalric order of knighthood It was a sunburst with twenty six large rays alternating with twenty six small rays In the centre of the sunburst was a light blue ribbon bearing the motto of the Order Heaven s Light Our Guide Within the ribbon was a five pointed star decorated with diamonds The motto chosen was neutral so as to appeal to people of different faiths due to the religious diversity of India with Heaven also referring to the stars and their light that sailors used to circumnavigate to India Unlike most British symbols the Star did not have Christian connotations as they were deemed unacceptable to the Indian Princes Badge of the Monarch of India 1947 1950 Edit The Badge of the Monarch of India 1947 1950 Badge on the Indian Independence Medal 1948 After Indian independence in 1947 King George VI became the Monarch of India and remained so till 1950 The Badge of the Monarch of India had the Ashoka Chakra surmounted by the Tudor Crown Legacy EditThe flags were replaced by the Tiraṅga Indian Tricolour after Independence on 15 August 1947 in the independent Dominion of India and by the Parc am e Sitarah o Hilal Flag of the Star and Crescent in the independent Dominion of Pakistan which used the star as the basis of its Coat of Arms The emblem was used as a basis for many emblems of British India and continues to be used in modern India The emblem is still used as a basis for the logos of many organisations such as The Oriental Insurance Company Board of Control for Cricket in India Indian Olympic Association Mumbai Police etc Insignia of Khatau Mills Bombay List of flags used in British India EditFlag Date Description 1733 1858 Flag of the Governors of the Presidency of Fort William Bengal Flag of the East India Company 1858 1947 Flag of the United Kingdom the official flag of the British Empire 1885 1947 Flag of the Viceroy and Governor General of India Often used to represent India in international events etc 1880 1947 Civil ensign of British India which was also sometimes used to represent India internationally 1879 1947 1879 1928 Naval ensign of the Indian Marine later called the Royal Indian Marine 1928 1947 Naval jack of the Royal Indian Marine later called the Royal Indian Navy 1884 1928 Naval jack of the Royal Indian Marine later called the Royal Indian Navy 1928 1950 Ensign of the Royal Indian Marine later called the Royal Indian Navy Same as the White Ensign of the Royal Navy 1942 1947 Ensign of the British Indian Army 1945 1947 Ensign of the Royal Indian Air Force Notes Edit In 1916 Suraiya Tayyabji submitted thirty new designs in the form of a booklet funded by members of the High Court of Madras These many proposals and recommendations did little more than keep the flag movement alive The same year Annie Besant and Bal Gangadhar Tilak adopted a new flag as part of the Home Rule Movement The flag included the Union Jack in the upper left corner a star and crescent in the upper right and seven stars displayed diagonally from the lower right on a background of five red and four green alternating bands The flag resulted in the first governmental initiative against any nationalistic flag as a magistrate in Coimbatore banned its use The ban was followed by a public debate on the function and importance of a national flag 7 References Edit The Book of Flags Oxford University Press Gordon Campbell amp Idrisyn Oliver Evans 1965 8th 13th Victorian Mounted Rifles Regimental Collection Victorian Collections Museums Victoria Victorian State Government 14 Dec 2017 a b FLAGS OF THE BRITISH RAJ amp THE INDIAN PRINCELY STATES War Flags Glossary Thomas M Gregg 7 February 1999 Roy Srirupa 2002 A symbol of freedom The Indian flag and the transformations of nationalism PDF The Journal of Asian Studies Retrieved 4 July 2019 Cite journal requires journal help Republic Day Celebration 2021 Republic Of India Know India National Portal of India knowindia gov in Retrieved 2021 04 04 Pakistan Political decline and bureaucratic ascendancy Encyclopedia Britannica Retrieved 2021 04 04 Virmani Arundhati August 1999 National Symbols under Colonial Domination The Nationalization of the Indian Flag March August 1923 Past amp Present 164 164 176 177 doi 10 1093 past 164 1 169 JSTOR 651278 Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Star of India flag amp oldid 1044485649, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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