Indian Navy Ensign:
The Prime Minister will unveil the new Ensign (flag) of the Indian Navy in Kochi to mark the launch of India’s first aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant.
- An Ensign is a national flag which is displayed on ships and aircraft, often with the special insignia of a branch or unit of the armed forces.
- The present ensign carries the Saint George’s Cross with the Tricolour in the canton (top left corner of flag).
- There had been a long pending demand for a change in the naval ensign.
- The original suggestion for change came from Vice Admiral VEC Barboza who retired from the Navy as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Naval Command.
- The present ensign is essentially a successor to the pre-Independence ensign of the Indian Navy which had the red George’s Cross on a white background with the Union Jack of the United Kingdom on the top left corner.
- After Independence, on August 15, 1947, the Indian defence forces continued with the British colonial flags and badges and it was only on Jan 26, 1950 that a changeover to Indianised pattern was made.
- The Navy crest and flag were changed but the only difference made to the flag was that the Union Jack was replaced with the Tricolour, and George’s Cross was retained.