New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the new ensign of the Indian Navy at the commissioning ceremony of the aircraft carrier ‘INS Vikrant’ on Friday.
The Prime Minister commissioned the first indigenously designed and built aircraft carrier ‘INS Vikrant’ at Cochin Shipyard Limited in Kochi. Addressing the ceremony, PM Modi said that with the new Indian Navy Ensign (Nishaan), “India has shed its colonial past”.
“Till today Indian Naval flags carried a sign of slavery which has been replaced with a new one inspired by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj,” he added, as quoted by news agency PTI.
#Historical…Hon’ble PM @narendramodi unveils the new #naval ensign making 02 Sep 2022 as a momentous day in the history of #IndianNavy#HarKaamDeshKeNaam@DefenceMinIndia@Indiannavy pic.twitter.com/eu3BpmWQfX
— IN (@IndiannavyMedia) September 2, 2022
The commissioning ceremony was attended by a host of dignitaries including Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Shipping Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Kerala Governor Arif Mohamad Khan, state Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Ernakulam MP Hibi Eden, Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar, and top officials of Navy and Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL).
The new Naval insignia incorporates the royal seal of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj replacing the Saint George’s cross that featured on the Navy flag ever since the British put it there during the pre-independence era.
#WATCH | Kochi, Kerala | Hoisting of the new Naval Ensign ‘Nishaan’, on #INSVikrant in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. pic.twitter.com/DaFdg52iMU
— ANI (@ANI) September 2, 2022
“It was removed from the flag during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government between 2001 to 2004 but soon after Sonia Gandhi-led UPA came back to power, they brought it back citing certain issues raised by the then Navy officials,” news agency ANI reported officials as informing.
It was reported that the Indian government chose the new ensign from around 10 different designs that were given to them by the naval headquarters.
The suggestions ranged from depicting 11 waves on the flag representing 11 different coastal states to showcasing the different commands of the force. There was also a suggestion about including a sign from the times of the ancient navies of India which included the Cholas and later the Marathas, ANI reported.
After the Prime Minister’s approval, the President gives her final consent as the supreme commander of the armed forces.
Besides the ensign, PM Modi unveiled a plaque to mark the induction of INS Vikrant, named after its predecessor that played a crucial role in the 1971 Indo-Pak war, into the Navy.
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(With Agency Inputs)