Indian Navy’s new ensign draws inspiration from royal seal of Chhatrapati Shivaji, drops St. George’s Cross

PM Modi on Friday unveiled the new naval ensign 'Nishaan' at Cochin Shipyard Limited in Kochi as part of the ceremony to commission the India's first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant

FP Staff September 02, 2022 11:36:19 IST
Indian Navy’s new ensign draws inspiration from royal seal of Chhatrapati Shivaji, drops St. George’s Cross

Indian Navy on Friday adopted its new Naval Ensign. ANI

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday unveiled the new naval ensign ‘Nishaan’ at Cochin Shipyard Limited in Kochi as part of the ceremony to commission India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, doing away with the colonial past and befitting the rich Indian maritime heritage.

Naval ensigns are flags that naval ships or formations bear to denote nationality. The previous Indian Naval Ensign consisted of a St. George’s Cross – a red cross with white background.

However, the Indian Navy’s new naval ensign has the national flag on the upper canton and a blue octagonal shape encompassing the national emblem sitting atop an anchor depicting steadfastness is superimposed on a shield with the Navy’s motto ‘Sam No Varunah’ in Devnagri.

Also read: How India’s new naval ensign is an attempt to ‘shed its colonial past’

The octagonal represents the eight directions symbolising the Indian Navy’s multi-directional reach and multi-directional operational capability.

The octagonal shape with twin golden borders draws inspiration from the seal of the great Indian emperor Chhatrapati Shivaji Mahraj whose visionary maritime outlook established a credible naval fleet consisting of 60 fighting ships and approximately 5000 men.

The rising Maratha naval power during Shivaji Maharaj’s period was the first to secure the coastline against external aggression.

From a small habour police outfit at the beginning of the 17th Century to one of the world’s finest naval forces in the 21st century, the Indian Navy has come a long way. It’s a proud custodian of a rich maritime legacy and for years the rank and file of the Navy has dreamt of a change in its ensign that would honour its civilizational heritage.

Over the years, India’s Naval ensign has undergone several changes and transformed on many occasions shedding the last remnants of the colonial power.

As India marks the 75th years of its independence, the new naval ensign is a step towards liberating the mind and further empowering the indomitable spirit of the sentinels of our seas the Indian Navy.

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