National Symbols

The Republic of India has several official national symbols. These symbols are intrinsic to the Indian identity and heritage.


National Flag


  • THE National Flag shall be a tricolour panel made up of three rectangular panel or sub-panel of equal widths.
    • the colour of the top panel shall be saffron (kesari);
    • the bottom panel shall be green;
    • the middle panel shall be white, bearing at its centre the design of Ashoka Chakra in navy blue colour with 24 equally spaced spokes.
    • The Ashoka Chakra shall preferably be screen printed or otherwise printed or stencilled or suitably embroidered and shall be completely visible on both sides of the Flag in the centre of the white panel.
  • The National Flag shall be rectangular in shape.
    • The ratio of the length to the height (width) of the Flag shall be 3:2.
  • The design of the National Flag was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India on July 22, 1947.

Constitutional & Statutory Provisions

Apart from non-statutory instructions issued by the government from time to time, display of the National Flag is governed by the provisions of the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950 (No. 12 of 1950) and the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971 (No. 69 of 1971).

  • The Flag Code of India, 2002 is an attempt to bring together all such laws, conventions, practices and instructions for the guidance of all concerned.
  • The Flag Code of India, 2002 effective from January 26, 2002 superseded the ‘Flag Code-India’ as it existed then.
  • As per the provisions of the Flag Code of India, 2002, there is no restriction on the display of the National Flag by members of general public, private organizations, educational institutions, etc., except to the extent provided in the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950 and the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971 and any other law enacted on the subject.


State Emblem

The State Emblem of India is an adaptation from the Sarnath Lion Capital of Asoka. In the original, the Lion Capital has four lions mounted back to back, on a circular abacus. The frieze of the abacus is adorned with sculptures in high relief of an elephant, a galloping horse, a bull and a lion separated by intervening Dharma Chakras. The abacus rests on a bell shaped lotus.


The profile of the Lion Capital showing three lions mounted on the abacus with a Dharma Chakra in the centre, a bull on the right and a galloping horse on the left, and outlines of Dharma Chakras on the extreme right and left was adopted as the State Emblem of India on January 26, 1950.

The motto “Satyameva Jayate” – Truth alone triumphs – written in Devanagari script below the profile of the Lion Capital is part of the State Emblem of India.

In the State Emblem lies the official seal of the Government of India. Its use is regulated by the State Emblem of India (Prohibition of Improper Use) Act, 2005 and The State Emblem of India (Regulation of Use) Rules, 2007 [read with State Emblem of India (Regulation of Use) Amendment Rules, 2010].


National Anthem

The song Jana-gana-mana, composed originally in Bengali by Rabindra Nath Tagore, was adopted in its Hindi version by the Constituent Assembly as the National Anthem of India on January 24, 1950.

It was first sung on December 27, 1911 at the Calcutta Session of the Indian National Congress.

The complete song consists of five stanzas. The first stanza contains the full version of the National Anthem:

Jana-gana-mana-adhinayaka, jaya he
Dravida- Utkala-Banga
Tava shubha name jage,
Tava subha asisa mage,
Gahe tava jaya-gatha.
Jana-gana-mangala-dayaka jaya he
Jaya he, jaya he, jaya he,
Jaya jaya jaya, jaya he!


The playing time of the full version of the National Anthem is approximately 52 seconds.

A short version consisting of the first and last lines of the National Anthem (playing time approximately 20 seconds) is also played on certain occasions.

The following is Tagore’s English rendering of the anthem:

Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people,
Dispenser of India’s destiny.
Thy name rouses the hearts of Punjab,
Sind, Gujarat and Maratha,
Of the Dravida and Orissa and Bengal;
It echoes in the hills of the Vindhyas and Himalayas,
mingles in the music of Jamuna and Ganges and is
chanted by the waves of the Indian Sea.
They pray for thy blessings and sing thy praise.
The saving of all people waits in thy hand,
Thou dispenser of India’s destiny.
Victory, victory, victory to thee.


National Song

The song Vande Mataram, composed in Sanskrit by Bankimchandra Chatterji, was a source of inspiration to the people in their struggle for freedom. It has an equal status with Jana-gana-mana.

The first political occasion when it was sung was the 1896 session of the Indian National Congress. The following is the text of its first stanza :

Vande Mataram!
Sujalam, suphalam, malayaja shitalam,
Shasyashyamalam, Mataram!
Shubhrajyotsna pulakitayamini,
Phullakusumita drumadala shobhini,
Suhasinim sumadhura bhashinim,
Sukhadam varadam, Mataram!
Vande Mataram,
Vande Mataram!

The English translation of the stanza rendered by Sri Aurobindo in prose1 is :

I bow to thee, Mother,
richly-watered, richly-fruited,
cool with the winds of the south,
dark with the crops of the harvests,
The Mother!
Her nights rejoicing in the glory of the moonlight,
her lands clothed beautifully with her trees in
flowering bloom, sweet of laughter, sweet of speech,
The Mother, giver of boons, giver of bliss.


National Calendar

The National Calendar based on the Saka Era, with Chaitra as its first month and a normal year of 365 days was adopted from March 22, 1957 along with the Gregorian calendar for the following official purposes :

  • (i) Gazette of India,
  • (ii) news broadcast by All India Radio,
  • (iii) calendars issued by the Government of India and
  • (iv) Government communications addressed to the public.

Dates of the National Calendar have a permanent correspondence with dates of the Gregorian calendar, 1 Chaitra falling on March 22 normally and on March 21 in leap year.



Other National Symbols


National Flower – Indian lotus

Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) is a sacred flower and occupies a unique position in the art and mythology of ancient India and has been an auspicious symbol of Indian culture.



National Fruit – Mango

Mango (Mangifera indica) originated in India; 100+ varieties of the fruit are found in here.




National River – Ganga

Ganga is the longest river of India with the most heavily populated river basin in the world. The river is revered by Hindus as the most sacred river on earth.



National Tree – Indian Banyan

Indian banyan (Ficus bengalensis) root themselves to form new trees and grow over large areas. Because of this characteristic and its longevity, this tree is considered immortal and is an integral part of the myths and legends of India.


National Animal – Royal Bengal Tiger

Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris), the largest carnivore is found only in the Indian subcontinent and can be found in most regions of the country.



National Aquatic Animal – River Dolphin

Gangetic dolphin (Platanista gangetica) is said to represent the purity of the holy Ganga river as it can only survive in pure and fresh water.



National Bird – Indian Peacock

Indian peacock (Pavo cristatus) is designated as the national bird of India. A bird indigenous to the subcontinent, peacock represents the unity of vivid colors and finds references in Indian culture.






National Currency – Indian Rupee

The Indian rupee sign (sign: ; ISO code: INR) is the currency sign for the Indian rupee, the official currency of India. Designed by D. Udaya Kumar, it was presented to the public by the Government of India on 15 July 2010, following its selection through an “open” competition among Indian residents. The Indian rupee symbol is derived from the Devanagari consonant “?” (ra) and the Latin letter “R”. The issuance of the currency is controlled by the Reserve Bank of India.



India Year Book




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