PM Narendra Modi unveils new naval ensign in Kochi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the new Naval Ensign (flag) for the Indian Navy on Friday in Kochi on the sidelines of the commissioning of India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant at Cochin Shipyard Limited.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan and other dignitaries were present at the event.

Speaking at the event, Singh said, “Indian Navy is always ready as the first responder to national and international level of crises. With the commissioning of INS Vikrant, the capability of the Indian Navy will be further strengthened.”

The new naval ensign will be replacing the present ensign that carries the Saint George’s Cross with the Tricolour in the canton (top left corner of flag). This 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. The design of the new ensign has not yet been made public.

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 the George’s Cross was retained.

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