REPUBLIC OF INDIA
 


 

NAVAL ENSIGNS, FLAGS & PENNANTS  •  1950-2001 & SINCE 2004
 

Images Added November 2005

Naval Ensign Since 2004  • Senior Officers' Pennants
 

Notes
 

When India achieved independence from Britain in 1947 the country became a Dominion and though a new national flag was adopted, the Royal Indian Navy continued to fly the RN White Ensign. The national flag—a horizontal tricolor of saffron (orange), white and green with the Dharma Chakra (the "wheel of law" from the state symbol) on the white stripe—served as the naval jack. The commission pennant and naval rank flags were identical to those of the RN.

In 1950, however, India declared itself a republic and a new naval ensign became necessary. The design adopted was similar to the White Ensign, but with the national flag of India replacing the Union Jack. At first, this ensign was made in 1:2 proportions, but by the 1980's these were altered to 2:3. The national flag continued in use as the naval jack. The Indian Navy was also granted a Presidential Color for use on ceremonial occasions; this was based on the naval ensign with the state emblem, the Sarnath Lion Capital, on the cross and the elephant (symbolizing strength and courage) from the Presidential Standard in the lower fly, both in golden yellow. A naval reserve ensign was also adopted.

The new commission pennant and rank flags introduced after 1950 were still of the RN pattern, but with the Dharma Chakra at the intersection of the cross. The Senior Officer pennant was, however, identical to that of the RN. The national flag is the rank flag of an Admiral of the Fleet (equivalent to the US Navy five-star rank of Fleet Admiral). In practice this rank is purely honorary and to date it has never actually been conferred.

Adoption/Abolition Dates: These ensigns and flags were adopted from 1950 onwards. The naval ensign, commission pennant and rank flags were officially abolished on August 15, 2001, when new designs were introduced. All except the Senior Officer pennant were readopted in 2004, the ensign being restored to 1:2 proportions and modified by the addition of the Sarnath Lion Capital at the intersection of the cross. The RN-pattern Senior Officer pennant was replaced by a new design to match the other rank flags.

Flag Proportions: Initially, the naval ensigns and flags of India had the same proportions as their British counterparts: 1:2 for ensigns and 2:3 for rank flags. Proportions of ensigns were later altered to 2:3, but since 2004 the naval  ensign has had 1:2 proportions. The Presidential Color is made in 4:5 proportions.
 



 

NATIONAL FLAG & NAVAL JACK

 

NAVAL ENSIGNS & COLOR

 

NAVAL ENSIGN 1950-2001  •  1:2 PROPORTIONS

 

NAVAL ENSIGN 1950-2001  •  2:3 PROPORTIONS

 

NAVAL ENSIGN SINCE 2004

 

    PRESIDENTIAL COLOR OF THE NAVY

 

NAVAL RESERVE ENSIGN

 

COMMISSION PENNANT

 

RANK FLAGS & COMMAND PENNANTS

 

ADMIRAL

 

VICE-ADMIRAL

 

REAR-ADMIRAL

 

COMMODORE

 

SENIOR OFFICER  •  1950-2001
 

 

SENIOR OFFICER SINCE 2004
 



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