National Symbols of India

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Significance of National Symbols

National symbols hold immense significance as they represent the identity, values, and aspirations of a nation and its people. The emblem, song, flag, animal, bird, and other symbols embody the collective spirit and heritage of a country, fostering a sense of unity and patriotism among its citizens. The national flag, with its colors and design, serves as a visual representation of the nation's history and ideals, evoking a strong sense of pride and belonging. The national anthem or song captures the essence of a nation's struggles, triumphs, and shared values, becoming a unifying force during national events and celebrations. National animals and birds often embody traits that resonate with the country's character or cultural significance, becoming symbols of strength, freedom, or cultural heritage. These symbols act as rallying points, fostering a shared sense of identity and belonging, reinforcing the values and principles that a nation upholds, and serving as reminders of its rich history and collective achievements.

National Emblem

  • The National Emblem is an adaptation from the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka.
  • The four smaller animals at the bottom of national emblem are horse and bull (visible) and lion and elephant (not visible).
  • The National Emblem was adopted by the Government of India on 26 January 1950.
  • 'Satyameva Jayate' inscribed below has been taken from the Mundaka Upanishad.

National Anthem

  • The national anthem 'Jana Gana Mana' was first sung at Calcutta session of Indian National Congress in 1911, 27 Dec.
  • It was adopted by the Indian constitution on 24 Jan 1950.
  • Its English rendering has been given by Tagore himself.
  • The song was composed originally in Bengali by Rabindranath Tagore, the National Anthem is its Hindi version.
  • The complete song consists of five stanzas. The first stanza contains the full version of the National Anthem.
  • The playing time for full version of the song is 52 seconds.

National Song

  • The national song Vande Mataram has been taken from Bankim Chandra Chatterji’s Anand Math.
  • It was first sung at 1896 session of INC.
    Its English rendering has been given by Shri Aurobindo.

National Calendar

  • The national calendar based on the Saka Era was adopted on 22 Mar 1957.
  • Chaitra is the first month of the year whose 1st day falls on 22 March normally and on 21 March in a leap year.
  • The national calendar also has 365/366 days
  • Chaitra has 30 days normally and 31 days in a leap year.

National Flag

  • The design of the national flag was adopted on 22 July 1947.
  • The ratio of width of the flag to its length is two to three.
  • The design of the wheel at the centre is taken from the abacus of the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka.
  • The 'Dharmachakra' (wheel) at the centre has 24 spokes.
  • The display of the National Flag is governed by Flag Code of India, 2002, which took effect on 26 Jan 2002.
  • As per the provisions of the Flag Code of India, 2002, there shall be no restriction on the display of the National Flag by members of general public, private organisations, 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.

Other National Symbols

  • The national bird is Peacock (Pavo cristatus)
  • The national fruit is Mango (Magnifera indica)
  • The national flower is Lotus (Nelumbo Nucifera)
  • The national tree is Banyan (Ficus benghalensis)
  • The national animal is Tiger (Panthera tigris)
  • The national aquatic animal is River Dolphin (Platanista gangetica)
  • The national river is the Ganges

national symbols of india

Comparison - National Anthem and National Song

National Anthem National Song
Name Jana Gana Mana Vande Mataram
Author Rabindranath Tagore Bankim Chandra Chatterji
Originally written in Bengali Sanskrit
1st sung in 1911, Kolkata 1896, Kolkata
English rendering by Tagore Shri Aurobindo

Test Yourself

1. The Dharmachakra in the Indian tricolour has ______ spokes
2. The phrase Satyameva Jayate has been taken from ______ Upanishad
3. The national river is
4. The National Anthem was first sung in
5. Vande Mataram has been taken from
6. The National Tree is
7. The ratio of length and breadth of the National Flag is
8. The playing time of the National Anthem is