While watching the Tricolour being unfurled at the iconic Red Fort on Republic Day, many of us would have wondered where it is made.
Not many would know that the Tricolour at the Red Fort, which makes every Indian heart swell with pride, comes from Karnataka Khadi Gramodyog Samyukta Sangha, India’s sole Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS)-recognised national flag manufacturing unit at Hubballi’s Bengeri. It supplies the national flag for the ceremonial unfurling at the Red Fort on Republic Day and the one raised the Kartavya Path every year.
Speaking to ANI, the manager Annapurna Dodamani said the Tricolour raised on Republic Day is made here.
“A thread is made out of raw cotton and then a cloth is made from it. The entire process takes place at this institute. The flag is made on a 3:2 ratio,” Dodamani said.
“There are a total of nine sizes for national flags. The Tricolour hoisted from the ramparts of the Red Fort is also made here and we feel very proud to see it adorning the iconic landmark on Republic Day every year,” she added.
Elaborating on the process of making the Tricolour, she said, “From cutting, stitching, printing to designing, every single work that goes into making the national flag is done by women.”
“For obvious reasons, we post maximum sales on Republic Day and Independence Day. According to the Bureau of Indian Standards, flags come embossed with the ISI certification. Our cloth is made in the Bagalkot district, from where it is shipped here,” she said, adding that at the unit, the Asok Chakra (the national symbol) is printed on the Tricolour.
“After that, the entire process of making the national flag is done here,” she added.
Shiv Anandamath Pati, secretary, Karnataka Khadi Village Industries United Federation, said the manufacturing unit was established in 1957.
“The federation is the umbrella organisation of all the Khadi Institutes in Karnataka. All are our member societies. Venkatesh Mangd-ji, a freedom fighter, founded the Khadi Institute in 1957, helping it become what it is today. We later got the recognition from the Bureau of Indian Standard Certificate,” he said.
“We are the only organisation in India which has a BIS certificate for making the national flag. The certified national flags made here go to every state, adorn the Parliament and the offices of all the central ministries. The flags made by us are hoisted everywhere,” he said.
“As much as 95 per cent of our staff are women. Men are employed as well but most of the work, which goes into making the Tricolour, is done by women,” Pati said.
On the Indian Standards Institution mark on the national flags made at the centre, he said, “We have received the ISI certificate for making size-9 Tricolours. 21/14 is the largest size we make while 8/12 and 6/9 are sizes for flags atop VVIP cars. The flag hoisted in Nargund Fort in Gadag district of Karnataka and Shivaji Fort in Raigad, Maharashtra is 14 ft wide and 21 ft long.”