Ashoka Chakra: 24 Spokes Of The Indian Tricolour Wheel High

Ashoka Chakra: 24 Spokes Of The Indian Tricolour Wheel High

The Indian tricolour has always been central to the Indian identity dominating all public spheres.

However, the flag, stripes of saffron, white and green with the Ashoka Chakra for a pendant, came from decades of evolution. The first flag was hoisted on August 7, 1906, in Calcutta. At that time, the flag had only three horizontal stripes of red, yellow and green, with Vande Mataram written in the middle.

In the current tricolour, the saffron on top symbolises courage, the white symbolises peace and the green stands for the auspiciousness of the land. The dharma or Ashok chakra at the centre stands for movement and growth, with the 24 spokes symbolizing 24 virtues.

It was adopted on July 22, 1947. The wheel is called the Ashoka Chakra because it appears on a number of edicts of Ashoka, the most prominent among which is the Lion Capital of Ashoka. Each spoke on the chakra symbolises one principle of life and also the twenty-four hours in the day, which is why it is also called the 'Wheel of Time'.

The twenty-four principles that the spokes represent are — love, courage, patience, peacefulness, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, selflessness, self-sacrifice, truthfulness, righteousness, justice, mercy, graciousness, humility, empathy, sympathy, spiritual knowledge, supreme wisdom, supreme morality, altruism and hope.

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