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National Flag designer Pingali Venkayya birth centenary
August 2 is the birth centenary of the designer of the national flag, Pingali Venkaiah.
- Pingali Venkayya was a freedom fighter and the designer of the Indian National Tricolour who went on to become synonymous with the spirit of free and independent India.
- The national flag that we see today was based upon his design. His life and contribution to the freedom struggle have barely been documented.
- Born on August 2, 1876 in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh, Venkayya served as a soldier in the British Army in South Africa during the Anglo Boer war in Africa.
- A firm believer in Gandhian principles and an ardent nationalist, Venkayya met the Mahatma during the war.
- He was 19 when the meeting took place and formed an association which would last for more than 50 years.
- He met the Mahatma once again in Vijayawada and showed him his publication with the various designs of the flag.
- Acknowledging the need for a national flag, Gandhi then asked Venkayya to design a fresh one at the national congress meeting in 1921.
- Initially, Venkayya came up with saffron and green colours, but it later evolved with a spinning wheel at the centre and a third colour-white.
- The flag was officially adopted by the Indian National Congress in 1931.
- In 2009, a stamp was also issued to commemorate him, and the Andhra Pradesh government recommended his name for the Bharat Ratna in 2014.
- In 2015, the then Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu renamed the AIR Vijaywada after Venkayya and unveiled his statue on its premises.
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