Armed Forces Flag Day 2022: History, Significance and Celebrations

Armed Forces Flag Day which is also known as the Flag Day of India is annually celebrated on 7th December in India. This day is dedicated towards honouring the soldiers and veterans of the Indian Armed Forces. 

This day is used as a way for collection of funds from people of India for the welfare of the Indian Armed Forces personnel. This day allows citizens to take responsibility for looking after disabled servicemen, families, and dependents of martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the country. 

Small flags in dark blue, light blue, and red colors representing the Indian Army, Air Force, and Navy, are distributed throughout the country in exchange for donations on the occasion. 

Event Armed Forces Flag Day
Date December 7, 2022
Day Wednesday
Significance The day is dedicated towards honouring the soldiers and veterans of the Indian Armed Forces.
Observed by India

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Armed Forces Flag Day History: 

Immediately after India achieved independence, a need arose for the government to manage the welfare of its defence personnel. On August 28, 1949, a committee set up under the defence minister decided to observe a Flag Day annually on December 7th. The idea behind observing a Flag Day was to distribute small flags to the general population and in return collect donations. Flag Day gains more significance as it considers that it is the responsibility of the civilian population of India to take care of the families and dependents of the armed forces personnel who fight for the country. 

According to the National Archives of India document, Lord Louis Mountbatten, former Viceroy and Governor General of India, played a major role in suggesting new flags and rank badges for the Indian Armed Forces when India was about to become a Republic on January 26, 1950. The switch from British-era flags and ranks took place when India became a Republic. Prior to that the flags and badges of ranks of the military were of the British pattern which continued all the way upto India becoming Republic even after independence.  

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The new, Indian pattern of flags of Army, Navy and Air Force, and also the Regimental Flags of the Army and badges of ranks of all three services were officially adopted on January 26, 1950. The ‘Kings Commission’  granted to Indian military officers was also changed to ‘Indian Commission’ on the same date; and at a subsequent date the King’s Colours of the various Regiments were laid to rest in Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun. The documents also revealed that Lord Mountbatten made many suggestions for the flags and symbols for the the Indian Armed Forces to the then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Defence Minister Baldev Singh. 

Kendriya Sainik Board (KSB), an apex body of the Government of India, formulates and operates various welfare and rehabilitation schemes for Ex Servicemen (ESM) and their dependents through a network of Rajya Sainik Boards (RSBs) and Zila Sainik Boards (ZSBs) co-located in the State Capitals and District HQs respectively, across the country. These welfare schemes are funded from Armed Forces Flag Day Fund (AFFDF) which was instituted vied Gazette of India notification No 5(1) /92/US(WE)/D (Res) dated 13 Apr 1993, by amalgamation of the following into one fund named as “Armed Forces Flag Day Fund”.  

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Armed Forces Flag Day Significance: 

Armed Forces Flag Day is important and it is celebrated throughout the country to honor the martyrs and the men in uniform who valiantly fought on the borders to safeguard the country’s honor. There cannot be a nobler cause than laying down ones life for the country. At the same time, our admiration for the martyrs should not mean that we have little time for the living heroes who were wounded while doing their duty towards their motherland or their widows and children whom they left behind to fend for themselves. Hence as a responsible citizen it is our duty to support these soldiers and their families. 

During the course of achieving victories, in the various wars the nation has fought and in combating the ongoing cross-border terrorism and insurgency, the Armed Forces have lost and continue to lose valuable lives as well as leaving quite a few disabled. The trauma that the family suffers on demise of the head of the family is hard to fathom. Those of our men who are disabled require care and rehabilitation so that they do not become a burden on their family and can instead lead a life of dignity. Further more, there are Ex- servicemen who suffer from serious diseases such as Cancer, Heart ailments and Joint Replacement etc. and who cannot afford the high cost of treatment. Hence, they too need our care and support. 

The requirement of keeping the Armed Forces young necessitates the release of the service personnel at 35-40 years of age. Every year about 60000 Defence personnel are compulsorily retired. Caring for these ex-soldiers and their families is therefore a national responsibility. Many brave and gallant heroes from the Armed forces have laid down their lives in the service of the country. Ongoing counter-insurgency operations have also left many broken homes without a breadwinner. Flag Day brings to the forefront our obligation of looking after our disabled comrades-in-arms, widows and dependents of those who have sacrificed their lives for the country. 

It is our duty to not only show our admiration for the martyrs and the living heroes who were wounded while doing their duties but also their families who have been a crucial part of this sacrifice. Government measures at the Centre and the State level alone are inadequate to provide support to the disabled, non-pensioner, old and infirm ESM, their families, war widows and orphaned children. It, therefore, becomes the collective responsibility of each citizen to make his/her unstinted and voluntary contribution towards providing care, support, rehabilitation and financial help to them.  

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Armed Forces Flag Day Celebrations: 

It is a time for Indians to express its gratitude and appreciation to the current and veteran military personnel of India and to acknowledge those who died in service to the country. In addition to the colors of the national flag, the color code for the day is red, light blue, and dark blue, representing the three branches of the Indian Armed Forces – Army, Air Force, and Navy. Across the nation, patriotic events are arranged to encourage public participation and support the cause. 

A concerted effort is made on this day to raise collections from the public. The significance of the Day is brought home through electronic and print media. On the Flag Day all three branches of the Indian armed forces, the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy, arrange a variety of shows, carnivals, dramas and other entertainment programmes to showcase to the general public the efforts of their personnel to ensure national security. 

Throughout the country, small flags and car flags in red, deep blue and light blue colours representing the three Services, are distributed in return for donations. The fund collection is managed throughout the country by the local arms of the Kendriya Sainik Board (KSB), which is part of the Ministry of Defence. The fund collection is organised both by official and non-official means through voluntary organisations. 

Most Searched FAQs on Armed Forces Flag Day: 

1. When is Armed Forces Flag Day celebrated? 

Armed Forces Flag Day is annually celebrated on 7th December in India. 

2. Why is Armed Forces Flag Day celebrated? 

The Armed Forces Flag Day or The Flag Day of India is a day dedicated to India towards collection of funds from people of India for the welfare of the Indian Armed Forces personnel. It has been observed annually in India on December 7 since 1949. 

3. What activity is done on Indian Armed Forces Flag Day? 

On the Flag Day, all three branches of the Indian armed forces – the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy, arrange a variety of shows, carnivals, dramas and other entertainment programmes to showcase to the general public the efforts of their personnel to ensure national security.

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