Indian Naval Ensign

Indian Naval Ensign
  • The Indian Naval Ensign is the flag or standard of the Indian Navy.
  • It is also referred to as the Indian White Ensign or Nishaan.
  • It is used by Indian naval vessels, shore establishments and naval air stations as its principal form of maritime identification.


  • After Independence, on August 15, 1947, the Indian defence forces continued with the British colonial flags and badges.
  • It was only on Jan 26, 1950, that a changeover to Indianised pattern was made.
  • However, in the Navy’s flag Union Jack was replaced with the Tricolour, and the George’s Cross was retained.
  • In 2014, the words ‘Satyamev Jayate’ were included on the flag below the Ashoka emblem in the Devanagri script.
  • In a bid to do away with the “colonial past”, the Saint George’s Cross has been removed from the Indian Navy’s new flag.

Current Design of Indian Naval Ensign

  • The new naval ensign will replace the ensign that carries the Saint George’s Cross with the Tricolour in the canton (top left corner of the flag).
  • The national emblem is encompassed by an octagonal shield and sits atop an anchor.
  • The anchor symbol represents “steadfastness.”
  • Beneath it is the Navy’s motto ‘Sam No Varunah’ – a Vedic mantra invoking the god of seas to be auspicious.
  • The golden border surrounding the national emblem draws inspiration from the seal of Indian emperor Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
    • His vision to establish a swarajya extended beyond the land borders of his empire and dominated the seas through his forts such as the Sindhudurg, Janjira and others.
  • The octagonal shape of the national emblem has been designed to represent eight directions, symbolising the multi-directional reach and multi-dimensional operational capability of the Indian Navy.
  • Ships, Formations, and Establishments of the Indian Navy would be adopting the new Naval ensign.

Latest News

  • 02 September 2022: Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a new ensign (nishaan) for the Indian Navy during the event to mark the commissioning of INS Vikrant in Kochi.


  1. Indian Express
  2. The Hindu
  3. Wikipedia

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