At 206 feet, tricolour to flutter in unmatched glory

January 24th, 2010 - 3:46 pm ICT by IANS  

By Shweta Srinivasan
New Delhi, Jan 24 (IANS) The tricolour will flutter at new heights this Republic Day… literally. The largest national flag is set to be hoisted to a magnificent 206 feet in an Orissa town in an event funded by industrialist-MP Naveen Jindal.

Nearly as high as the towering Qutb Minar in Delhi, which stands 72 metres (over 235 feet) tall, the mast at Bhubaneswar cost a whopping Rs.60,000.

The flag itself is 72-feet-wide, 48-feet-high and was made of specially knitted polyester and nylon. The event organised by Flag Foundation of India (FFI), an NGO started by parliamentarian Jindal will take place at Angul, around 120 km away from Orissa capital Bhubaneswar.

The saffron-white-green flag with the blue Ashok Chakra in the middle, will be hoisted there to coincide with the 61st Republic Day Tuesday.

“This will be a monumental feat. On no other Republic Day has the tricolour been hoisted at such a height,” FFI Chief Executive Officer Commander (Retd) K.V. Singh told IANS.

Two years ago, FFI had achieved a similar feat on Jan 23 by raising an equally large flag at Kaithal, Haryana.

Before this the tallest spot at which an Indian tricolour flapped was at the 46-metre flagstaff built by the East India company at Fort St. George in Chennai. The foundation has applied to the Limca Book of Records for an entry.

“It is an initiative to spread awareness about the national flag. By watching the tallest and largest flag in the country being hoisted, I think people are likely to get curious and will develop a sense of patriotism towards it,” Singh said.

“In my experience more and more people have begun to ask questions and guidelines regarding the national flag and hoisting it at their own places. Yet, flag hoisting remains to be a seasonal event restricted to national days. Our idea is to make flag hoisting a matter of pride all 365 days,” he added.

The flag at Angul has a motorised mechanism for hoisting and lowering the tricolour. The process will take about 13 minutes.

Singh said that FFI has also organised flagstaffs at many places in Delhi and Jaipur as well as 9,000 places in Haryana’s Kurukshetra constituency from where Jindal was elected.

“We recently have got permission for hoisting the flag at night hours as well… provided the flag is well lit,” Singh said.

Jindal is known for his passion for the national flag. He fought a decade-long legal battle to get every Indian citizen the right to fly the tricolour throughout the year. Earlier, it could be flown by any citizen only on special occasions such as Independence Day or Republic Day.

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