Pingali Venkayya UPSC: Essay and Biography on the Designer of India’s National Flag

By Aarna Tiwari|Updated : October 25th, 2022

Pingali Venkayya was an Indian freedom fighter and a Gandhian. He was the creator of the flag that served as the model for the Indian National Flag. On April 1st, 1921, Mahatma Gandhi visited Vijayawada City, designed the National Flag and gave it to him. As opposed to displaying the British flag at Congress meetings, Venkayya was inspired to create a flag for the Indian National Congress while attending the AICC session in 1906 in Calcutta.

Even though Pingali Venkayya's participation in Indian independence is rarely mentioned, one should be aware of who he is and why he is still recognised. The topic is extremely important from the perspective of the UPSC Prelims. The article here covers all the essential details about Pingali Venkayya, such as his early life, as the designer of the Tiranga, all the awards bestowed upon him, and more. The article will serve as a complete essay for anyone interested in Venkayya.

Table of Content

Pingali Venkayya Biography

Pingali Venkayya, a freedom fighter born on August 2, 1876, was the creator and architect of the national flag. In the Andhra Pradesh town of Bhatlapenumarru, close to Machilipatnam, he was born and raised in a Telegu Brahmin family by his father, Hanumantaraidu, and mother, Venkatratanama. 

  • He attended Cambridge University to complete his graduation requirements after completing his high school coursework in Madras. 
  • He was interested in agriculture and geology.
  • In addition to fighting for India's independence, he was a devoted follower of Gandhi, a supporter of education, an agriculturist, a geologist, a linguist, and a writer. 
  • He is best known for his efforts to that cause.

>> Pingali Venkayya UPSC [PDF]

The Swaraj Flag, created by Pingali Venkayya, inspired the current national flag of India. It has red and green bands representing the two largest communities in the nation, Hindus and Muslims. India and its people now had a distinct identity thanks to his design.

  • Mahatma Gandhi advised Pingali Venkayya to embellish the Khadi bunting with a white band over red over green with a charkha motif. 
  • The spinning wheel represented the nation's advancement, while the white represented peace and the rest of India's communities.

Facts About Pingali Venkayya

Description

Birth

August 2, 1876, in Andhra Pradesh

Death

4th July, 1963

Also Known As

Jhanda Venkaiah

Famous For

The Designer of the Indian National Tricolour.

Essay on Pingali Venkayya

The Indian National Tricolor was created by independence warrior Pingali Venkayya, who later came to symbolise the spirit of a free and independent India. He designed the national flag that is flown today. Almost nothing is known about his life or contributions to the war for freedom.

Venkayya, born on August 2, 1876, in the Andhra Pradesh district of Krishna, served in the British Army in South Africa during the Anglo-Boer war in Africa. He was a fervent nationalist and adherent of Gandhian principles and met the Mahatma while the country was at war.

In Vijayawada, he ran into the Mahatma again, showing him his book with the many flag designs. Gandhi then requested Venkayya to create a new national flag at the national congress conference in 1921 after acknowledging the need for one.

  • The flag originally designed by Pingali Venkayya had a red tint and green, but on Gandhi's advice, it was later changed to include a spinning wheel in the centre and a third colour, white. 
  • However, the flag had caused societal anxiety, leading to the Flag Committee's creation in 1931.
  • The Purna Swaraj tricolour was developed by the Congress Working Committee (CWC). The flag's red tint was replaced with saffron, and the white band was moved from over white to over green, with a blue charkha in the centre. 
  • It was indicated that the colours represented characteristics rather than geographic regions; saffron was associated with bravery and selflessness, white with truth and serenity, and green with power. 
  • The charkha advocated for the general welfare of society.

The death of Pingali Venkayya was recorded on July 4, 1963. He was a selfless patriarch who worked to cover the flag on his body even in the days before his passing.

Pingali Venkayya: Recognition Bestowed

In 2009, a stamp bearing Pingali Venkayya’s name and featuring his image was released to honour his contributions to the country. Additionally, in 2014, the government of Andhra Pradesh put out his name for the Bharat Ratna, one of India's highest honours. Though, there is no response from the central government on the same.

In 1916, Pingali Venkayya, a fervent supporter of flags, published a booklet titled "A National Flag for India" in which he offered twenty-four flag designs.

  • N. T. Rama Rao, the former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, ordered the construction of a statue of Venkayya on Necklace Road in Hyderabad in 1992. 
  • A statue of him was unveiled in the forelawns of the All India Radio building in Vijayawada in January 2015 by Venkaiah Naidu, the city's urban development minister. 
  • In Andhra Pradesh, numerous sculptures of Pingali Venkayya have been erected.

Pingali Venkayya UPSC

Pingali Venkayya's participation in Indian independence is rarely mentioned. ‘Tiranga Utsav’ was put on by the Ministry of Culture in 2022 to honour Pingali Venkayya's achievements in the country on his 146th birth anniversary in New Delhi. One can stay updated about the topic by referring to the latest Current Affairs and reading History Books for UPSC.

Pingali Venkayya UPSC Question

Question: Recently, the ministry of culture celebrated the 146th Birth Anniversary of Pingali Venkayya. He was:

  1. The designer of India’s national tricolour
  2. A Freedom fighter
  3. A Soldier in the British Army

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  1. 2 and 3 only
  2. 1 only
  3. 1 and 2 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Answer: Option B

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Pingali Venkayya FAQs

  • Pingali Venkayya was a Gandhian and an Indian liberation fighter. The flag that served as the model for the Indian National Flag was created by him.

  • The wife of Pingali Venkayya was Rukminamma. They had a daughter, Ghantasala Sitamahalakshmi.Venkayya passed away on July 4, 1963, having lived his final days in poverty.

  • The National Flag of India was designed by Pingali Venkayya. Saffron on top stands for strength and courage, white in the middle for peace and truth, and green at the bottom for fertility, growth, and the auspiciousness of the land. These meanings collectively reflect what India believes in and aspires for. The 24 spokes of the Ashok Chakra demonstrate that movement brings life and stasis brings death.

  • Due to his diamond mining expertise, Pingali Venkayya was known by the moniker "Diamond Venkayya." He was also known as "Patti Venkayya" (Cotton Venkayya) since he spent most of his time studying staple cotton types, specifically the Cambodia Cotton variant. In 1913, he gave a lengthy address in Japanese at a Bapatla school. He also started going by the name "Japan Venkayya" after that.

  • The Indian National Congress officially adopted Pingali Venkayya’s flag as our nation's Flag in 1931 after some modifications.

  • Indian freedom fighter Pingali Venkayya is credited with creating the Indian National Flag. One can refer to the PDF here to read an essay or biography on him.

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