Indian navy ditches Cross of St George to distance from colonial past

Indian navy ditches Cross of St George to distance from colonial past

Indian navy ditches Cross of St George from ensign in effort to distance itself from colonial past

  • India’s leader Narendra Modi said the red cross was a reminder of ‘slavery’ 
  • The country has faced criticism for its close ties with Russia despite Ukraine war
  • New Nishaan flag is an octagonal blue shield honouring Shivaji Maharaj 
  • India launched its first indigenously-built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant today 

The Indian navy yesterday removed the Cross of St George from its ensign after 75 years in an effort to distance itself from its colonial past.

India’s leader Narendra Modi said that the red cross was a reminder of ‘slavery’.

But the move comes after his country has faced criticism for continuing its close relationship with Russia in spite of Vladimir Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine.

India remains a major buyer of Russian military equipment and natural resources.


The Indian navy yesterday removed the Cross of St George from its ensign after 75 years in an effort to distance itself from its colonial past

It has also abstained from votes in the United Nations condemning the invasion.

Under British rule the Indian navy was known as Her Majesty’s Indian Marine and the Cross of St George ensign continued to be flown for decades after India’s independence from Britain.

But the new Nishaan flag – unveiled as India launched its first indigenously built aircraft carrier the INS Vikrant – is an octagonal blue shield honouring Shivaji Maharaj, founder of the ancient Maratha kingdom.

Mr Modi said: ‘Until today the identity of slavery remained on the flag of the Indian navy.

‘But from today onwards, inspired by Shivaji, the new flag will fly in the sea and the sky.’

India launched its first indigenously built aircraft carrier the INS Vikrant today

Prime Minister Modi said: ‘Until today the identity of slavery remained on the flag of the Indian navy. But from today onwards, inspired by Shivaji, the new flag will fly in the sea and the sky’

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