Friday, August 15, 2008

Happy Independence Day!

Until 2001, Independence Day was one of the two days on which citizens of India could display the National Flag. It is only over the past 7 years that people have had the right to fly the flag where they liked to (complying with the Flag Code, however). Still, the National Flag is predominantly seen only on top of government buildings.

Even with the advantage of being placed on top of a building, very few flags can fly taller than this one; located inside the Fort St George, this is the tallest free-standing flagpole in India. At a height of 150 ft, the flag is constantly buffeted by the sea-winds - that's why it needs so many stays, to ensure it does not get blown over. I haven't been able to find any reliable information as to when it was first raised, but all indications are that the Union Jack was first raised on it in the late 17th century. The entire flag pole was made of teak and remained usable until 1994, when it was replaced with metal.

As Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu hoists the flag here today, let me also wish everyone around a very happy Independence Day!


Hilda said...

Belated happy independence day! Sorry for the very late greeting — my husband and I went for a short trip because we have a long weekend here. I hope your city had a good celebration!

Shantaram said...

>> Hilda>> Oh, thank you! Celebrations in ChennaiMadras continue, as you'll see in later posts - the Madras Week is on us!!