Prime Minister Narendra Modi will release a new ensign for the Indian Navy during commissioning of India's first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant at Cochin on Friday which is a gesture to completely decolonise the flag.

Prime Minister's Office said in an official statement released on Tuesday that the "new Naval Ensign (Nishaan)" will do away with "the colonial past and befitting the rich Indian maritime heritage".

Indianising ensign

First attempt was made in January 26, 1950 to Indianise the ensign. The Navy flag has the Saint George Cross with the Tricolour on the top left corner. It will undergo further changes which has, however, not been made public. In the British era, the Indian Navy's ensign carried red George Cross with UK Union Jack in the canton which stayed even after India got independence on August 15, 1947. In 1950, Tricolour replaced the Union Jack in the ensign but retained George Cross.

More than 50 years later, the flag was tweaked to subsititute the George Cross with the naval crest in the middle of the white flag which continued to have the Tricolour on the top left corner. Sometime in 2004, giving into the demand to further modify the ensign, the Red George Cross was re-introduced owing to grievances that the new flag of Navy can't be distinguished due to the fact that Navy crest's blue colour melted into skies and the sea. It went through another rejig, with the red George Cross, now accompanied with the state emblem sourced from the Lion Capital of Ashoka.

Finally, Satyamev Jayate was inscribed below the emblem in 2014.