What is a National Emblem?
A national emblem is a graphical representation of every country’s identity and authority. British gave us the ‘Star of India’ (not exactly an emblem though) when we were a colony.
We needed something indigenous at the time of our independence. Something historical that can instill pride in us and inspire us to achieve our lost glory.
National EmblemWhere does it come from?
• Our National Emblem has been taken from the “lion capital of Ashoka” at Sarnath near Varanasi.
• We adopted it as such on our first republic day on 26th January 1950.
• The motto of the emblem is “Satyamev Jayate” or Truth Alone Triumphs.
The Structure and its significance
• The structure has four Asiatic lions at the top: two at the sides and one each in front and at back; they signify power, courage, confidence, and pride. However, only three lions are visible to the naked eye as the one at the back can’t be spotted.
• There is an elephant, a horse, and a bull – along with the Ashoka Chakra – residing in the ring in the middle right above the pillar at the very bottom. Though the original statue also has a lotus, we removed it while adopting it as a national emblem.
• It’s said that the horse represents the west (that’s where we bought our horses from). East is denoted by the elephant while the bull stands in for the south.
• The quote of ‘Satyamev Jayate’ is taken from Mundka Upanishad. – one of the holy books of Hinduism.
Where can we see or use it?
• It’s found on all the banknotes and coins.
• It’s placed on all official letterheads of central and state governments.
• You can see it on the cover of your passport.
• This works as the official seal of the president. This even replaces the number on his/her car’s number-plate.
• Members of Parliament (MPs) are allowed to use it on their visiting cards and letterheads.
• It also adorns the shoulder badge of IPS officers in India.
National Emblem can not be used by everyone and everywhere! Period
• The symbol signifies authority and power and is thus prone to abuse and misuse. This is why any violation is a punishable offense (imprisonment up to 2 years or a penalty of Rs 2000).
The usage of India’s National Emblem is quite restricted. And rightly so! As we are now done with people who can legally use it. Lets focus on the list of ‘where’ it can be used without attracting any pain or penalty.
List of buildings National Emblem can be legally displayed upon
• Parliament House
• Rashtrapati Bhawan
• Supreme Court
• High Courts
• Central Secretariat buildings
• Raj Bhawan
• State Legislature
• Secretariat buildings of states and UTs
• Premises of India’s Diplomatic Mission abroad
• Residences of Heads of Missions in the countries of their accreditation
• At the entrance doors of buildings occupied by India’s Consulates abroad
So be proud of the history of our national emblem and respect the rules related to it. This not only makes you a better and aware citizen