Tricolour hoisted in 1947 at Chennai’s Fort St George still surviving

The only surviving vintage national flag in India, hoisted at Fort St George in Chennai on the first Independence Day on August 15, 1947, is being conserved by the Archaeological Survey of India through multi-pronged efforts.

The flag, which has been in the ASI’s reserve collection for decades was for the first time put on public display at the Fort Museum in Fort St George complex here on January 26, 2013.

Conserving the flag, however, is not an easy task.

The 12 feet by 8 feet pure silk flag was hoisted after lowering the British Union Jack on August 15, 1947 at 5.05am at Fort St George and was witnessed by thousands of people.

Asked about some portions of the flag appearing to be in tatters, the official said it was due to age.

“We are doing our very best to protect and conserve it, since it is our national heritage and pride and there is no similar flag available anywhere else in our country.”

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