Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sikkim National Flag

This article is the revised version of the earlier article i had written about the Sikkim National Flag.....

Sikkim National Flag at Kupup

Towards the Nathula Border between India and China at Kupup, just opposite the famed Baba Harbhajan Singh Mandir, there is a Cafe 13000, probably the highest cafeteria along with a gift shop just attached to it any one could had ever imagined at such height. The taste of coffee gives you the pleasure and the serene beauty of the surrounding sets the moment for which Sikkim is renowned across the world. Well this cafeteria did not excite me the most until i came across a rare "thing" that I had never come across so far. Inside this unique surrounding in one of its corner lie three flags out of which one did really captured my attention. I had gone through different books on Sikkim history where the Sikkim National Flag was primly noticed in many state festive or in occasions where the guest of honour was of royal family of Sikkim but I had never come across it in real life.

1877 - 1914

But to see the Sikkim National Flag just in front of you and touching it, a breeze of pride ran through my blood and i slowly said myself, i am proud to be a Sikkimese. This is the only place in Sikkim presently to my little knowledge where the Sikkim National Flag is kept open to public. There are three flag, to its left a white Sikkim National Flag, a blue coloured flag at the right representing Yak Golf Course with its logo in the centre and in the middle of the two stands more popular the National Tri Colour kept a little taller than the rest!

1914 - 1962

The Sikkim National Flag had red border all around and the yellow coloured Chakra (Wheel) denoting the Buddhist Symbol of the Law of Dharma and Gankyil as the centre element. The Chakra in the former Sikkim National Flag is different from the one found in the Indian National Flag, in place of 24 spokes there are eight spokes and has an ornate "nub" on the wheel at the head of each spoke. The wheel in the flag points out to the first sermon of Buddha, which is described as the "Turning on the Wheel of Tutorage". Sikkim had a rich history of over three centuries of monarchy system of rule that ultimately ended with the 38th amendment of the Indian Constitution (making Sikkim its 22nd state) on 26 April 1975. The Sikkim National Flag was replaced with the Indian Tri-Colour and Sikkim became the 22nd state of mighty Indian Union.
1962 - 1967

A website on different flags of the world shows interesting sequences of the flags that were part of Namgyal Dynasty. The first flag design of the kingdom of Sikkim depicts the time era between 1877 to 1914, followed by 1914 to 1962 then slight changes came in 1962 that was kept till 1967. While the last of the Sikkim National Flag kept flying over the state of Sikkim for around nine years.
Very little information is known about the design of the first flag that is believed to have been started from 1877. The design of the 1914 flag as told by Jarring Bakker says : Blue border with orange and red brick-a-brack narrower borders thereon, with thinner white and red borders towards the inside; inside the panel shows red wheel having shadings (in between the spokes) of red/blue/yellow/blue, while the 2nd (left central) motif had *2* round frame rings. The 6 motifs colored as gold frames, with red/yellow/blue charges.


E. C. M. Barrclough’s 1965 edition of his book “Flags of the World” wrote the old 1962-1967 flag design that did belong to Sikkim was an elaborate one. He further writes The Kingdom of Sikkim had a flag that was flown there from 1962 till 1967; it was in existence for around 5 years. It was an ornamental flag of an unusual design. It comprised of a white field, the chief, base, and fly sides of which had the 'triple border' of red (outer)/white/blue (inner). A big red Khorlo prayer wheel is centered thereon, while the remaining panel area was charged with a variety of various religious motifs in shades of red, gold, green, and blue. The thick red portion of the 'triple border' had smaller charges (what looked like crescents and 'ticks') in yellow, green, and blue.

It was more or less a dream come true for me at least to feel and touch the former National Flag of Sikkim, which I was not allowed to do at the first instance by the attendee of the Café 13000, since they felt I would make it dirty.