Ask any Sikh (including an educated one) what colour is the Sikh flag? Patcomesthe answer," lt is saffron, the kesri, While some may say that it is orange. Well both are wrong the official colour of the Sikh flag is 'yellow' or ‘blue’. Thanks to Mr. Tohra's management who have altered the colour. The height of negative publicity is so much that no Sikh would believe us that the Sikh flag is yellow and , not saffron, We have even asked some prominent Akali leaders who also expressed their ignorance of the exact colour. On the other hand Mr. Tohra's management claims that it has printed and distributed free of cost the Sikh Code of Conduct'Rahitmaryada' which has the code as to the colour of the flag as well.
It thus becomes curious to know the real colour of the Sikh standard but more curious is the story why Mr. Tohra saw the switch over of the flag colour from yellow to saftron.
They say that the for any institution's survival two basic things have to remain intact 'Nishan te Vidhan' i.e. its standard and the constitution. Now Mr. Tohra has changed the nishan. OnlY the constitution of Gurbani is left to be changed and for that the process has commenced through the 'saints'. Befole we narrate the story of switch over it will be better to know a little more about the flag'
'The use of flag is as old as the civilisation itself. Seals have been found at the Harrapa and Mohenjodaro sites which show that the flag Was in use some 5000 years ago.
 The flag has to represent the institution as appropriately as possible but in the simple figurative way. The Egyptians believed that their ‘pharao' was hatched from a falcon egg accordingly the Egyptian flag had a falcon on its body. ln 80 BC the Persians revolted against a despotic ruler. Hammer was on the flag of rebels because the rebel leader was a blacksmith. Hazrat Mohammed the prophet once wore€ a green colourd coat for a considerable length of time. The green colour thus became the Muslim colour of flag.
Guru Nanak also used the flag at Kartarpur sahib. References are available in the early Sikh history as to use the flag by the early Gurus. The Third Nanak once appointed 22 missionariesas the inassands and each one was ceremoniously handed over a ‘Pothi' the book of gurbani and the flag . Appointment of a masand at a particular station was called establishment qf 'Manji' the seat. The gurudwaras at various stations termed as manji sahib remind of  the masand days. We have 'manji sahib' gurudwaras at Karnal, Ambala and many other places. :
As to the use of flag by Guru Nanak poet Kalha writes:- ' .
His (Gurus) white  banner of tranquil temperament attained right from God Himself is like a bridge between this ' world and the God (heavens).
Some scholars believe that a transformation of the Sikh flag (from white to yellow) took place , after the martyrdom of the fifth Nanak while the final shape (blue with khanda chakra) to the flag was given by the Tenth Nanak (Guru Gobind Singh).
At the time of Tenth Lord a unit of Khalsa army wore blue coloured robes and the Guru Sahib allowed them to use the blue colour. They were also allowed to use blue coloured flag. This regiments of the Khalsa came to be known as the 'Nihangs' .
The ldeal Sikh Flig ,The ideal Sikh flag is an equilateral triangle of yellow (basanti) which has an emblem in grey colour. The emblem is the usual chakra, two kirpans and in the middle a Khanda. tn the case of standard of Nihangs the fly has to be of dark grey (or Blue) while the emblem in yellow colour, the cloth on the Nihang flag has to be of dark grey (or blue ) colour. Pole has also be covered with the same coloured cloth as that of flag mast.
This is duly provided in the Gurdwara code (Sikh Rehatmaryada) published by non else than SGPC.
 Apart from the SGPC's own ' conduct book the other Sikh historical and other source also point out to the yellow colour for true Sikh flag. Sikh Kanun Giani Lal Singh -1923 AD, Mahan Kosh -Kahan Singh Nabha, -1930, Rahitnamas (17 to 19th Century) Sarbloh Granth (First half of 18 he Century) and all other soures which refer to the clothes and flags of the Khalsa. Flag of the Sikh State under Maharaja Ranjit Singh was also yellow which has the khanda emblem and the words 'akal sahai' were inscribed in Gurumukhi while the words 'sarkar-khalsa' were in Persion script.
After all why was colour altered?
 ln early 1931 when the lndian National Congress formed  the seven member flag committee consisting of Nehru, Patel, Maulana Azad, et al and ‘Tiranga’ the tricolor flag was adopted.  Master Tara Singh’s suggestion of inclusion of the Sikh colour was ignored by the committee.
The agitated Akalis then Passed a resolution on the insistence of Baba Kharag Singh. The same is  available at page 78 of  the 'Shiromani Committee da S0 sala Itehas' by Shamsher Singh Ashok which said,
“ The Shiromani Akali Dal wishes to communicate that the AICC has not included the Siklh colour in the national flag. At this the Sikh Nation is highly displeased. But the fight for freedom of the country is going on in which the Khalsa doesn't want to lag behind in lhe cause of national servie. lt is therefore decided hat the Sikhs would serve the national cause under the Khalsa banner and not under tre Congress banner." The lndian Tricolour flag was hence forth interpreted as -saffion   of the Hindus, green of the Muslims and the white patch in between meant peace between the two communities. On the persistent protests from the Sikhs, Mahatama Gandhi, without moving an inch said that the very interpretation of the flag is wrong,"Saffron represents courage and sacrifie, white peace and truth and green shall represent faith and chivalry and the spinning wheel the hope of the message."
Congress governments as we know had been trying every possible means to remove the Akali element and the task was not tough. Fortunately there is only one supplier of the flag and they caught hold of the him and slowly changed the complexion . A particular  mill was also patronised and all the cloth came from it. The supplier of the flag when contacted for his comments admitted that the yellow or blue is the colour of the flag. When questioned why he had stacked so much of the orange/safton cloth, he said this has arrived through oversight. he also explained that some times the customer insists that the flag has to be of dark colours as the yellow fades out in a very short time. A humble writer , it is learnt, wrote a letter to the secretary of the SGPC pointing out violation of Rehatmaryada in the case of Nishan Sahib. The letter was, it is learnt, has been confined to the cold storage i.e. reffered to Jathedar Akal Takhat Then incumbent was Prof. Maniit Singh.
However, by this time, suggestion of reverting to the old colour yellow, perhaps will also become difficult as the Sikhs masses have adopted he saffron colour to that extent. But the masses need to be educated of the code of conduct.
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