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Mumbai gears up for Independence Day & sibling revelry tomorrow

MUMBAI:The city is set for a double celebration on August 15 as Independence Day & Rakshabandhan coincide this year. Flags & rakhis are on sale across markets.

At 10am Thursday, a unique Independence Day record will be set in Hiranandani township, Powai, by the residents of Tivoli & Evita apartments, that shall raise a 40ft x 60ft tricolour between two buildings at a height of approx 150ft for the first time in India.

The tallest flagpole (20M) on the rooftop of any building in India is at Haj House near CSMT.

Indian flag at haj house

Gyan Shah of The Flag Corporation, which manufactures the largest flags in India, said that the centre’s recent stress on ‘nationalism’ has boosted ‘patriotic fervour’. “A few Indian Railways sites in Mumbai had giant 20ft x 30ft flags, such as Mumbai Central , CSMT, Kurla,” Shah said, adding that many still believe the flag has to be made of khadi only, which is not true.


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From tees to mobile covers, traders come up with new poll paraphernalia

As political parties are gearing up for 2019 Lok Sabha polls, businessmen are coming up with new innovative election paraphernalia. From complete social media solutions and dummy voting machine to traditional t-shirts and party flags, the traders are expecting huge business this election in view of the neck-to-neck fight between country’s two biggest political parties — the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Indian National Congress (INC).

the flag shop stall at elecmat expo 2018

Similarly, Gyan Shah, from The Flag Corporation based in Mumbai, was very excited to see how much business he will manage to get. He is only into making high-end flags for political parties which last for long, unlike other flags that is basically for use and throw. “We make customised flags and logos and also UV resistance flags. Our flags are made of knitted polyester and it will not tear easily,” Shah said.


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NRIs cant get tricolour shipped to them

MUMBAI:It’s Independence Day. You are, say, an NRI in the US, and you want to hoist the Indian tricolour in your yard. You have ordered a made-in-India national flag several weeks ago but August 15 comes and goes, the flag doesn’t arrive. So, the NRI flies a China-made Indian national flag. What happened? Did the courier company mess up? No. Courier companies don’t want to send the tricolour across Indian borders.

nris cant get tricolour shipped to them

But flag makers in India say something else. “None of the foreign couriers accept the tricolour… They don’t tell you why they’re not accepting it. They simply return the package to us saying: the tricolour can’t be transported or delivered abroad,” said Gyan Shah, owner of The Flag Corporation, a Mumbai-based flag maker. The courier companies were wary of speaking on the record on the issue.


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India@70 – Tale Of The Tricolour; Exclusive interview with Gyan Shah from The Flag Shop

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Comeback for tallest tricolour

At 3.05pm on Sunday, Ranchi’s skyline above Pahadi temple saw India’s largest Tricolour on the tallest flag-post fluttering in glory after a fortnight. But, this time round, the outfit responsible to maintain the flag has taken steps to ensure embarrassing gaps like these don’t recur.  pride unlimited telegraph news

Gyan Shah, the proprietor of Mumbai-based The Flag Corporation, who created the flag, said such gigantic flags did not last for more than a month or two because they were put up on higher altitudes with fierce wind velocity.

The Ranchi Tricolour, which is the highest in India, flutters atop a 293 feet flag-post, which stands on Ranchi Hill that measures 2,140 feet from sea level.

But, because the big flags are so costly, everything must be done to prolong their lifespan, he stressed. The two flags for Ranchi, made of 100 per cent polyester with UV resistant colour (sunlight-proof), cost Rs 1.8 lakh each.

Shah also advised organisers to stock up on spare flags, which the Samiti has taken.

“One should be actually prepared with spare flags as you do not know what the wind pressure will be like. Ripping is natural,” said Shah, whose company specialises in manufacturing 48x72ft sized flags hoisted in many Indian states, manufacturing around 100 such flags a year.

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Country’s largest flag comes home for a stitch in time

MUMBAI:The centre’s proposal to hoist the Indian tricolour atop every university campus in the wake of the JNU agitation, has evoked curiosity. Reports suggest that enormous flags spanning 48×72 feet maybe installed on 206ft poles.

ranchi pahadi mandir flag

Two days ago, the largest flag in the country measuring 66 x 99 ft returned home to Mumbai from Ranchi for repair. It was installed atop Pahadi Mandir by defence minister Manohar Parrikar on January 23. The flag may have torn during the mechanical installation. It’s manufacturer Gyan Shah of the Mahalaxmi-based The Flag Shop, says that hoisting & maintaining large flags is a herculean task. “The Ranchi tricolour weighs 65kgs. It is about seven storeys tall & ten storeys in span. It could well cover half a football stadium,” he said with a laugh.


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This Indian Tycoon Finally Gets To Run His Idea Up the Flagpole

KURUKSHETRA, India: Indian steel tycoon Naveen Jindal is on a mission to get more of his countrymen to fly the national flag. He’s trying to set an example for the masses by erecting a series of 206-foot poles around the country, topped by flags the size of tennis courts.

The 40-year-old industrialist fought a decade-long court battle to make it legal for ordinary Indian citizens to display the flag throughout the year, rather than just on national holidays. The Supreme Court ruled in his favor in 2004.

Since then, Mr. Jindal, a member of Parliament who controls part of the giant Jindal family steel and power business, has noticed that most Indians aren’t taking advantage of their freedom to wave the Tricolor—as the flag is known for its saffron, green and white stripes.

He hopes his flagpoles, the tallest in India, will be an inspiration. They weigh 12.5 tons and are designed to hoist flags measuring nearly 3,500 square feet. Each installation costs about $87,000.

Five giant flagpoles are already up here in Mr. Jindal’s home state of Haryana in northern India. More are coming soon around the country, from Orissa in the east to Tamil Nadu in the south to Delhi in the north and Mumbai in the west.

“It’s my dream that every big city in India has these monumental flags,” Mr. Jindal said. “Just the sight of a big, giant flag looks amazing while fluttering. And I’m sure it would lift up people’s spirits.”

These won’t be the tallest free-standing flagpoles in the world. That honor goes to Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, and its 436-foot installation.

Indians are fervently patriotic, but for decades the country had regulations that made displaying the flag a formal activity reserved for official government functions.

But Mr. Jindal says his structures are tall enough to make a statement: “When a person displays the national flag, one rises above one’s political affiliations, one’s religious affiliations, one’s caste, one’s region, and just shows that they are proud Indians,” he said.

Mr. Jindal, no relation to Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, took interest in the issue as an M.B.A. student at the University of Texas at Dallas in the early 1990s. There, he noticed the much more open flag etiquette in America, where people hoist flags on their front porches and the Stars and Stripes are on bandanas, bikinis and boxer shorts.

When he returned home after graduating, Mr. Jindal took over one of the family’s steel factories in central India and put up a flag on the premises. Local officials told him that wasn’t allowed, and, eventually, the district commissioner ordered that the flag be taken down.

Mr. Jindal, at the age of 25, filed a constitutional lawsuit in 1995, to overturn the Indian flag regulations on free-speech grounds. The Supreme Court issued a final ruling in 2004 that flag-displaying is a fundamental right of all Indians.

The legal victory burnished Mr. Jindal’s political credentials just as he was seeking office. He was elected to the lower house of Parliament in 2004 as a member of the Congress Party. He has other interests, including skeet shooting and polo, but flags remain his primary obsession.

To boost flag-waving, Mr. Jindal formed the nonprofit Flag Foundation of India, which hands out flags and flag-emblazoned paraphernalia like wrist bands. The group is developing a print and TV ad campaign to promote the flag.

Here at Kurukshetra, a region 100 miles north of Delhi that’s rich in Hindu heritage, the giant flagpole is surrounded by a holy water tank that worshipers believe is the cradle of Indian civilization.

“It’s the first time in my life I’ve seen a flag this big,” said Gautam Duklan, a 36-year-old tourist from Delhi. “I feel proud for my country.”

One reason for the lack of flag-waving is that there aren’t many places to buy an Indian flag.

In Delhi, the only official flag retailer is a store in the center of the city best known for khadi, or homespun cotton clothing. Mr. Jindal gets many of his flags—including the gigantic ones—from The Flag Corp., a specialty manufacturer in Mumbai. Owner Gyan Shah says he sells about 1,000 big Indian flags a year and 9,000 small ones for cars and table tops.

In America, “You have flags in every supermarket or Wal-Mart,” Mr. Shah said. “In India, you actually have to struggle and look for flags or a flag supplier.”

The other major issue, Mr. Jindal and his associates say, is ongoing confusion about regulations governing flags.

In India, anyone who shows disrespect to the flag can go to prison for up to three years. Among the restrictions: the flag can’t touch the ground; can’t be dipped in anything; can’t be a holding receptacle for anything except flower petals; can’t be used as drapery or be embroidered onto pillowcases and napkins; and can’t be shown damaged or disheveled.

Mr. Jindal has tried to chip away at the rules. He helped push through a 2005 change that allowed the flag to be on T-shirts and sporting equipment. It’s still not legal to have the flag printed on any undergarments or below-the-belt clothing.

In February, Mr. Jindal also got Parliament’s lower house, the Lok Sabha, to amend its rules to allow politicians to wear flag pins—a political must-have in the U.S.—which were previously banned along with all other badges.

For the giant flagpoles, Mr. Jindal obtained permission last December from India’s Home Ministry to keep the big flags hoisted around the clock on the condition that they stay well-lit. Before that change, he would have had to bring the flags down at sunset and put them back up at sunrise. He says financial aid would help, too.

“To say governments have come forward to sponsor, to put up monumental flagpoles—not yet,” he says. “I hope in the future we will get that support also.”