The bhagwa dhwaj, a saffron-colored flag, carries profound significance in Hinduism, revered as
a sacred symbol within the faith. Saffron holds similar sacredness in Sikhism, notably found in
the Nishan Sahib. It is described as a “swallow-tailed deep saffron flag symbolic of followers of
god Mahādeva.” Hindu nationalist groups like the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha in 1915 and
the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in 1925 adopted variations of the saffron flag,
attributing a revered status to it as a guru or supreme authority in the RSS.
Former Karnataka minister KS Eshwarappa ignited controversy by suggesting the possibility of
the saffron flag becoming India’s national flag in the future. He highlighted its historical
significance and representation of sacrifice while acknowledging the current tricolour as the
national flag per the constitution. However, Eshwarappa’s remarks about hoisting the saffron
flag everywhere and India potentially becoming a Hindu nation earlier sparked backlash.
Congress leaders protested against his statements, condemning the implications and potential
divisiveness associated with such declarations.
Eshwarappa’s comments have intensified debates about symbolism, nationalism, and the
representation of cultural identity in India. While the tricolour stands as the nation’s official flag,
discussions around the symbolic prominence and interpretation of the saffron flag continue to
evoke diverse sentiments, often intersecting with political, cultural, and religious narratives in the

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