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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Quest for a National flag for India, Part - XIV ; Political Party Flags; All India Muslim League’s Green Flag (1906-1947)

Political Party Flags: Swaraj Flags of Congress, vis-a-vis, All India Muslim League’s Flag (1906-1947).
( This may be read in continuation with The Swaraj flag (1921-1931) was not a unanimous choice as 'National flag for whole of India, vide 'Quest for a National Flag for India, Part-X of June 1, 2010).

The All India Muslim League since its foundation in 1906 used the ‘Crescent and Star’ flag (which itself drew inspiration from the Green flag of the Sultanate of Delhi and the Mughal Empire in India). 

A rare Special Postmark of Lahore Congress of 1 January,1930

Until 1923, Muslim League’s reactions evoked no or little organised opposition to both the Swaraj flags of 1921 and 1931 as the symbol of Indian identity and nationhood created by the then dominant Indian National Congress.

Details of depictions on stamps: Quaid-i-Azam Joining the Muslim League 1913, Quaid-i-Azam in Sherwani and Jinnah Cap 1937, Quaid-i-Azam Addressing Lucknow session 1907, Quaid-i-Azam and Mohtramma Fatima Jinnah With youth and women wing 1908, Quaid-i-Azam hosting Muslim League Flag At Manto Prak 21st March 1940, Quaid-i-Azam addressing Lahore Session 1940, Landslide victory Election 1945-1946, Quaid-i-Azam addressing First Constituent Assembly 14th August 1947

Maulana Mohammed Ali, leader of the Khilafat movement who became the Congress President, hoisted the SWARAJ FLAG at the 38th. session of the Congress held at Cocanada (present Kakinada) in December 1923. Hoisting the Swaraj flag Mohammed Ali urged the countrymen to forget their differences and stop thinking of themselves as Hindus and Muslims, “..... for you are all of one faith in defence of the National flag .. .. as commanded by you, I am here to unfurl the Flag of the Nation. This Flag is nothing if it is not the Flag of Freedom. But it cannot be Flag of Freedom unless it is also the Flag of our National unity”
After the breakdown of the Congress-Khilafat alliance of 1922-23 the Muslim League’s attitude with the Swaraj Flags changed to a systematic opposition in the early1930s.
At the Lucknow Muslim League session in 1940, Mohd. Ali Jinnah decreed the Islamic green flag with a crescent and star to be the National flag of Muslim India. The se-tenant stamps of Pakistan depict from left to right Mohammed Iqbal addressing the Allahabad Session of the All India Muslim League and swearing-in of Liat Ali Khan as League’s Secretary General.Maulana Mohammed Ali Johar at Muslim rally and Md. Ali Jinnah at microphone.Muslim woman holding flag and swearing-in of Md. Ali Jinnah as Governor General of Pakistan


The PAKISTAN RESOLUTION was adopted at Lahore on March 23,1940. Begum Hafeezuddin of the women section of the All India Muslim League called upon the Muslims of the Indian sub-continent to unite under the Flag of the Muslim League.

After 1940 the 'Subz Hilali Parcham' meaning  'Green flag with the Crescent and Star' became central to the Muslim League’s political strategy. On August 4, 1947 the Pakistan flag** was created by adding a narrow white stripe at the hoist to represent minority communities and also to enable the flag to be distinguished from that of the Muslim League.

While Leaguers were keen to retain the party flag, it was felt that some distinction between the State and Party flags was necessary. Ameer-ud-din Khidwai is credited as the designer of the flag. ** Officially adopted as National Flag on August 11, 1947 just three days before India partitioned and Pakistan gained Independence.

Yemen (South) Stamp issued to commemorate Gandhi's birth centenary.
The stamp was printed in Pakistan Security Press.
MAHATMA GANDHI ON PAKISTAN FLAG:   In Reply to a question put to him by Congressmen at Lahore on August 6, 1947, Mahatma Gandhi said that, if the Pakistan flag was such as would ensure equal rights and full protection to the minorities, they should all accept and honour the flag and have absolutely no hesitation in saluting it.“I would ask you not to disown the Pakistan flag merely on the ground that it bears a crescent”, he added, “I must, however, say that, if no assurance of the kind I have mentioned is forthcoming, at least I shall refuse to salute that flag.”

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