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Indian Military Flags

Last modified: 2023-11-11 by ian macdonald
Keywords: india | military | interservices flag |
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Chief of Defence Staff

[Chief of Defence Staff flag] image located by Dave Fowler, 1 January 2020


Gen Rawat as CDS will don the olive green but ranks and badges on the uniform will be different to represent all three services. On the shoulder will be a maroon patch with golden ranks to represent all three services. The cap of the CDS will also be different with badges and accomplishments to represent the three services.
"The idea is that the uniform of the CDS has symbols to represent all three services. Any service or regimental symbols will not be there," said a source privy to the details. What is not clear is whether the office of the CDS will have to fly a flag representing all three services. All three services chiefs fly their service flag at their offices.
located by Dave Fowler, 1 January 2020

Interservices Flags

A new set of rank flags for officers in "inter-services" assignments has been introduced. They are maroon with the inter-services badge in silver (i.e., the usual British style combination of anchor, eagle, and crossed swords ensigned by the national Ashoka lions emblem) and stars arrayed vertically in the fly. A lieutenant general, air marshal, or vice admiral has a rectangular flag with three stars, a major general, rear admiral, or air vice marshal a swallowtail flag with two stars, and a brigadier, commodore, or air commodore a triangular pennant with one star. The one I saw (which belonged to a rear admiral who is deputy chief of the Integrated Defence Staff) looked like it had six pointed rather than five pointed stars, but I wasn't able to tell for sure. I asked the admiral later and he confirmed the system of flags as described above, and said that they are used by all the joint commands, such as the Defence Intelligence Agency, the National Defence Academy, and so on. The badge can be seen at the NDA site,
Joe McMillan, 2 February 2006

Flag of Indian Armed Forces

[Flag of Indian Armed Forces] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 28 October 2023

I saw an Indian post stamp commemorating the IPKF (Indian Peace Keeping Force) that intervened in the Sri Lankan Civil War between July 1987 until March 1990 (Source:

The stamp seen here (, but the original source is this page: shows in the upper right corner the Indian Tri Services Crest:

The Tri Services flag is based in the UK Joint Services flag, showing the Air Force (dark blue) Army (red) and Navy (light blue).
Esteban Rivera, 22 March 2010

This is a standalone flag and is given in Wikipedia as the Flag of Indian Armed Forces. It is a horizontal tricolor of red, dark blue, and light blue, bearing overall a white shield charged with the interservice combined emblem described by Joe (anchor, eagle, crossed swords, Ashoka lions), all in white with black contour lines. Image based on the image at, by Swapnil1101.

The image of shown on stamp #03037 is quite different from the armed forces flag and seems to some sort of flag-like design inspired on the actual thing (but why?) than an actual flag variant depiction, either prescribing or describing it: The overall ratio is vertically oblong (“portrait”), approx. 6:5, showing vertical stripes, from the left: red, dark blue, and light blue (matching the pattern of a regular flag hoisted vertically). The armed forces emblem is shown in white, with black “holding lines”, set upright and centered on the upper half of the flag area.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 28 October 2023

Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag

Das (1981) says on page 52 of Traditions and Customs of the Indian Armed Forces that the pledge of allegiance to the Indian flag is as follows: "I pledge allegiance to the National Flag and to the Sovereign Democratic Republic, for which it stands."
Joe McMillan, 27 January 2003