The Indian Air Forces will unveil its new ensign at the annual Air Force Day parade at Prayagraj on Sunday to better reflect its values, 72 years after a similar exercise was undertaken.

The Indian Air Force’s move comes over a year after the Navy made changes in its ensign shedding its colonial past.

“October 8 will go down as a momentous day in the annals of IAF history. On this historic day, the Chief of Air Staff will unveil the new IAF ensign,” the IAF said.

In the new ensign, the Indian Air Force crest will be in the top right corner.

The Indian Air Force was officially established on 8 October, 1932. In view of its professional efficiency and achievements during World War II, the force was bestowed with the prefix “Royal” in March 1945. So, it became the Royal Indian Air Force (RIAF).

In 1950, the IAF dropped its “Royal” prefix and amended the ensign as India became a republic.

The RIAF ensign consisted of the Union Jack in the upper left canton and the RIAF roundel (red, white and blue) on the fly side. Post-Independence, the IAF ensign was created by replacing the Union Jack with the Indian tricolour and the RAF roundels with the IAF tricolour roundel in the lower right canton.

“A new lAF ensign has now been created to better reflect the values of the Indian Air Force. This reaffirmation will now be reflected by the inclusion of the Air Force Crest in the top right corner of the ensign, towards the fly side,” the IAF said in a statement.

The IAF crest has the national symbol, the Ashoka lion on the top with the words ‘Satyameva Jayate’ in Devanagari below it.

Below the Ashoka lion is a Himalayan eagle with its wings spread, denoting the fighting qualities of the IAF.

A ring in light blue colour encircles the Himalayan eagle with the words ‘Bhartiya Vayu Sena.

The motto of the IAF — ‘touch the sky with the glory’ is inscribed below Himalayan eagle in Devanagari.

The IAF motto has been taken from verse 24, Chapter 11 of the Bhagavad Gita and means “Radiant Thou Touchest Heaven” or in other words “touching the sky with glory”.

The Air Force Day parade and air display will be held in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh.

Chief of Defence Staff Gen Anil Chauhan and Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari are among top military officials attending the event.

The parade was traditionally held at the Hindon airbase near Delhi till 2021 before the event was taken outside the national capital. It was held in Chandigarh last year.

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