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In a move symbolizing a break from its colonial past, the Indian Navy has replaced two terms used onboard ships with more nationally significant titles. The terms “Jackstaff” and “Jack” have been retired, replaced by “National Flag Staff” and “National Flag,” respectively.

This change signifies the Navy’s ongoing efforts to shed remnants of its colonial heritage. “Jackstaff” refers to the short pole on the bow of a ship from which the national flag, or “Jack” in naval parlance, is flown. Both terms have their origins in British naval traditions.

This recent development follows the Navy’s adoption of a new naval ensign in September 2023. The ensign, a national flag flown from the stern of a ship, previously displayed the British-inspired George’s Cross. The new ensign features a blue octagon with twin golden borders encompassing the national emblem atop a clear anchor. The national flag remains incorporated on the upper left canton.

The name changes for the flagpole and flag onboard Indian Navy ships reflect a growing emphasis on national pride and self-reliance. Replacing the terms with their national equivalents underscores the importance of India’s unique maritime heritage and identity.