Pingali Venkayya was fighter and the designer of the flag on which the Indian national flag was based. He was born on 2 August 1876 at Bhatlapenumarru near Machillipatnam in Andhra Pradesh. ⁣

Venkayya joined the British Army when he was 19 years of age. During his stint as a soldier, he participated in the Anglo-Boer war in Africa. Here he met Mahatma Gandhi and formed an association that lasted for more than 50 years.⁣

In 1916, Venkayya published a book that carried 30 designs for Indian flag. All through the Congress sessions between 1918 and 1921, he consistently floated the idea that India should have a flag of its own.⁣

His National Flag design was accepted by Gandhiji and other members in the Congress Committee meeting that was held on March 31 and April 1 in 1921 in Vijayawada.⁣

Venkayya was also a writer, a geologist and a linguist who spoke multiple languages. After returning from Africa, he spent time mostly in researching, farming and cultivating cotton. He studied Sanskrit, Urdu, and Japanese in Lahore’s Anglo Vedic School.⁣

In 1913, Pingali Venkayya gave a full-length speech in Japanese due to which he was given the title Japan Venkayya. He was also popularly called Jhanda Venkayya and Patti (cotton) Venkayya.⁣

Venkayya who was an active member of the Congress was forgotten by the society as well as his party and died in extreme poverty.⁣

His last desire was to see the Tiranga flutter on the top of the Red Fort. However, this desire remained unfulfilled as his family could not afford to take him to Delhi. ⁣

The government of Andhra Pradesh recommended Venkayya’s name for Bharat Ratna in 2012. However, it was instead awarded to scientist C.N.R Rao and Sachin Tendulkar. ⁣

Gandhiji wrote in Young India, “Pingali Venkaiah who is working in Andhra National College Machilipatnam, has published a book, describing the flags of the countries and has designed many models for our own National Flag. I appreciate his hard struggle during the sessions of the Indian National Congress for the approval of Indian National Flag.” ⁣