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India before British Rule

Last modified: 2015-03-21 by ian macdonald
Keywords: india | peacock throne | maratha | mughals |
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Mughal Empire

I've done some research into flags of the Mughal Empire which spread from modern day Pakistan to Burma at its zenith and was second only in wealth to the Ottoman Empire of Turkey.

The flags included:

The first two carry the lion with the sun behind it. Lion (or "Babur" in Persian, the lingua franca of the empire) was also the name of the founder of the Empire, Zaheer-ud Deen Muhammad Babur.

The military banner is very similar to the Ottoman military banner, save that was red/white. But signifies that the Mughal Empire was subservient to Ottoman; the latter being head of the Khilafat (Islamic Spiritual figure).
ajk73, 16 February 2015

The Imperial standard

[Flag of Mughal Empire] image by ajk73, 16 February 2015

The Emperor's flag

[Flag of Mughal Empire] image by ajk73, 16 February 2015

The simplified/army banner

[Flag of Mughal Empire] image by ajk73, 16 February 2015

Maratha troops

[Flag of Maratha Empire] image located by Ron Lahav, 24 November 2007

Source: Wikipedia reference

I've been reading Abraham Eraly's "Emperors of the Peacock Throne: The Saga of the Great Mughals" (New Delhi: Penguin Books, 2000), and it mentions a flag used by the troops of Shivaji, a warlord who founded a Maratha state in the Deccan region of India in the 17th century, briefly rivaling Mughal power in the area until his death in 1680. Eraly describes the Maratha troops "bellowing their war cry, 'Har, Har, Mahadev!' to invoke the blessings of god Shiva, under whose flag, the Bhagwa Jenda,--a swallow-tailed, deep orange pennant--they fought." (pp. 470-471)

The book also mentions that Mughal emperors presented distinctive banners as symbols of rank for their military commanders, but no information on designs.
Joe McMillan, 26 February 2003

What were probably two of them are in 'Flags at Sea' (Wilson, 1986), page 69, third row from the bottom, last two on the right.

The Surat Grand Mogul flag, known as the Tunkha, was flown at the masthead of the ship of the Admiral of Surat Grand Mogul, a post held, for one year at a time, by the Bombay Marine captain who was Deputy of the Company. His emoluments for the year were said to be twenty times more than the salary of the Governor of Bombay.
David Prothero, 26 February 2003