The only unit authorised to manufacture the Indian Flag

Karnataka Khadi Gramodyoga Samyukta Sangha (KKGSS) is a manufacturing federation located in the Bengeri area of the city of Hubli in the Karnataka, state of India. It is the only unit in India that is authorised to manufacture and supply the Flag of India.

KKGSS was founded on 1 November 1957 by a group consisting of H. A. Pai, Anant Bhat, Jayadev Rao Kulkarni, B. J. Gokhale, Vasudev Rao and B. H. Inamdar, who wanted to create a federation to cater to the need for growth of khadi and other village industries. Another aim of the federation was to provide employment opportunities to the rural youth in these sectors. The federation was started with an initial investment of Rs. 10,500.

The Khadi and Village Industries Commission has certified KKGSS as the sole manufacturer and supplier of the Indian flag to the entire country. There are 100 specialist spinners and 100 weavers employed in making the flag. The flag is manufactured conforming to the standards laid down by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). The cloth needed for the flag is sourced from KKGSS’s unit in Bagalkot and divided into three lots, each of the lots to be dyed with one of the three major colors in the Indian flag. After dyeing, the cloth is cut in the required size and shape and the blue chakra (wheel) with 24 equally spaced spokes is printed on the white cloth. Finally, the three pieces are stitched together to make the Indian flag. About 60 Japanese sewing machines are used to maintain precision while stitching. Some of the critical confirmation criteria include that the width and length of the entire flag should be in the ratio 2:3 and that the chakra needs to be printed on both the sides of the flag with both of these prints perfectly matched, like two hands joined palm to palm. Each lot shipped is subjected to an inspection by BIS and any issue with a single flag could result in the whole lot being rejected. The flags are manufactured in nine sizes, with the smallest one being 6 × 4 inches (150 X 100 mm) and the biggest one being 21 X 14 feet (6300 X 4200 mm).

KKGSS’s annual turnover is about Rs. 15 million ($375,000). The major customers of KKGSS are politicians and people associated with politics. This is because Khadi symbolised self-reliance during the Indian independence movement and was worn by Mahatma Gandhi and other leaders. In the year 2007, KKGSS has sold flags worth Rs. 6 million.

Source: Karnataka Khadi Gramodyoga Samyukta Sangha

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