The Armed Forces Flag Day or The Flag Day of India is a day dedicated to India towards collection of funds from people of India for the welfare of the Indian Armed Forces personnel. It has been observed annually in India on December 7 since 1949. Over the years, it has become a tradition to commemorate this day as an honour to the soldiers, sailors and airmen of India.
Immediately after India achieved Independence, a need arose for the Government to manage the welfare of its defence personnel. On August 28, 1949, a committee set up under the defence minister decided to observe a Flag Day annually on December 7. The idea behind observing a Flag Day was to distribute small flags to the general population and in return, collect donations. Flag Day gains more significance as it considers that it is the responsibility of the civilian population of India to take care of the families and dependents of the armed forces personnel who fight for the country. The Flag Day is mainly observed to serve three basic purposes: Rehabilitation of battle casualties, welfare of serving personnel and their families and Resettlement and welfare of ex-servicemen and their families.
It is a time for Indians to express their gratitude and appreciation to the current and veteran military personnel of India and to acknowledge those who died in service to the country. Throughout the country, small flags and car flags in red, deep blue and light blue colours representing the three Services, are distributed in return for donations.
The fund collection is managed throughout the country by the local arms of the Kendriya Sainik Board (KSB), which is part of the Ministry of Defence. The fund collection is organised both by official and non-official means through voluntary organisations. Though welfare of the Ex-Servicemen and their dependents is the joint responsibility of the Centre and the States/UTs, majority of the problems have to be resolved only by the States/UTs. Like the Kendriya Sainik Board at the Centre, the Rajya/Zila Sainik Boards are responsible for policy formulation and implementation of resettlement and welfare schemes for Ex-Servicemen, widows and their dependents residing in their respective States/UTs/Districts. To assist the Central Government in this regard, there are 32 Rajya Sainik Boards and 392 Zila Sainik Boards in the country.