The red cross is Saint George's cross. And this ensign is continuing the cherished legacy of Indian Navy for 500 years of gallant actions across Middle East to China.
Sir you mean to say the Indian Navy had the Saint George's cross on it's flag even before the British arrived ?
Correction. 400 years.
The original was the Honourable East India Company's Marine formed 1612. The manpower consisted of British officered European mercenaries, Marathas, Kolis, Sidis, and others drawn from local seafaring communities. It operated locally built Ghurabs. From its inception, it protected Indian rivers carrying manufactured goods (rivers were the expressways of that era), coastal commerce, and EIC factories. It was tasked to patrol the ME within a few years of its inception.
You may refer to many published histories, for details on operations in those days and later across ME and East Asia. Wadia built teak ships fought in Arctic waters.
At one point, it was known as Bombay Marine. Curiously, the descendent of Bombay Marine is the Mumbai police. Its uniform was Navy Blue until few decades back (you may see it in old movies). The cap is still navy blue despite the rest of the uniform being Khaki.
The George Cross does not represent any affiliation or servitude to British or Europeans. It represents affiliation to a certain methodology, professionalism and qualities like discipline, order, etc.
Just like all parents even 60+ years after independence like to send their children to “English Medium” school rather than “Marathi/Kannada/Bengali/Hindi” medium schools. Do they send their children to become slaves of Englishmen at “English Medium” schools? No. Do the children become slaves? No. The aspiration/affiliation for “English Medium” comes from the education methodology, professionalism and quality.
The entire swadeshi brigade sends their children to “English Medium” schools. Before anyone preaches changing the Indian Navy affiliation, I would ask them to send their children to a Gurukul/Madrassa where shlokas/couplets are chanted and not much maths and science is taught. They very well know their children’s careers and hence rest of the life would be bleak if all they learnt was chanting.
Similarly, in the Ancient Battles thread, you’ll find examples of indiscipline, feudalism, religious fracture plaguing local forces.
Indian forces won at Arabia, Persia, ME all the way to China. The discipline led to increased self confidence. The George Cross represents the Indian Navy’s affiliation to those values.
Just like students studying at Bombay Scottish school don’t become Scottish slaves. The “Scottish” represents affiliation to certain educational values.