Karnataka set to have own state flag, committee looks into legal sanctity

Lucy Bush
July 19, 2017

When the issue was raised in the assembly, then Kannada and culture minister Govind M Karjol had said: "The Flag Code does not allow flags for states.Our national flag is the symbol of integrity and sovereignty". In 2012, the then BJP government ordered it to be flown on government buildings. "Is there was any provision in the Constitution which prohibits the state from having its own flag?"

While the Karnataka government is being blamed for flaring up a separatist mindset by constituting a committee to design a separate state flag, the Congress high command has directed the Chief Minister to come up with a clarification.

The only state with a separate flag is Jammu and Kashmir which enjoys special powers under Article 370 of the Constitution.

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The flag is not used during Republic Day and Independence Day but on occasions like state foundation day, an official said.

"We have only one flag and that is the national flag", he said.

The committee, headed by the principal secretary, Department of Kannada and Culture, was set up last month after a representation from noted Kannada writer and journalist Patil Puttappa, and social worker Bheemappa Gundappa Gadada. Former Karnataka chief minister and Union minister D V Sadananda Gowda dismissed the move when questioned by reporters, saying, "India is one nation and there can not be two flags in one country".

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Constitutional expert, P P Rao, while speaking to ANI, said that the Constitution only provides for the national flag. The state unit of the Congress has said it is trying to build a Kannada-pride narrative to counter the BJP's Hindutva agenda, but national leaders have advised Siddaramaiah to end the controversy immediately. Now, that the Siddaramaiah government has formed a panel to design the flag to officially accord it a legal status, it is necessary to know who designed the Yellow and Red flag, that is proudly hoisted on every galli during Rajyotsava. And it comes along with increasing Kannada hostility to attempts by New Delhi to impose Hindi on the state.

The move has been made ahead of the state Assembly polls next year.

The demand of having a separate official flag is not new in the state.

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Home ministry officials explained Karnataka already had a flag representing only the "people and not the government".

Other reports by Info About Network

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