The Article ‘Flag Code of India‘ is an effective study on the Flag Code of India and the manner in which the Flag Code of India, 2002 got replaced with the new enactment and is known as the Flag Code of India 2022. The Author elucidates that it is the responsibility of citizens to have respect for the… Read More »

The Article ‘Flag Code of India‘ is an effective study on the Flag Code of India and the manner in which the Flag Code of India, 2002 got replaced with the new enactment and is known as the Flag Code of India 2022. The Author elucidates that it is the responsibility of citizens to have respect for the National Flag and those who disrespect it are liable to be punished as per the provisions of the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act.

The Article also covers how was the tricolour of the flag decided along with the restrictions on its display. Under the ambit of rules for the current flag, importance has been given to the tricolour as a symbol which must possess the position of honour. The article ends up with a discussion on the allegations of the renowned personalities who had shown disrespect towards our nation’s flag and thus ultimately responsible for the violation of the Flag Code of India.

A Brief Introduction: Flag Code of India

The Indian National Flag embodies India’s aspirations. It represents our nation’s pride. Several people, including military personnel, have been slain in order to preserve the tricolour flying for the past 50 years.

A country’s flag is highly regarded all across the world. The general people, as well as government institutions and organisations, have a poor understanding of national flag regulations, norms, and traditions. Flags may only be flown in compliance with the Emblems and Names Act of 1950 (No.12 of 1950) and the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act of 1971 (No. 69 of 1971). The Flag Code of India, which comprises norms and regulations for all parties, was released in 2002.

The Flag Code of India, 2002 is divided into three parts.

  • Part I: The general description of the flag has been contained in Part I.
  • Part II: It addresses the display of the National Flag in public, private, and educational establishments.
  • Part III: It requires the federal and state governments, as well as their agencies, to fly the national flag.

The ‘Flag Code – India’ was replaced on January 26, 2002, by the Flag Code of India, 2002. The 2002 Flag Code includes a tricolour explanation, guidelines for public and private entities, and rules for governments and government agencies.

On July 22, 1947, the Conveners of India’s Constituent Assembly approved the current flag. The country’s first national flag was hoisted on August 7, 1906, in Calcutta’s Parsee Bagan Square (now Kolkata). A liberation warrior named Pingali Venkayya provided Mahatma Gandhi with a rudimentary flag design in 1921.

After various adjustments, the Tricolor was chosen as our national flag at a Congress Committee meeting held in Karachi in the year 1931.

How was the Tricolour decided?

The first regulations governing the usage of the national flag were the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act of 1950 and the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act of 1971.

The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act of 1971 protects national symbols such as the flag, Constitution, anthem, and Indian map.

According to Section 2 of the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act,

“Whoever burns, mutilates, defaces, defiles disfigures, destroys, or (otherwise shows disrespect or brings) into contempt the Indian National Flag or the Constitution of India or any part thereof in any public place shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, with fine, or with a sentence of imprisonment.”

Disrespect for the national flag is demonstrated by using it as a curtain, dipping it in salute to anybody or anything, or waving it at half-mast save on particular occasions.

In addition, the Act considers it offensive to use pillows, handkerchiefs, napkins, and other dress materials as a cover for statues, monuments, and platforms, as well as embroidering/printing inscriptions on pillows, and handkerchiefs, napkins, and other dress materials. Flags that are wet or hung upside down are not permitted. It should also, not be permitted to be as low as it touches the ground.

The Flag Code of India, 2002 enabled the unrestrained display of the Tricolor as long as its honour and dignity were preserved. The flag code did not supplant pre-existing norms for authorised flag display in order to integrate all laws, cultures, and practices.

Restrictions on the display of the Tricolour

The 2002 Flag Code includes a tricolour explanation, guidelines for public and private entities, and rules for governments and government agencies. It stipulates that until the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act of 1950 and the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act of 1971 are followed, governmental, private, and educational institutions are free to display the flag.

The tricolour may not be used commercially or dipped to honour someone or something. It goes on to suggest that the flag should be prominently displayed and “occupy the position of honour.” Flags that are damaged or dishevelled, flying the tricolour from a single masthead with other flags, and displaying flowers or garlands at the same height as the tricolour are all prohibited. The flag should not be used as a decoration or festoon. Damaged tricolours should be destroyed secretly, preferably by fire. National, cultural, and sporting event paper flags should be disposed of privately. Official exhibitions require flags that comply with the Bureau of Indian Standards and bear the Indian Seal.

Are there standard flag dimensions?

Tricolor sizes include 6300 x 4200, 3600 x 2400, 2700 x 1800, 1800 x 1200, 1350 x 900, 900 x 600, 450 x 300, 225 x 150, and 150 x 100. (All sizes in millimetres)

Flags on VVIP aircraft should be 450 by 300 mm, 225 x 150 mm in automobiles, and 150 x 100 mm on tables. The length-to-width ratio of the tricolour should be 3:2. The national flag must be hand-spun and hand-woven khadi bunting made of wool, cotton, or silk.

Rules for the current Flag

According to the flag code, the tricolour must “possess the position of honour”. Rapidly raise and gradually lower the flag. The saffron band should be at the end of the staff when presenting a flag horizontally. The flag on a speaker’s platform should be to the speaker’s right as he or she faces the audience. The flag should be flown from the centre of the bonnet or the front right of an automobile.

Carry the flag in front of the line’s centre or to the right of the forward file during a parade. Everyone is required to salute the flag when it passes by in a parade or during a raising or lowering event, according to the flag code. Before saluting, dignitaries should remove their hats.

The tricolour is flown at half-mast when heads of state, dignitaries, or state funerals occur. If a national holiday, such as Independence Day or Republic Day, falls during the period of mourning, the tricolour shall only be flown at half-mast over the funeral home.

Some of the alleged Flag Code violations: In the Context of the last few years

Over the years, individuals such as Sachin Tendulkar, Sania Mirza, and Amitabh Bachchan have been accused of “insulting” the Tricolor.

After a video of him cutting an Indian flag-decorated cake surfaced in 2007, Tendulkar was served with a legal letter. Mandira Bedi was detained in the same year for wearing a sari with the Indian flag on it.

A year later, a photograph of actress Sania Mirza with her feet propped up on a table near the national flag went viral, causing her considerable difficulties.

In 2011, the Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan was accused of donning the tricolour to celebrate India’s Cricket World Cup victory over Pakistan. Shahrukh Khan was accused of “insulting” the flag when photographs of him carrying the tricolour upside down while celebrating India’s World Cup victory were made public.

The mother and brother of Balvinder Singh, a 32-year-old farmer who was slain in Ghazipur on January 24 while demonstrating alongside other farmers, were recently arrested in Uttar Pradesh (UP). The allegation was that someone had put the flag on the dead body during the funeral process.

The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act of 1971 states that the Flag may not be used as a

“drapery in any manner” with the exception of State funerals or funerals for members of the armed forces or other paramilitary forces.

Farmer Navreet Singh, who was murdered in Delhi on January 26th, and Ravin Sisodia, who was accused of killing Mohammad Akhlaq in 2015, whose body was wrapped in tricolour, are believed to have violated the flag code in identical ways.

Prahlad Patel stated that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s use of the national flag at his national address earlier this year was merely “decorative.”

The national flag appears to have been employed as a decoration. He replied to Kejriwal,

“The white area in the centre appears to have been lowered and the green section added, which is not in accordance with the Ministry of Home Affairs-established Indian Flag Code guidelines.”

Patel, referring to the chief minister of Delhi, stated that Kejriwal’s second speech “corrected his error.”


References

[1] Flag Code of India 2022, Available Here

[2] Deeptesh Sen, Explained: India’s flag code, and the rules governing the display of Tricolour, Available Here

[3] Flag code of India, Available Here

[4] Flag Code of India, Available Here


Updated On 2022-06-01T10:34:54+05:30
Vartika Kulshrestha

Vartika Kulshrestha

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