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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: In just few days, India will celebrate its 72nd Republic Day on January 26. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has recently issued an advisory to ensure strict compliance of the provisions of Flag Code of India, 2002 and the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971.

In a letter, MHA has asked all States to ensure there is no use of National Flags made of plastic. Indian National Flag represents hopes and aspirations of the people of our country and hence should occupy a position of honour. There is universal affection and respect for, and loyalty to, the National flag.

Yet, a perceptible lack of awareness is often noticed amongst people as well as organizations/agencies of the Government, in regard to laws, practices and conventions that apply to display of the National Flag.

On the occasions of important national, cultural and sports events, the National Flags made of plastic are also being used in place of National Flags made of paper. Since, plastic flags are not biodegradable like paper flags, these do not get decomposed for a long time and ensuring appropriate disposal of National Flags made of plastic commensurate with dignity of the flag, is a practical problem.

General Guidelines

The National Flag of India shall be made of hand spun and hand woven wool/cotton/silk khadi bunting. The National Flag shall be rectangular in shape. The ratio of the length to the height (width) of the Flag shall be 3:2.

The standard sizes of the National Flag shall be as follows:

The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971:

Whoever in any public place or in any other place within public view burns, mutilates, defaces, defiles, disfigures, destroys, tramples upon or otherwise brings into contempt (whether by words, either spoken or written, or by acts) the Indian National Flag...or any part thereof, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.

- the Flag shall not be flown at half-mast except on occasions on which the Flag is flown at half-mast on public buildings in accordance with the instructions issued by the Government;

- the Flag shall not be used as a drapery in any form whatsoever, including private funerals;

- the Flag shall not be used as a portion of costume or uniform of any description nor shall it be embroidered or printed upon cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins or any dress material;

- delivering, holding or carrying anything; provided that there shall be no objection to keeping flower petals inside the Flag before it is unfurled as part of celebrations on special occasions and on National Days like the Republic Day and the Independence Day

For more details, click HERE for the detailed MHA advisory.

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