Karnataka government constitutes panel on separate flag for the state

Posted July 20, 2017

Meanwhile, the Karnataka Government has constituted a nine-member committee to submit a report to the state government on the possibility of designing a separate flag for the state.

The Law Minister, TB Jayachandra said on Wednesday, "The Indian Constitution has three Articles with regard to flags and flag hoisting".

Karnataka already has an unofficial state flag since the mid 1960s when pro-Kannada groups were agitating against the screening of non-Kannada films in the state. However, the BJP-government changed its stand during the hearing of a case. "But Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has taken a unilateral decision without consulting the Opposition leaders", Yeddyurappa said during a protest organised by the party.

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The pro-Kannada organisations and the activists have supported the move of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

"Our party is not opposed to Karnataka having a separate flag". "Is there was any provision in the Constitution which prohibits the state from having its own flag?" "The flag controversy provided ammunition to the BJP, just when we were going after them on issues such as lynching by cow vigilantes", said a senior Congress leader.

"The demand for a separate flag is in no way an insult to the national symbols of India", he said and asserted that the National flag will always be higher. The JD (S) in Karnataka said that the state government is creating this issue to divert attention of some recent controversies. "We will now look into the legalities with extra caution considering it has become a public debate". It is popularly known as the "Kannada flag".

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"We have a state anthem, has this in any way affected the national anthem or its status?" he retorted.

The then Kannada and culture minister Govind M Karjol had explained the decision saying that the Flag Code does not allow flags for states.

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". The government then said it would not make it mandatory to fly the state flag. But the notification was withdrawn later that year after a legal battle.

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There were also reports of Nagaland getting its own official flag as part of the final accord which was expected to be signed by the Union government and the National Socialist Council of Nagalim in 2016.