Siddaramaiah unveils a state flag in the run up to Karnataka assembly elections

The Karnataka government has approved a state flag and will be sending it to the centre for approval. As of now only Jammu and Kashmir has a separate official state flag. Karnataka had been using an unofficial state flag so far. This is the first attempt by any state other than J&K to propose an official state flag.

The Indian constitution does not approve or prohibit a state flag currently. Thus, the issue will be a matter of debate not only among political parties but also legal experts. A committee had been formed by the state government in order to study the matter.

The advocate general of Karnataka had told The Hindu that the state flag was not in violation of the constitution as long as it did not disrespect the national flag.

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“In Bommai’s case, the Supreme Court has declared that federalism is a basic feature of the Constitution and States are supreme in their sphere. This being the Constitutional position, there is no prohibition in the Constitution for the State to have its own flag. However, the manner in which the State flag is hoisted should not dishonour the national flag. It has to be always below the national flag. The national flag code specifically authorises the use of other flags subject to the regulation by the court. So State flag is not unauthorised”

The Chief Minister of Karnataka, Siddaramiah said, ‘As there is no prohibition to a state flag in the constitution, I hope that the centre will approve’, while launching the flag in front of the press. He also stated that the colour white had been added to the existing red and yellow flag as it represents peace. The state emblem has been included at the centre of the flag.


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