Can Karnataka Have Own Flag? Government Sets Up Committee To Explore

Karnataka state flag Congress Karnataka assembly elections Siddaramaiah Indian national flag Indian tricolour

However in 2012, when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was in power, it had clarified Karnataka HC that it had not accepted the suggestions to declare yellow and red Kannada flag as the official flag of the State, saying, a separate flag would be against the unity and integrity of the country.

Kannada writer and journalist Patil Puttappa and social worker Bheemappa Gundappa Gadada had made representations to the state government for a separate flag alleging that disrespect is shown to Karnataka by the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti, which has called for the Belagavi district to be integrated into Maharashtra. It is on full display on November 1 every year when the state observes Karnataka Formation Day, Karnataka Rajyotsava.

"Is there any provision in the Constitution that prohibits a state from having a flag?"

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut has asked for President's Rule to be imposed in the state.


Senior legal counsels quoted the 1994 SR Bommai versus Union of India case where it has been said that there is no constitutional prohibition for a state to have its own state flag as long as no disrespect is shown to the national flag and it is flown below it. "I don't see any provision anywhere, if they want to have state flag, there is nothing wrong in it", Rao told ANI.

The matter had been reported in the local media at the time, but it was picked up again on Tuesday, and projected as an effort by Karnataka's Congress government to subvert the national flag and the laws that allow only Jammu and Kashmir to have its own flag. More so as the Kannada flag has been in use across the state by Kannada centric organisations and first emerged in the 1960's Kannada movement. One advocate said, "India has a federal structure and there haven't been many discussions on the flag".

Despite NDA-led Centre preaching one-nation mantra, the Congress-led government of Karnataka has formed a nine-member team for designing the state flag and send out a report for its legal sanctity, reported The Hindu. While Chief Minister Siddaramaiah maintained that nothing unconstitutional was afoot and dared the BJP to publicly reject the demand for an official flag for Karnataka, lost in the political noise were the realities of Kannada subnationalism, and the distinction, articulated by a Home Ministry official in New Delhi, between the "people" and the "state".

The flag is not used during Republic Day and Independence Day but on occasions like state foundation day, an official said. The government then said it would not make it mandatory to fly the state flag.

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