State flag grey area, want no controversy: Karnataka govt

In a major development, the government in Karnataka has set up a panel which will explore whether it was legally possible for a state to have its own flag. 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.

A nine-member committee will deliberate on a separate flag for the state of Karnataka, as politicians and activists have been demanding it.

"The committee must ready a design for a separate state flag and submit a report on providing it a legal sanctity", the government order reads.

The flag is not used during Republic Day and Independence Day but on occasions like state foundation day, an official said. They say that separate state flags would give people a sense of identity and cultural belonging.

Congress Karnataka in charge KC Venugopal has taken a dim view of the CM's action and told ET: "The Congress party's stand is clear that there should be no move to have a state flag for Karnataka". It is used by any number of organisations in the state as an "official flag" and the Congress has clearly made a decision to capitalise on this issue before the elections.

Clearing the air over the demand of a separate flag for State, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday said that the decision of forming a separate panel for the state flag was taken on June 6.

Ma Ramamurthy, son of freedom fighter and litterateur Veerakesari Seetharama Shastri, was the first to have conceptualised and designed the Yellow and Red flag for Karnataka.

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"By having a regional flag, no disrespect is being shown to the national flag".

The Opposition in Karnataka and the central government stated that the move by the Congress government was all a political gimmick.

"We have an unofficial state anthem for Karnataka". To a query, he sought to know whether there is any specific provision in the Constitution that prohibits the State from having its own flag.

Meanwhile, Constitution expert PP Rao said Karnataka was well within its rights to have a flag of its own.

India is known for its diverse culture and various languages that the nation has.

Federalism is India's greatest strength and this makes the country to run in a greater path.

  • Sonia Alvarado