New Delhi: Ahead of Republic Day, the Centre has highlighted ”a perceptible lack of awareness” among government organisations, agencies and people about the laws, practices and conventions that apply to the display of the national flag and asked states to ensure that the tricolour is not dishonoured.
In a communication to all states and union territories, the home ministry said that action must be taken to ensure that only paper flags are used by the public while attending cultural and sports events and such flags are disposed of in private, consistent with its dignity.
The ministry said the national flag represents hopes and aspirations of the people of the country and hence should occupy a position of honour and there is universal affection and respect for, and loyalty to, the flag.
”Yet, a perceptible lack of awareness is often noticed amongst people as well as organisations or agencies of the government, in regard to laws, practices and conventions that apply to display of the national flag,” it said.
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According to the Flag Code of India, the national flag made of paper may be waved by the public on occasions of important national, cultural and sports events.
”You are requested to ensure that on the occasions of important national, cultural and sports events, flags made of paper only are used by the public and such paper flags are not discarded or thrown on the ground after the event. Such flags are to be disposed of, in private, consistent with the dignity of the flag,” the communication said.
The home ministry also asked the states and union territories to undertake a mass awareness programme in this regard and also to give it wide publicity through advertisements in the electronic and print media.
The copy of ‘The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971 ‘ and ‘Flag Code of India, 2002’, as amended in 2021, which governs the display of National Flag, are available on this ministry’s website, it said.
Last year, before Independence Day, the home ministry had asked the states to ensure that people do not use national flags made of plastic as they do not get decomposed easily.
It had also sought appropriate disposal of the tricolour made of non-biodegradable items commensurate with the dignity of the flag.