It was a symbol of dissent during the freedom struggle. And when the colonizers left, it became an emblem of Independence. When tagged on a vehicle, it indicates presence of a dignitary inside. When flying half-mast, it suggests that a nation is in mourning. When it is draped around a body, it announces that the nation is paying homage to a hero. A flag gives respect and dignity, and it deserves the same too.
The use of the national flag is governed by the Flag Code of India, 2002 and Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971. A brief knowledge of the rules governing the use of tricolour will help us use it in a proper way.
The Flag Code of India consists of set laws and conventions concerning the use, display, and hoisting of the Indian national flag in the country. Brought in effect on January 26, 2002, the Flag Code is divided into three parts and consists of detailed guidelines regarding the hoisting of the flag. It tells how private, public and government institutions must display the national flag.
Which materials can be used in the making of the Indian flag?
Polyester or machine-made flags were not permitted earlier. But on December 30, 2021, the government amended the flag code to allow it. So the national flag can now be made in polyester, cotton, wool, silk or khadi. It can either be woven by hand or by a machine.
Where can the national flag be displayed?
The flag code says that “a member of the public, private organisation, or educational institute is allowed to hoist the national flag on all days and occasions, ceremonial or otherwise, consistent with the dignity and honour of the flag.”
When can the national flag be flown?
A recent amendment made by the government allowed the flags to be hoisted after the sunset too. It wasn’t allowed earlier.
Size of the national flag?
The national flag shall be of any size but should always be rectangular, with the length-to-height ratio fixed at 3:2.
Who can display the national flag on their vehicle?
Only individuals who hold important designations have been granted permission to display the national flag on their vehicles. Like the President, Vice-President, Governors, Chief Justice of India, Supreme Court Judges, Chief Justice of High Courts, Judges of High Courts, Heads of Indian Missions, Chief ministers of states etc.
How to dispose of the national flag?
The damaged national flag must be disposed of as a whole in private and can be done by either burning or any other method that would give due regard to its dignity. National flags made of paper should never be disposed of on the ground after the citizens have waved them.