Explain state flag move, Cong tells Siddaramaiah

Posted July 19, 2017

According to reports, the panel will also suggest the design of the flag for the southern state.

An old controversy is likely to become central to the forthcoming Assembly elections in Karnataka, with the ruling Congress government setting up a committee to look into the demand for a state Kannada flag.

The order says that the committee has been set up collectively with the representations from Karnataka Vidyavardhaka Sangha president, Patil Puttappa and activist Bheemappa Gundappa Gadada from Belagavi, though these representations were made as far back as November 2014.

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In New Delhi, a Home Ministry official told reporters that "We are one nation, one flag", but "legally, there is no provision either for providing or prohibiting a separate flag for any state".

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has taken up the issue before the forthcoming Assembly elections in the state. "India is one nation, and there can not be two flags in one country", former Karnataka Chief Minister and Union minister DV Sadananda Gowda told The Times of India.

Currently, only Jammu and Kashmir can have a flag as per the special status it enjoys under Article 370 of the Constitution. "There is no restriction in the Constitution that says a state can not have its own separate flag", Rao said.

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The then Kannada and Culture minister Govind M Karjol said, "The national flag is the symbol of the sovereignty and integrity of the country and any love to have a separate flag would diminish the importance of the tricolour".

"However, the manner in which the state flag is hoisted should not dishonour the national flag".

The Karnataka Rakshana Vedike that has been one of the major organisations promoting the separate flag for the state just held a round table conference for linguistic equality and opposing the imposition of Hindi. The order which has been signed on behalf of the governor by G Annapurna, under secretary of the Kannada and culture department, reads: "The committee must ready a design for a separate state flag and submit a report on providing it a legal sanctity". 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.

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Experts HT spoke to, said there was no legal bar on a state flag.