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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Indian National Flag- Etiquette and Protocols; Some Departures and Wrong Practice.

“Know the Rules before you Display the National Flag”

 The National Flag represents the hopes and aspirations of the people of our country. There is universal affection and respect for the National Flag. In terms of “Flag Code of India 2002”, there is no restriction on the display of the National Flag by the members of general public, private organizations and educational institutions etc. However, while doing so, certain guiding principles are required to be observed by all concerned as stipulated in “Flag Code of India 2002” published by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India and subsequent modifications, as and when, promulgated by the Union Government.

Insulting or showing disrespect to the National Flag is a offence punishable under the “Prevention of Insults to National Honours Act, 1971”. 

Flag in Mourning

On occasions of State/Military/Central Para-Military Forces funerals, the Flag shall be draped over the bier or coffin with saffron towards the head of the bier or coffin. 


Correct position of the Flag in Mourning.

Wrong position of the Flag in last Journeys.

The Flag should not be lowered into the grave or burnt in the pyre. Vide clause (3.58). 
The left hand Flag images, purported to be the Flags of the opposition parties in the advertisement "Twenty Indias or One?", issued by the then dominant Congress (I) during election campaign in November 1989, are not real ones, they are all imaginary/fantasy flags. The advertisement when appeared in some leading newspapers drew a lot of criticisms from the public in general; claiming it had violated all norms of decency. It showed 10 opposition leaders and 15 imaginary opposition party flags. It implied that the opposition leaders would divide the country if voted to power.
 Also, the right hand picture of the map of India in national colours with the Asoka Chakra at the centre and Mr. Rajib Gandhi (then president of the Congress) adorning the Chakra was deplored, as no leader, however great, can be placed on the national flag.

Damaged or Disheveled Flag

Rule 3.14 stipulates, A damaged or disheveled Flag shall not be displayed

Positioning Flag on Speaker’s Platform
According to the  clause 3.10 of the Flag Code: "When the National Flag is to be displayed on a speaker's platform, it shall be flown on a movable staff to the speakers right as he faces the audience, not on left side as appeared in the picture above.

Flower petals inside the Flag
Clause 3.30;  The Flag shall not be used as a receptacle for receiving, delivering, holding or carrying anything.
Provided that there shall be no objection to keeping flower petals inside the Flag before it is unfurled, as part of celebrations on special occasions and on National Days like the Republic Day and the Independence Day.

The earlier Post titled “National Flag - Etiquette and Protocols; Wrong depictions of Indian Tricolour”, Friday, July 16, 2010 is also relevant.