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Flag Code of India 


Recently, The Indian government has declared that as long as the national flag is flown in the open and by a member of the public, it may now fly all night long.

  • The tricolour could previously only be flown just between sunrise and dusk.
  • The Ministry of Home Affairs revised the Flag Code of India 2002 to permit the flying of the national flag even at night as the government began a Har Ghar Tiranga campaign.


GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Historical Background
  2. Flag Code of India 
  3. Rules governing the display of the Tricolour
  4. What is the Har Ghar Tiranga Campaign?

Historical Background

  • On August 7, 1906, at Parsee Bagan Square, close to Lower Circular Road, in Calcutta, it is reported that the first national flag, which had three horizontal stripes of red, yellow, and green, was raised (now Kolkata).
  • In 1921, freedom fighter Pingali Venkayya met Mahatma Gandhi and suggested the flag’s basic layout, which had two bands of red and green.
    • The Tricolor was finally designated as the national flag in 1931 during a Congress Committee meeting in Karachi after going through a number of modifications.
  • In its current form, the Indian flag was approved by the Constituent Assembly on July 22, 1947.

Flag Code of India 

  • The Flag Code of India, which went into force in 2002, permits the display of the Tricolor without restriction so long as the flag’s honour and dignity are upheld.
  • The pre-existing regulations controlling the proper display of the flag were not repealed by the flag code.
  • However, it was an attempt to include all of the earlier laws, conventions, and practises.

The Flag Code of 2002 is divided into three parts 

  • A general description of the tricolour
  • Rules on the display of the flag by public and private bodies and educational institutions
  • Rules for the display of the flag by governments and government bodies.
Features :
  • There will be no restriction on the display of the flag by public and private bodies and educational institutions except to the extent as laid down in the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950 and the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971.
  • The tricolour cannot be used for commercial purposes, and cannot be dipped in salute to any person or thing.
  • The flag code mandates that the tricolour should always be distinctly placed and should “occupy the position of honour”. 
  • The flag should always be hoisted briskly and lowered slowly and ceremoniously.
  • The flag should not be used as a festoon, or for any kind of decoration purposes.
  •  Any tricolour which is damaged should be destroyed in private, “preferably by burning or by any other method consistent with the dignity of the Flag”.
  • For official display, only flags that conform to the specifications as laid down by the Bureau of Indian Standards and bearing their mark can be used.
  • In the event of the death of heads of state, dignitaries or during state funerals, the tricolour can be flown at half-mast during the period of mourning. 
    • However, if the period of mourning coincides with events of national importance, such as Independence Day, Republic Day, etc., the tricolour should not be flown at half-mast anywhere except over the building in which the body of the deceased is lying.

Rules governing the display of the Tricolour

  • The Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950:
    • It restricts the use of the national flag, the coat-of-arms used by a government department, the official seal of the President or Governor, the pictorial representation of Mahatma Gandhi and the Prime Minister, and the Ashoka Chakra.
  • The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971: 
    • It prohibits the desecration of or insults to the country’s national symbols, including the national flag, the Constitution, the national anthem and the Indian map.
    • Section 2 of the Act says, “Whoever in any public place or in any other place within public view burns, mutilates, defaces, defiles, disfigures, destroys, tramples upon or [otherwise shows disrespect to or brings] into contempt (whether by words, either spoken or written, or by acts) the Indian National Flag or the Constitution of India or any part thereof, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.
  • Part IV-A of the Constitution:
    • The Part IV-A of the Constitution (which consists of only one Article 51-A) specifies the eleven Fundamental Duties.
    • According to Article 51A (a), it shall be the duty of every citizen of India to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem.

What is the Har Ghar Tiranga Campaign?

  • ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ is a campaign under the aegis of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav to encourage people to bring the Tiranga home and to hoist it to mark the 75th year of India’s independence.
  • Our relationship with the flag has always been more formal and institutional than personal.
  • Bringing the flag home as a nation in our 75th year of independence symbolises both our dedication to establishing a better country and our act of personal connection to the Tiranga.
  • Invoking a sense of patriotism in people’s hearts and raising awareness of the Indian National Flag are the goals of the programme.

-Source: Indian Express

March 2024