Can state have their own flags in India?


Karnataka Government has decided to accept state flag proposed and designed by 9-member committee constituted by state Kannada and Culture department.


Legal Points:

  • There is no prohibition in the Constitution for the State to have its own flag.
  • Even there is no separate central or state law dealing with issue.
  • So, legally it can be said that state flag is not unauthorised.
  • Jammu and Kashmir is only state having separate flag of its own due to special status granted by Article 370 of the Constitution.
  • At present, the national flag code specifically authorises use of other flags subject to the regulation by the court.
  • It does not mention anything about separate state flag.
  • However, it clearly mentions that the manner in which the other flag is hoisted should not dishonour the national flag.
  • It has to be always below the national flag.
  • Thus, if states have separate flag, it should be hoisted in such a way that it does not dishonour the national flag.


What will happen now?

  • Now state government will make formal application to Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) under whose purview issue falls to amend Flag Code 2002 to include state flag.
  • If adopted with clearance from MHA, Karnataka will be the second state after Kashmir to have an official state flag.

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