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Explained: What are the rules for displaying the Tricolour?

On August 12, the Department of Post (DoP) revealed that it had taken just 10 days to sell one crore of National Flags through the widespread network of 1.5 lakh post offices across the country and online channels. Shopkeepers in towns and villages are also witnessing high sales of the flag as people prepare to celebrate the 75th Independence Day by participating in the government’s Har Ghar Tiranga campaign, which is being held as part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav program. Its purpose is to spread the message of patriotism, but not many people know that there are some rules around hoisting or displaying the Tiranga. These instructions are contained in the Flag Code of India 2002 and are enforced by the Prevention of Insults to National Honor Act, 1971.

Who can fly a national flag and on which days?

According to the Flag Code of India, paragraph 2.2, which came into effect on January 26, 2002, any person, organization, private or public or educational institution (including reconnaissance camps) may hoist or display the tricolor on “all days or occasions”. in accordance with the dignity and honor of the national flag”.

How do you choose a flag?

The flag can be as big or small as one likes “but the ratio of the length to the height (width) of the national flag shall be 3:2”.

So the flag should always be rectangular instead of square or some other shape. Following a change on December 30, 2021, the flag’s material has been decided as “handspun and handwoven or machine-made, cotton, polyester, wool, silk or khadi bunting”. If the flag is placed in the open air or on the home of a member of the public, it may be flown day and night.

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What if your flag is damaged by the elements or otherwise?

It is against the rules to display a damaged or untidy national flag. The national flag must be displayed in a place of honor at all times and must be clearly displayed.

“No other flag or flag may be placed above or above or next to the national flag; nor shall any object, including flowers or garlands, or emblem be placed on or above the flagpole from which the national flag is flown.” The Tricolor should never be used as a garland, rosette, garland or for a decorative purpose. No advertisements may be placed on the pole from which it flies.

Is it okay to wear the tricolor as a token of love for the nation?

A person is prohibited by law from using the national flag “as a part of costume or uniform”. It must not be used as an accessory worn below the waist of a person “nor shall it be embroidered or printed on pillows, handkerchiefs, napkins, undergarments or any other clothing material”.

Can it be applied to vehicles?

The national flag may not be flown on any vehicle except that of the President, Vice President, Prime Minister, Governor and other dignitaries. The flag should also not be used to cover the sides, rear and top of a vehicle.

What should you do with the Tricolor after Independence Day?

The Tricolor must not be stored in a way that could contaminate or damage it. In the event that your flag is damaged, the Flag Code instructs you not to toss it aside or to treat it with disrespect, but “destroy it in its entirety privately, preferably by incineration or by any method consistent with the dignity of the the flag”.

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People waving paper flags are not allowed to throw them on the floor after the ceremony. The flag “must not touch the ground or the floor or the track in the water”.

What is the penalty for disrespecting the flag?

According to Section 2 of the Prevention of Insults to National Honor Act, 1971, “Anyone who burns, mutilates, obscures, defiles, maims, destroys, tramples, or otherwise contempt (whether by words, spoken or written, or by deed) the Indian national flag … shall be punished with imprisonment of up to three years or a fine, or both”.


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