India's tallest flag not flying high

India's tallest flag not flying high

India’s tallest and largest tricolour installed close to the border with Pakistan in Amritsar last month is not being hoisted anymore, at least for now. According to the sources, the flag has become ‘unmanageable’ as nothing seems to be working to keep the 100-plus kg tricolour flying high.

In five weeks since it was inaugurated, the flag has been damaged six times, and counting. Ironically, while officials of the Amritsar Improvement Trust seem to be contemplating seeking donations to bear the cost of maintenance of the flag, the recurring flip-flop has caught the attention of the Pakistani media as well. The flag can be seen from Lahore in Pakistan, 20-km from the Attari-Wagah international border.

The Express Tribune, published from Pakistan, carried a story headlined: “How India’s tallest flag at Pakistan border keeps letting it down.” It said the flag keeps letting it down as it cannot stand up to the weather. The story first appeared on BBC Hindi.

The chief minister’s office is now expected to pitch in to square the circle. A detailed report on the ‘flag developments’ has been compiled by the Amritsar administration and sent to the chief minister and the home department, it is learnt. The tricolour is 36 metres in length and 24 metres wide.

Officials say the flag is “unmanageable” given that the heavy weight of the fabric cannot withstand the high wind velocity at that height. Often, the damage to the flag is noticed later, which has invited criticism and demand for action for insult to the flag.

There are several flags kept in stock for replacement in case of damage, but replacement of flags at that rate may not be a durable option in the long run.  So, the plan is to reduce the size of the flag to make it more durable atop the 110-metre flagpole. From the current dimension of 120 feet in length, the plan is to reduce it to about 72 feet.

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