Kannada groups oppose state flag proposed by expert panel

Kannada groups oppose state flag proposed by expert panel
Pro-Kannada organisations have opposed the recommendation of a state government appointed committee that the Karnataka have a tricolour as the state flag.

The nine-member panel headed by the Secretary, Department of Kannada and Culture recently submitted its report to the government. It has proposed that the Karnataka flag be yellow, white and red with the state's emblem - Gandaberunda - at its centre.

However, pro-Kannada organisations are not happy. They want the widely regarded yellow and red 'Kannada flag' that is hoisted in the state on November 1 every year to commemorate state formation day be declared as the official Karnataka flag. This flag was designed by vetaeran Kannada activist 'Veera Senani' Ma Ramamurthy in the 1960s.

Addressing a press conference in Bengaluru on Wednesday, Kannada activists Vatal Nagaraj and others said, "The present yellow-red Kannada flag has been widely accepted. At no cost it should be changed."

Nagaraj said that first of all there was no need to constitute an expert committee on the flag issue. The Kannada flag should be given official status, he said. The organisations have threatened a state-wide agitation if the government accepts the recommendation of the committee.

Minister speaks

Meanwhile, Kannada and Culture Minister Umashree said in Shivamogga that the government will take a final call on separate state flag issue only after collecting opinion from members of the public.

Speaking to media persons, she said several pro-Kannada organisations have appealed to the government to retain the existing two-coloured (unofficial) state flag of yellow and red. The issue will be discussed in the Cabinet meeting, she added.

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