Karnataka's own official tricolour flag gets state govt's approval

Karnataka's own official tricolour flag gets state govt's approval

The Karnataka government on Thursday took a historic decision to have a separate state flag. The Karnataka flag will be yellow, white and red with the state's emblem - Gandaberunda - at its centre.

"The long-pending demand for a separate state flag has finally been realised with the unanimous support from all quarters," Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said after chairing a meeting with representatives of Kannada organisations, littérateurs and others in Bengaluru.

The move is seen as a strategy adopted by the Congress to tap into local Kannada pride ahead of the state Assembly elections.

A nine-member panel headed by the Secretary, Department of Kannada and Culture recently submitted its report to the government with a recommendation that Karnataka has a tricolour state flag.

However, some pro-Kannada organisations were not happy. They wanted the yellow and red "Kannada flag" that is hoisted on November 1 every year to commemorate the state formation day be declared the official Karnataka flag.

The Cabinet had recently authorised Siddaramaiah to hold talks with the organisations and arrive at a consensus. "The recommendation of the expert committee to have a tricolour with the state emblem in the middle has been accepted unanimously," Siddaramaiah said, unveiling the flag before the media.

An expert committee was constituted following representation from journalist and writer Patil Puttappa that the state has its own flag.

In the tricolour stage flag, white symbolises peace with the state emblem. While yellow symbolises the auspiciousness and well-being of Kannadigas, red symbolises courage, the chief minister said.

"As the state government has no power to announce its state flag, a proposal in this regard will be sent to the Union government. We will urge the Centre to approve the proposal and make an official announcement at the earliest," Siddaramaiah said.

If the Ministry for Home Affairs (MHA) agrees to the proposal, Karnataka will be the second state in the country, after Jammu and Kashmir, to have a separate state flag. "There is no objection for states to have a separate flag in the Constitution. But the state flag will always fly below the national flag," Siddaramaiah said.

In 2012, the then BJP government headed by D V Sadananda Gowda accorded official status to the state flag through a notification making the hoisting of the state flag on government buildings, schools and colleges mandatory on the occasion of the state formation day. The notification was withdrawn after the Karnataka High Court raised questions on the legality of states having their own flags.

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