Karnataka flag issue depends on 'law', says Congress

Karnataka flag issue depends on 'law', says Congress

The BBC explains why it has become such a contentious issue. It should always be hoisted below the national flag.

The demand for a "separate" state flag is not new to the state of Karnataka.

The controversy was triggered after Karnataka formed a nine-member committee to design a state flag and examine whether it could be given legal sanctity.

If the move by the Congress-led state government comes into being, Karnataka will be the second state in the country to have a flag of its own, after Jammu and Kashmir - the state that enjoys special status under Article 370 of the Constitution.

Karnataka has already been using a red-and-yellow flag unofficially during state events, both at government and private ones organised by pro-Kannada groups. "Legally, there is no provision for providing a separate flag for any state".

"We have a state anthem, has this in any way affected the national anthem or its status?" he retorted.

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Challenging the "one nation, one flag" stand of the BJP, the state law Minister on Wednesday declared that there was nothing illegal about having a flag for Karnataka. "There is no restriction in the Constitution that says a state can not have its own separate flag", Rao said. "Did BJP people come across any provision?"

Stating that the committee would look into all aspects, Jayachandra said, "We want to be in the mainstream; we don't want to get involved in controversy".

Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut said that the Congress government in Karnataka should be dismissed as the move is against Constitution. "The polls are scheduled only for May next year", Siddaramaiah said. "Elections are in May", he said, suggesting that they were still sometime away. Siddaramaiah is banking on the surmise that the judiciary would uphold the right to have its own flag so long as the supremacy of the national flag is not violated which in effect would mean that it must be flown lower than the national tricolour.

In the 1960s, when Karnataka had erupted into protests against anti-Kannada movies, the flag was used by a party, Kannada Paksha, as its own symbol. The senior Congress leader said he was unaware of any apprehensions shown by the party high command in this regard.

How does the world deal with this issue?

Is the demand for an official state flag against concept of one nation?

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