Ahead of the Independence Day, the Ministry of Home Affairs has issued an Advisory to the Chief Secretaries / Administrators of all State Governments / UT Administrations, Secretaries of all Ministries / Departments of Govt. of India to ensure strict compliance of the provisions contained in the ‘Flag Code of India. 2002’ and ‘The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971’. The Advisory directs that mass awareness programmes be carried out in this regard and also give wide publicity through advertisements in the electronic and print media.
The Advisory states that on important national, cultural and sports events, Flags made of paper only are used by public in terms of the provisions of the ‘Flag Code of India, 2002’ and such paper Flags are not discarded or thrown on the ground after the event. Such Flags are to be disposed of, in private, consistent with the dignity of the Flag. Wide publicity, for not using the National Flag made of plastic, should be made along with its advertisement in the electronic and print media.
Further, it has been brought to notice of the MHA that on important events the National Flags made of plastic are also being used in place of paper Flags. Since plastic flags are not biodegradable like paper flags, these do not get decomposed for a long time and ensuring appropriate disposal of National Flags made of plastic commensurate with dignity of the flag, is a practical problem. It may also be noted that as per Section 2 of ‘The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971’- Whoever in any public place or in any other place within public view bums, mutilates, defaces, defiles, disfigures, destroys, tramples upon or otherwise shows disrespect to or brings into contempt (whether by words, either spoken or written, or by acts) the Indian National Flag or any part thereof, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine, or with both.
The Advisory reiterates that the National Flag represents the hopes and aspirations of the people of our country and hence should occupy a position of honour. There is universal affection and respect for, and loyalty to, the National Flag. Yet, a perceptible lack of awareness is often noticed amongst people as well as organizations/agencies of the Government in regard to laws, practices and conventions that apply to display of the National Flag. A copy each of ‘The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971’ and ‘Flag Code of India, 2002’ which governs display of National Flag, are available on the links below for strict compliance of the provisions contained in the Act and the Flag Code