Legally we can have Karnataka flag, says law minister

Karnataka wants its own flag appoints panel to look into legal sanctity

On June 6 this year, the Kannada and Culture Department of the state government notified the setting up of a nine-member committee to examine the feasibility and legal issues around the demand.

Nagaland is also in the process of getting its own flag under Article 371 (A) of the Constitution. There has been a demand from various quarters that official status be accorded to the Kannada flag.

Speaking to reporters after felicitating meritorious students who passed the KPSC exams in flying colours, Mr Siddaramaiah charged that the opposition BJP and JD (S) were indulging in politicking over the flag issue. However, the BJP-government changed its stand during the hearing of a case.

Meanwhile, the BJP said that Siddharamaiah's move was anti-national.

In addition, they argue that considering all states have their own insignia and many states also have their own anthems, would having a state flag make a big difference? In a statement by K'taka CM, he said, "As the Constitution does not bar states from having their own flag for a separate identity, we will consider it if the panel recommends".

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At present, no state except Jammu and Kashmir has a flag, and the move has evoked a sharp reaction from the BJP which has dubbed it anti-national.

A home ministry spokesperson, strongly disapproving of the proposal, said: "We are one nation, we have one flag". Other states can not be compared with Jammu and Kashmir having its own flag because of article 370 of the constitution.

The Background: In 2014, Patil Puttappa, a 96-year-old veteran journalist and Kannada activist, along with others approached the Karnataka government, demanding a separate official flag for the state. "We will now look into the legalities with extra caution considering it has become a public debate". He designed a flag with yellow and red around 1965.

The then Kannada and culture minister Govind M Karjol had explained the decision saying that the Flag Code does not allow flags for states. It had then told the Karnataka High Court that the move would be against the unity and integrity of the nation, NDTV reported. The issue of giving the northeastern state its own flag is nearly decided, sources told Hindustan Times in this 2016 report.

And earlier this week, India's federal government again insisted that there was no provision in the constitution for a separate flag for any state.

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