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August 14, 2020

Hoisting Flag on Independence Day? Know Rules as per Flag Code of India and penalty for violation

by Rubina Dsouza in Compliance Law

Hoisting Flag on Independence Day? Know Rules as per Flag Code of India and penalty for violation

Introduction

Every free nation of the world has its own flag. It is a symbol of a free country. The National Flag of India was adopted in its present form during the meeting of Constituent Assembly held on the 22 July 1947, a few days before India’s independence from the British on 15 August, 1947.

On 26th January 2002, the Indian flag code was modified and after several years of independence, the citizens of India were finally allowed to hoist the Indian flag over their homes, offices and factories on any day and not just National days as was the case earlier. 

There are some rules and regulations upon how to fly the flag, based on the Flag Code of India, 2002. Your need to be aware of the following rules if you are planning to conduct or be part any Flag Hoisting during the upcoming Independence Day of 15th August, 2020.

General Rules to be followed pertaining to the structure of the National Flag:

1.The National Flag shall be a tri-colour panel made up of three rectangular panels or sub-panels of equal widths.

2. The colour of the top panel shall be India saffron (Kesari) and that of the bottom panel shall be India green. The middle panel shall be white, bearing at its centre the design of Ashoka Chakra in navy blue colour with 24 equally spaced spokes.

3. The Ashoka Chakra should preferably be screen printed or otherwise printed or stenciled or suitably embroidered and shall be completely visible on both sides of the Flag in the centre of the white panel.

4. The National Flag of India shall be made of hand spun and hand woven wool/cotton/silk  khadi bunting.

5. The National Flag shall be rectangular in shape. The ratio of the length to the height (width) of the Flag shall be 3:2.

6. The standard sizes of the National Flag shall be as follows:

i. Flag Size No 1 – Dimensions in mm = 6300 x 4200

ii. Flag Size No 2 – Dimensions in mm = 3600 x 2400

iii. Flag Size No 3 – Dimensions in mm = 2700 x 1800

iv. Flag Size No 4 – Dimensions in mm = 1800 x 1200

v. Flag Size No 5 – Dimensions in mm = 1350 x 900

vi. Flag Size No 6 – Dimensions in mm = 900 x 600

vii. Flag Size No 7 – Dimensions in mm = 450 x 300

viii. Flag Size No 8 – Dimensions in mm = 225 x 150

viii. Flag Size No 9 – Dimensions in mm = 150 x 100

7. An appropriate size should be chosen for display. The flags of 450X300 mm size are intended for aircrafts on VVIP flights, 225X150 mm size for motor-cars and 150X100 mm size for table flags. 

Basic Rules to be followed:

  1. Wherever the Flag is flown or displayed, it should occupy the position of honour and be distinctly placed.
  2. The Flag shall be flown from sun-rise to sun-set irrespective of weather conditions. The Flag may be flown on such a building at night also but this should be only on very special occasions. 
  3. The Flag shall always be hoisted briskly (quick or energetic way) and lowered slowly and ceremoniously.
  4. When the Flag is displayed from a staff projecting horizontally or at an angle from a windowsill, balcony, or front of a building, the saffron band shall be at the farther end of the staff. 
  5. When the Flag is displayed flat and horizontal on a wall, the saffron band shall be upper most and when displayed vertically, the saffron band shall be to the right with reference to the Flag, i.e., it may be to the left of a person facing it.
  6. When the Flag is carried in a procession or a parade, it shall be either on the marching right, i.e. the Flag’s own right, or if there is a line of other flags, in front of the centre of the line. 
  7. When the Flag is in a damaged or soiled condition, it shall be destroyed as a whole in private, preferably by burning or by any other method consistent with the dignity of the Flag.  
  8. When the Flag is displayed on a speaker’s platform, it should be flown on the speaker’s right as he faces the audience or flat against the wall, above and behind the speaker.

One should also keep in mind the following “Don’ts”:

1.a damaged or disheveled Flag should not be displayed

2. lettering of any kind shall not be put upon the Flag

3. the Flag shall not be used for commercial purposes in violation of the Emblem and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950

4. the Flag shall not be lowered in salute to any person or thing

5. the Flag shall not be flown at half-mast except on occasions on which the Flag is flown at half-mast on public buildings in accordance with the instructions issued by the Government. Half-mast means hauling down the Flag to one half the distance between the top and the guy-line and in the absence of the guy-line, half of the staff. 

6. the Flag shall not be used as a drapery (arrangement of any cloth or clothing, loosely or casually) in any form whatsoever, including private funerals

7. the Flag shall not be used as a portion of costume or uniform of any description nor shall it be embroidered or printed upon cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins or any dress material;

8. the Flag shall not be used as a receptacle for receiving, delivering, holding or carrying anything

9. There shall be no objection to keeping flower petals inside the Flag before it is unfurled as part of celebrations on special occasions and on National Days like the Republic Day and the Independence Day

10. the Flag shall not be intentionally allowed to touch the ground or the floor or trail in water

11. the Flag shall not be used as a covering for a building

12. the Flag shall not be intentionally displayed with the “saffron” down.

13. the Flag should not be flown from a single masthead simultaneously with any other flag or flags; 

14. the Flag should not be flown on any vehicle except in accordance with the provisions contained in Section IX of Part III of this Code

15. no other flag or bunting should be placed higher than or above or side by side with the National Flag

16. any object including flowers or garlands or emblem should not be placed on or above the Flag-mast from which the Flag is flown

17. the Flag should not be used in any other manner for decoration

18. the Flag made of paper may be waved by public on occasions of important national, cultural and sports events. However, such paper Flags should not be discarded or thrown on the ground after the event. As far as possible, it should be disposed of in private consistent with the dignity of the Flag

19. the Flag should not be displayed or fastened in any manner as may damage it

20. No other flag or bunting shall be placed higher than or above or, except as hereinafter provided, side by side with the National Flag; nor shall any object including flowers or garlands or emblem be placed on or above the Flag-mast from which the Flag is flown.

21. The Flag shall not be used to cover a speaker’s desk nor shall it be draped over a speaker’s platform.

The National Flag may be hoisted in educational institutions (schools, colleges, sports camps, scout camps, etc.) to inspire respect for the Flag.  Instructions for guidance on the same is given below:

  1. The School will assemble in open square formation with pupils forming the three sides and the Flag-staff at the centre of the fourth side.
  2. The Headmaster, the pupil leader and the person unfurling the Flag (if other than the Headmaster) will stand three paces behind the Flag-staff.
  3. The pupils/students will fall according to classes and in squads of ten (or other number according to strength). These squads will be arranged one behind the other.
  4. When each Form or Class is ready, the Class leader will step forward and salute the selected school pupil leader. As soon as all the Forms are ready, the school pupil leader will step up to the Headmaster and salute him. The Headmaster will return the salute. Then, the Flag will be unfurled. The School pupil leader may assist.
  5. The School pupil leader in charge of the parade (or assembly) will call the parade to attention, just before the unfurling, and he will call them to the salute when the Flag flies out. The parade will keep at the salute for a brief interval, and then on the command “order”, the parade will come to the attention position. 
  6. The Flag Salutation will be followed by the National Anthem.  The parade will be kept at the attention during this part of the function. 
  7. On all occasions when the pledge is taken, the pledge will follow the National Anthem. When taking the pledge the Assembly will stand to attention and the Headmaster will administer the pledge ceremoniously and the Assembly will repeat it after him 
  8. In pledging allegiance to the National Flag, the practice to be adopted in Schools is that everyone should stand with folded hands and repeat together the following pledge: “I pledge allegiance to the National Flag and to the Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic for which it stands.” 

It is also important to know that, during the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the Flag or when the Flag is passing in a parade or in a review, all persons present should face the Flag and stand at attention.

Those present in uniform should render the appropriate salute. When the Flag is in a moving column, persons present will stand at attention or salute as the Flag passes them. One should remember to maintain the dignity and honour of the National Flag at all times at it is an important symbol of the independence of our democratic nation.

Punishment for violation of The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971

The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971 is an Act of the Parliament of India which prohibits any insult or violation to the countries National symbol which includes the National Flag, National Anthem, The Indian Constitution and The Map of India.

This act is applied in almost every case where there is a case to insult National Honour by way of disrespecting the National symbols in public or private, done intentionally or othwerwise is punishable under this Act.

Punishment & Relevant Sections:

Section 2 of The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971

National Flag- Whoever in any public place or in any other place within public view burns, 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 the Constitution of India or any part thereof, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.

Section 3 of The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971

National Anthem- Whoever intentionally prevents the singing of the Jana Gana Mana  or causes disturbances to any assembly engaged in such singing shall be punished with imprisonment for a term, which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.

Whoever having already been convicted of an offence under section 2 or section 3 is again convicted of any such offence shall be punishable for the second and for every subsequent offence, with imprisonment for a term, which shall not be less than one year.

The disrespect to the Indian National flag means and includes

a. a gross affront or indignity offered to the Indian National Flag; or

b. dipping the Indian National Flag in salute to any person or thing; or

c. using the Indian National Flag:-

i. as a portion of costume, uniform or accessory of any description which is worn below the waist of any person; or

ii. by embroidering or printing it on cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, undergarments or any dress material; or

d.  putting any kind of inscription upon the Indian National Flag; or

e. using the Indian National Flag as a receptacle for receiving, delivering or carrying anything except flower petals before the Indian National Flag is unfurled as part of celebrations on special occasions including the Republic Day or the Independence Day; or

f. using the Indian National Flag as covering for a statue or a monument or a speaker’s desk or a speaker’s platform; or

g. allowing the Indian National Flag to touch the ground or the floor or trail in water intentionally; or

h. draping the Indian National Flag over the hood, top, and sides or back or on a vehicle, train, boat or an aircraft or any other similar object; or

i. using the Indian National Flag as a covering for a building; or

j. intentionally displaying the Indian National Flag with the “saffron” down.

Being an Indian doesn’t only mean we make a formality with our Motherland by having a National Holiday or simply hoisting the National Flag without understanding its true meaning and essence.

As an Indian citizen it is our primary duty and responsibility to perform this hoisting ceremony by understanding the guidelines and truly knowing the meaning and importance of the Flag hoisting. It’s essential that we don’t just feel patriotic but also understand patriotism in its true sense. Jai Hind!

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