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Flag Code of India

  • 27 Jul 2022
  • 7 min read

For Prelims: Flag Code of India, Fundamental Duties, History of National Flag

For Mains: Significance of National Symbols, Evolution of National Flag, Rules and Regulations for National Flag

Why in News?

Recently, the Government of India has announced that the national flag can now remain hoisted through the night, if it is in the open and hoisted by a member of the public.

  • Earlier, the tricolour could be hoisted only between sunrise and sunset.
  • The government had earlier amended the flag code to allow for machine-made and polyester flags to be used.
  • As government launched a Har Ghar Tiranga campaign, the Ministry of Home Affairs amended the Flag Code of India 2002 to allow for the national flag to be flown even at night.

What do we know about the Flag Code of India?

  • It allowed the unrestricted display of the Tricolour as long as the honour and dignity of the flag were being respected.
  • The flag code did not replace the pre-existing rules governing the correct display of the flag.
    • It was, however, an effort to bring together all the previous laws, conventions and practices.
  • It is divided into three parts -
    • General description of the tricolour.
    • Rules on display of the flag by public and private bodies and educational institutions.
    • Rules for display of the flag by governments and government bodies.
  • It mentions that the tricolour cannot be used for commercial purposes and cannot be dipped in salute to any person or thing.
  • Moreover, the flag should not be used as a festoon, or for any kind of decoration purposes.
  • For official display, only flags that conform to the specifications as laid down by the Bureau of Indian Standards and bearing their mark can be used.

What is the Har Ghar Tiranga Campaign?

  • ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ is a campaign under the aegis of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav to encourage people to bring the Tiranga home and to hoist it to mark the 75th year of India’s independence.
  • Our relationship with the flag has always been more formal and institutional than personal.
    • Bringing the flag home collectively as a nation in the 75th year of independence thus becomes symbolic of not only an act of personal connection to the Tiranga but also an embodiment of our commitment to nation-building.
  • The idea behind the initiative is to invoke the feeling of patriotism in the hearts of the people and to promote awareness about the Indian National Flag.

What do we know about India’s National Flag?

  • History:
    • 1906:
      • The first national flag, which consisted of three horizontal stripes of red, yellow and green, is said to have been hoisted on 7th August, 1906, at the Parsee Bagan Square, near Lower Circular Road, in Calcutta (now Kolkata).
    • 1921:
      • Later, in 1921, freedom fighter Pingali Venkayya met Mahatma Gandhi and proposed a basic design of the flag, consisting of two red and green bands.
    • 1931:
      • After undergoing several changes, the Tricolour was adopted as our national flag at a Congress Committee meeting in Karachi in 1931.
    • 1947:
      • The Indian flag was adopted in its present form during a meeting of the Constituent Assembly held on 22nd July 1947.
  • Rules Governing the Tricolour:
    • The Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950:
      • It restricts the use of the national flag, the coat-of-arms used by a government department, the official seal of the President or Governor, the pictorial representation of Mahatma Gandhi and the Prime Minister, and the Ashoka Chakra.
    • The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971:
      • It prohibits the desecration of or insult to the country’s national symbols, including the national flag, the Constitution, the national anthem and the Indian map.
      • A person who is convicted for the following offences under the Act is disqualified to contest in the elections to the Parliament and state legislature for 6 years.
        • Offence of insulting the National Flag,
        • Offence of insulting the Constitution of India,
        • Offence of preventing the singing of the National Anthem.
    • Part IV-A of the Constitution:
      • The Part IV-A of the Constitution (which consists of only one Article 51-A) specifies the eleven Fundamental Duties.
      • According to Article 51A (a), it shall be the duty of every citizen of India to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions (PYQ)

Q. With reference to Madanapalle of Andhra Pradesh, which one of the following statements is correct?

(a) Pingali Venkayya designed the tricolour Indian National Flag here.
(b) Pattabhi Sitaramaiah led the Quit India Movement of Andhra region from here.
(c) Rabindranath Tagore translated the National Anthem from Bengali to English here.
(d) Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott set up headquarters of Theosophical Society first here.

Ans: (c)


  • The original song ‘Jana Gana Mana’ (National Anthem) was written in Bengali, but in a Sanskritized dialect known as Sadhu Bhasha.
  • The idea of translating the song from Bengali to English came to Rabindranath Tagore while he was visiting the Besant Theosophical College on the invitation of Irish poet James H. Cousins. He penned down the English translation during his stay at Madanapalle, a small town in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh.
  • Jana Gana Mana was officially proclaimed as India’s National Anthem by the Constituent Assembly of India on 24th January 24, 1950.
  • Therefore, option (c) is the correct answer

Source: IE

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