Ahead of the Independence Day celebration, the Centre has asked the states and Union territories to make sure that people do not use plastic national flags as appropriate disposal of these flags made of plastic become a problem.
The union Home Ministry said the National Flag represents hopes and aspirations of the people of our country and hence should occupy a position of honour.
Plastic Flags against Paper flags –
The ministry also conveyed in the advisory, that it has been brought to its notice that during important events, the national flag made of plastic is also being used in place of paper flags. On this, the ministry explained that since the plastic flags are non-biodegradable (unlike paper flags), these do not decompose for a long time, making their appropriate disposal a problem.
The ministry also attached with the advisory the ‘Flag Code of India, 2002’, which prescribes a set of laws, practices and conventions that apply to the display of the national flag of India. The advisory said that on important national, cultural and sports events, flags made of paper only are to be used by public in terms of the provisions of the ‘Flag Code of India, 2002’ and such paper flags are not to be discarded or thrown on the ground after the event. It has also been directed that even such flags are to be disposed of, in private, keeping up well with the dignity of the flag.
To access the advisory that has been issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, click here.
The Prevention of insults to National Honour Act, 1971
The direction issue by MHA has a direct connection with the ‘Prevention of insults to National Honour Act, 1971’. One of the clauses of the Act states – 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.
State governments, UT administrations, secretaries of all ministries/departments of government of India were told 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.