Karnataka Cabinet approves state flag, 'tricolour' awaits Centre's approval

Glen Mclaughlin
March 10, 2018

The committee formed to design the flag was headed by eminent Kannada scholar Hampa Nagarajaiah.

The tri-colour flag in red, white and yellow has state emblem of a two-headed mythical bird called "Ganda Bherunda" in the middle.

The unveiling of the flag is seen as part of the recent Kannada identity assertions in Karnataka.

A nine-member committee formed by the government had submitted its report on designing a separate flag for the state and providing a legal standing for it on February 5.

However, the BJP's election campaign is being handled by Hindi-speaking central leaders like Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah among others, which has not had the same impact as Siddaramaiah's hyper-local campaign.

He said, "It was made a decision to have a flag for the state as a symbol of the pride of Kannada-speaking people". This flag-yellow and red-has been associated with all pro-Kannada movements and rallies across the state.

Patil Puttappa, a veteran columnist and one of two individuals who requested of the Government asking it recognize a state symbol, said he respected the move.

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He defended Karnataka's flag on the ground that the Constitution does not bar state flags and all states can have their own flags.

He said the BJP had no objection to the state flag and even its design. "Let them say that they do not want a flag for Karnataka", he was quoted saying.

Karnataka will be the second state in the country to have a separate State flag, after Jammu and Kashmir if the centre approves it.

In the 1994 Supreme Court case S.R. Bommai v/s Union of India, the apex court said there is no prohibition on states having their own flag.

"Let us not forget that it was former chief minister DV Sadananda Gowda (of the BJP) who initiated the move for identifying a state flag".

The new flag is a departure from what was earlier used unofficially as the Kannada flag. While yellow symbolises the auspiciousness and well-being of Kannadigas, red symbolises courage, the chief minister said. The Indian constitution grants J&K special autonomy under Article 370.

"This flag will be flown below the national flag", he added. It continues to use this flag in an unofficial capacity.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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