Published: Fri, March 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Karnataka adopts official state flag

Karnataka adopts official state flag

The Siddaramaiah government on Thursday unveiled the State flag ( nada dhwaja ) for Karnataka.

The tri-coloured flag has red, white and yellow with state emblem "Ganda Bherunda". a two-headed mythical bird in the middle, which symbolises strength. The "gandabherunda" is considered to be a symbol of the Mysore kingdom, and was seen as early as 1510 on coins from the Vijayanagara empire. He said the state had accepted the proposed flag to be the official flag in place of an unofficial red and yellow flag that is now used in the state to signify local pride.

The Karnataka government had formed a committee to come up with a design for the official state flag in July 2017 after repeated demands for one.

"The state cabinet had asked me to take a decision after taking the opinion of pro-Kannada organisations and intellectuals", Siddaramaiah said.

Replying to a question, Mr Siddaramaiah said that "there is no mention in the Constitution about the States should not have a separate flag".

"As the state government has no power to announce its state flag, a proposal in this regard will be sent to the Union government". The meeting was attended by representatives of Kannada organisations, littérateurs and official representatives. "We will follow the guidelines and will hoist the State Fag below the National Flag and will not violate the norms", he said. This unofficial flag is flown every year on November 1 - the state's formation day.

Before Sikkim was annexed, it had its own national flag, with a Buddhist prayer wheel in the centre. "Is there any provision in the Constitution which is prohibiting a state to have its own flag?" Thus, it will be immediately sent for approval, said CM Siddaramaiah.

Prakash said the BJP had no objection to the state flag or its design. The move by the Siddaramaiah government marks a departure from Karnataka's 2012 stand when the BJP was in office. The Congress high command, Pani says, will also have to "look the other way" on this issue.

By making a formal application, the government is lobbing the ball in the Centre's court, and it could be an added agenda in poll-bound Karnataka to claim regional identity under the federal structure.

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