Shillong, May 24: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the center has issued an advisory to all the State and Union Territories 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’.
The Advisory states that the National Flag represents hopes and aspirations of the people of our country and hence should occupy a position of honour. There is universal affection and respect for, and loyalty to, the National Flag. Yet, a perceptible lack of awareness is often noticed amongst the people as well as organisations/agencies of the Government, in respect of laws, practices and conventions that apply to ‘display of the National Flag’.
It further said that MHA has noticed that National Flags made of plastic, instead of paper flags being used during important events and functions. Plastic flags are not biodegradable lime paper Flags and do not decompose for a long time thus posing practical problems regarding appropriate disposal of National Flags made of plastic to commensurate with the dignity of the flag. It may also be noted that as per Section 2 of ‘The Prevention of Insults to National Honour, 1971’, 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 any part thereof, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend up to three years, or with fine, or with both.
The MHA also directs all concerned to ensure that on important national, cultural and sports events, flags made of paper only are to be used, according to the provisions of the ‘Flag Code of India, 2002’ and that such paper flags are not discarded or thrown haphazardly, after such events. Such flags are to be disposed of, in private, in consonance with the dignity of the Flag. (MIPR)