Karnataka arranges a panel to design its own state flag

Karnataka arranges a panel to design its own state flag

The Congress government in the state of Karnataka have set up a panel to investigate that as to how the state can have a separate flag legally.

"The committee was set up in response to a memorandum submitted by Kannada protagonists and pro-Kannada organisations for a common identity, as the state was carved out in 1956 by merging Bombay Province and Hyderabad-Karnataka region with the old Mysore areas of the Madras Presidency", an official in the Chief Minister's office told IANS.

While Siddarmaiah denied any connection between the decision and the coming assembly elections, political analyst Narendar Pani said it was part of the widespread anger in the state against the Centre. Former advocate general of Karnataka, Ravi Varma Kumar, said, "The Constitution provides states supremacy in their own sphere and a seven-judge Supreme Court bench has upheld this". "The Congress government is using this issue to divert attention from some recent controversies", he said.

"We have only one flag and that is the national flag", he said.

The Congress high command wants to know in what context Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has constituted a committee to examine whether the state can have a flag.

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If a flag comes into being, Karnataka will be the second state in the country to have a flag of its own, after Jammu and Kashmir, which enjoys special status under Article 370 of the Constitution. Yellow represents turmeric and red represents kumkum which symbolise auspiciousness and well-being of the state. On June 6 this year, the Kannada and Culture Department of the state government notified the setting up of a nine-member committee to examine the feasibility and legal issues around the demand.

"However, the manner in which the state flag is hoisted should not dishonour the national flag". Having a separate flag would go against the "unity and integrity of the country", the BJP had also said.

The Gokak agitation of the 1980s was successful in giving primacy to the Kannada language in the state which had earlier followed a three-language formula that included Hindi and English.

Meanwhile, Constitution expert PP Rao said Karnataka was well within its rights to have a flag of its own.

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