Karnataka arranges a panel to design its own state flag

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A controversy erupted after Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah set up a team of nine-members in an order to have legally-accepted flag for the state.

When BJP was in office, back in 2012, the government told Karnataka High Court that accepting the suggestion of the state having a flag of its own would go against the unity and integrity of the country.

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. "Is there was any provision in the Constitution which prohibits the state from having its own flag?"

It is interesting to note that this move by the Congress has come just before the 2018 assembly elections.

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut has asked for President's Rule to be imposed in the state.

The current move coincides with pro-Kannada voices denouncing the alleged imposition of Hindi in the state.

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That flag is not used in national ceremonies like Republic Day or Independence Day but on occasions like state foundation day, an official said. Former Karnataka chief minister and Union minister D V Sadananda Gowda dismissed the move when questioned by reporters, saying, "India is one nation and there can not be two flags in one country".

Barring the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir, which has its own flag under Article 370 of the Constitution, no state has a separate flag. If states have their separate flags, it could diminish the importance of the national flag.

Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah is caught in a fix between Kannada activists and the Congress party after appointing a committee to look into the legalities of whether the state can have a flag or not.

As far as Kannadigas can remember, the yellow and red flag has come to be associated with Karnataka and Kannadigas. The government then said it would not make it mandatory to fly the state flag.

Terming the move against the integrity of India, Shoba Karandlaje, BJP MP from Karnataka said that the Bharatiya Janata Party has always fought for one nation, one flag. This issue had been raised earlier too, but such a flag only represents "the people and not the state", the official said.