Independence Day: Do Not Malign The Tricolour’s Honor

Tales of our freedom traces back from years of slavery, lakhs of people sacrificing their lives and displacement of homes. Though current generations have not been through those horrible times, every Indian is aware of our history, victory and pride 15th of August brings. Irrespective of countless disputes among each other, when it comes to India, we stand like a family. Beginning right from the National Flag to the National Anthem, armed forces to the little ones dressed up as warriors exemplifies our strength, pride, dignity, and love from every Indian towards our nation. Identifying an Indian in the crowd of millions is not a difficult task as they are the ones whose face has a new glittering charm, are inflated with pride, feeling goosebumps, while looking at the Tri-Color waving in the endless blue sky.  

Designed by Venkayya Pingali on the 73rd day of our independence, the Indian National Flag represents the strength, peace, truth, and promising land of India. It is a symbol of our National Pride. This tricolour is not just the flag of India but is the pride of those martyred soldiers and all those people who have sacrificed their lives for it and for those who are ever prepared to sacrifice whenever needed. As per the Flag Code of India (2002) issued by Govt. of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, “There are universal affection and respect for, and loyalty to, the National Flag”.

However, a glaring lack of awareness is often observed among the people. We celebrate our National festivals no less than we celebrate our birthday or any other regional festival. The joy we feel during the celebration is metamorphosed into sorrow when we look at those flags lying on the ground and in garbage cans like every other waste. Now, this act compels us to believe that our respect is limited merely to some moments of ecstasy this day brings to us only. And the worst part of this catastrophe is calling ourselves patriotic Indian and not coming forth to pick those lying flags.

Picture Credits- Riya Surekha Mishra

We often see most shops selling and the organisation carrying those small flags made of plastics. But according to FLAG CODE OF INDIA (2002)

1. The National Flag of India shall be made of hand-spun and hand-woven wool/cotton/silk/khadi bunting.

2. The flag should not be used as a festoon, rosette, or bunting or in any other manner for decoration. 

3. The flag can be made of paper and may be waived by the public on occasions of significant national, cultural, and sports.

4. When a flag is in a damaged or soiled condition, it shall be destroyed as a whole in private, preferably by burning or by any other method consistent with the dignity of the flag.

5. When a National Flag is displayed against a wall with another flag from crossed staffs, the National Flag shall be on the right side, i.e. the flag’s right, and its staff shall be in front of the team of the other flag. 

All changes demand time, acknowledgement and awareness. This Independence day and all the upcoming national festivals, if you use those flags, dispose of them carefully. Many of us don’t know how to dispose of the National Flag properly with dignity. We can always follow below-suggested ways.

  1. Light a fire strong enough to burn the flag but not very intense, so the pieces of burnt flag do not fly out. Fold the flag according to the rules and with due respect and carefully place it on fire. During the process, never put the flag on the ground.

  2. Don’t throw the flag into the fire. Putting the flag on fire without folding it is considered disrespectful.

  3. Stand solemnly and silently near the fire until the flag is completely burnt. Make sure that no part of the flag remains unburnt.

  4. You can also bury the flag. Choose the clean burial place for the flag. Before embedding, fold it and put it into a biodegradable box or it can also be cut into the small and thin strips.

Make sure these disposals of the National Flag are done in private.

Nevertheless, we can avoid the disposing of the flags. We can paint the walls with saffron, a white and green colour or use balloons instead of plastic flags and stickers. Let’s not make our pride a just a showoff which lasts for some hours. So let’s think bright and make our country proud!

By Nandini Goyal