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Tiranga or the Indian flag is the pride of this nation that reflects the colours of strength, emergence and growth. It is not the wind, but it is the last breath of every martyred brave Indian soldier that flies the flag so high. The last six decades have been a blazing testimony to the agonies, the ecstasies felt, and the sacrifices made by the soldiers of this country.
The flag is symbolic of Indian existence on the map of the globe and hence there are associated protocols that the general public is largely unaware of. Display and disposal of the flag are both done as per the regulations of Indian law. It is said that Patriotism is not just a display of emotions, but it is also reflected in the way it is handled.
The Indian flag symbolizes freedom. It carries a rich legacy of its glorious past, the promising present and the emerging future. The respect that we unanimously feel, should show in how one can fold it or preserve it.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chose the national flag to be the display picture on his social media accounts, thereby inspiring the people to do the same, as a collective endeavour to be a part of the celebration of the Tricolour. PM Modi's tweet, during the launch of the campaign, read that it will "deepen our connection with the national flag".
The PM also wrote in his tweet that "Today, 22nd July has special relevance in our history. It was on this day in 1947 that our National Flag was adopted. Sharing some interesting nuggets from history including details of the committee associated with our Tricolour and the first Tricolour unfurled by Pandit Nehru."
Steps to be followed while folding and preserving the national flag were discussed and announced by the Central government, in the Har Ghar Tiranga campaign, ahead of 15 August 2022, our national Independence Day. This campaign is all ready and set, a guide for which, step by step, on the art of folding and preserving our national flag has been posted by the Ministry of Culture. The 'Har Ghar Tiranga' campaign, launched this month, is a part of the Central government's initiative of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, which is an occasion to celebrate the country's 75 years of Independence.
The Ministry of Culture has also posted a guide on the flag folding formalities as a part of the 'Har Ghar Tiranga' campaign, which urges the citizens to hoist the national flag at their homes between 13 August and 15 August.
The flag Laws and conventions recognized as the flag code of India 2002 were introduced on January 26, 2002, to guide the citizens on the use, display, and hoisting of the tricolour. The Flag Code underwent certain amendments on 30 December 2021, which allowed using of polyester apart from cotton, wool, silk, and khadi for making hand-spun, hand-woven, and machine-made flags. Earlier, the tricolour was allowed to be hoisted only from sunrise to sunset. But as per another amendment that was passed on 20 July 2022, the flag can be displayed in the open day and night in the houses of its citizens.
How To Fold The National Flag?
There are four steps to fold the flag correctly.
- Step1: The Indian national flag should be placed in a horizontal position.
- Step 2: It should be folded in such a way that the saffron and green bands come exactly beneath the white band.
- Step 3: When the white band is folded, it should show only the Ashoka chakra with parts of saffron and green bands.
- Step 4: The flag, once it is folded, should be carried in arms or palms to store it in a safe place.
The flag code of India lays down a set of rules for disposing of the flag when it is no more fit to be displayed, worn out or old. It should be destroyed by burning. It should not be thrown on the ground.
Convention 1: Burning The Flag
- Choose a clean dignified place for building a fire for burning the flag. It should be lowered and folded as per the rules but it should not touch the ground which may carry foot imprints.
- Do not toss the flag on top of the fire, but just place it gently on the top.
- Observe silence or salute the flag as it is burning to ashes and ensure it burns completely. Also honour it with, the pledge of allegiance.
- Lastly, put off the fire maintaining the fire safety regulations.
If burning is not possible due to some reason, you can opt to bury the flag.
Convention 2: Burying The Flag:
- Choose a clean and dignified burial place.
- Lower and fold the flag as per the regulations.
- Put it in a biodegradable box. Lower the flag into the ground with respect and don't toss the flag into the ground.
- Try and observe silence, standing in the attention pose, throughout.
- Before burying it, we should use tear it with scissors, slowly and methodically to separate the strips, so that the flag is ready for shredding and disposal in a respectable manner.
Convention 3: Recycling The Flag
Also, in the case of synthetic flags, burying may not be the best option to consider. They are made of non-biodegradable materials and hence the best solution would be to give them to NGOs or environment clubs for recycling.
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