“A national spirit is necessary for national existence. A flag is a material aid to the development of such a spirit.” -Mahatma Gandhi.
With the 72nd Independence Day just around the corner, members of most apartment complexes will be gearing up to organise their own flag hoisting ceremony. The Indian Flag, or the tricolour, is a symbol of our country. As such, it should be treated with great respect. The Government of India has put down the code to ensure its proper construction and handling. Here is a reminder of the dos and don’ts of the National Flag etiquette.
The Indian Flag Code specifies the dimensions of the flag and how it should be constructed. This is a measure taken to ensure that the flags used everywhere are uniform.
- First, the Indian Flag should be a perfect rectangle, with a ratio of 3:2 between the length and the width. The flag’s size should be one among these (in mm):
Pick an appropriate size for display.
- It should be made of handspun khadi, or of cotton, silk or wool. Avoid plastic flags because these are difficult to dispose of.
- The flag should be split into three equal panels – saffron (not orange) panel at the top, a white panel in the middle and a green panel (described as India green) at the bottom. Be careful with the colours.
- A navy blue Ashoka Chakra should adorn the centre of the white panel, with 24 spokes that are equally spaced.
The Indian flag hoisting rules also cover instances of the flag’s misuse and specify the proper procedure to hoist the flag.
- During an Indian flag hoisting ceremony, the saffron panel should always be on top. The flag should never be hoisted upside down.
- It should be displayed from sunrise till sunset, irrespective of weather conditions.
- The flag should always be positioned to the far right.
- There should be no other flag or emblem to its right or above it.
- The Indian flag should hold no lettering or inscriptions of any kind.
- During ceremonies, it is common practice to use flower petals within the unfurled flag. The Indian flag code prevents the use of any confetti or decorative materials other than flower petals.
- In a procession, the Indian flag should either be carried to the right or in front of the central line.
- It should never touch the ground or water.
- There should be no other flags on the same masthead as the Indian flag.
- The flag should never be flown at half-mast unless the government specifies.
- The National Flag should not be used to cover any speaker’s desk, platform or monument.
- Paper flags can be used during days of national importance. However, care should be taken that they do not touch the ground.
- The national anthem should be sung once people salute the flag. (It is essential to follow the etiquette specified for the national anthem as well).
- A damaged flag should never be displayed, and such flags can be disposed of in private, preferably by burning or in a method consistent with its dignity.
To read about the rules for the national anthem click
When planning to hoist the Indian Flag in your apartment complex, it is the duty of every Indian citizen to ensure that these rules are followed. Start a discussion on your ApnaComplex forums to raise awareness among the residents. The managing committee can take things a step further by printing out such rules and handing out copies. It is important to make sure that no misuse occurs, either deliberately or by accident.
The tricolour represents the Indian community. So this Independence Day, as you come together in your apartment complex remember to bask in this spirit of community. From everyone at ApnaComplex, we wish you all a Happy Independence Day!
Disclaimer: This information is offered as a public service. While we try to make it accurate as possible as on the date of publication, the laws change and more importantly the way we interpret laws could also change. We cannot promise that this information is always up-to-date and correct. We strongly recommend you to always consult appropriate professional advisers for your society to ensure compliance.