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India’s flag code and rules

Date: 18 August 2021 Tags: Bills & Laws


The Indian National flag was adopted in its present form in the constituent assembly meeting held on July 22 1947.



  • The first national flag was a mix of red, yellow and green in horizontal stripes. It was hoisted at the Parsee Bagan Square, Calcutta on August 7, 1906.

  • The beginning of our national flag happened in 1921 when Pingali Venkayya met Mahatma Gandhi to submit his designs.

  • The earliest variant had two red and green bands. The Congress Committee meeting in Karachi in 1931 adopted the tricolor as our national flag after modifications.

  • The Flag Code of India was adopted in 2002 that allowed display of tricolour as long as dignity was maintained. This law brought all laws and conventions together.


Rules governing tricolour

  • The Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950 and The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971 were the two laws to govern display of national flag.

  • To prevent insults to insult to the country’s national symbols, including the national flag, the national anthem, the Constitution and the Indian map, Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971 was constituted.


Actions that are not allowed

  • Burning, mutilation, defacing, disfiguration, destruction, trampling or contempt (whether by words, either spoken or written, or by acts) are not allowed.

  • Dipping the Tricolour in salute to any person or thing, using it as a drapery in any form whatsoever, except in state funerals or for the last rites of armed forces or other paramilitary forces or waving it at half-mast except on specific occasions.


Other requirements

  • Using flag to cover a statue, a monument or platform, putting inscriptions, embroidering or printing it on cushions, handkerchiefs, dress materials and napkins are not allowed.

  • The flag should not be allowed to fly in inverted manner, touch the ground or allowed to trail in water.



The Section 2 of Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971 prescribes punishment with jail for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.

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