Centre issues advisory against national flags made of plastic

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New Delhi : Ahead of the Independence Day, the Union Home Ministry on Monday issued an advisory to all Central, state and Union Territory departments to carry out mass awareness programmes to stop use of national flags made of plastic, and ensure strict compliance of the flag code.

The advisory directs the chief secretaries and administrators of all states and union territories as well as secretaries of all ministries and departments of the Central government to spread awareness through advertisements in electronic and print media urging people to use flags made of paper only, a Home Ministry statement said.

"Flags made of paper only should be used by public in terms of the provisions of the 'Flag Code of India, 2002' and such flags should not be discarded or thrown on the ground after the event as per the 'Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971," said the statement, quoting the advisory.

"Since, plastic flags are not easily biodegradable like paper flags and these do not get decomposed for a long time ... it should not be used."

Reiterating that the national flag represents the hopes and aspirations of Indian people and hence occupies a position of honour, the advisory clarifies: "Such flags are to be disposed of in private, consistent with the dignity of the flag."

"Despite affection and respect for the national flag," the advisory said, "a perceptible lack of awareness is often noticed amongst people as well as organisations/ agencies of the government in regard to laws, practices and conventions that apply to display of the national flag."

The move comes as the Home Ministry got inputs that national flags made of plastic are used in place of paper on the occasions of important national, cultural and sports events, said the statement.