Ahead of elections, Karnataka govt unveils state flag

The unveiled Karnataka flag consists of three colors red white and yellow and has state emblem ‘Ganda Bherunda’ a two-headed mythical bird in the middle

The Karnataka government Tuesday approved a tri-colour as the state flag and has said it will now be sent to the Centre for approval. The Karnataka flag will be yellow, white and red with the state's emblem - Gandaberunda - at its centre.

If centre agrees to the proposal, Karnataka will be second state in the country to have a separate State flag, after Jammu and Kashmir. The emblem is based on the emblem of the kingdom of Mysore. The flag's colours symbolise piety or forgiveness (yellow), truth and peace (white), bravery (red). The State Chief Minister Siddaramaiah while unveiling the proposed flag expressed hope that the decision will be endorsed by the Center.

The Congress government in the state had set up a nine-member committee in 2017 to design the flag.

After arriving at a consensus with regard to accepting the flag recommended by the expert committee, an elated Chief Minister said: "The long pending demand of having separate State flag has finally been realised with the support extended by all the concerned".

According to Chandan Gowda, professor of sociology at the Azim Premji University, the inclusion of Karnataka's state emblem, which includes the Indian state's emblem of four lions found on the Ashoka pillar, signals an attempt to affirm Karnataka as an integral part of India. The JDS has welcomed the Kannada flag though initially it called it an election gimmick. CM Siddaramaiah was present when the state flag "Naada Dwaja" was formally unveiled.

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The pro-Kannada groups, who have been vehemently demanded official state flag, have raised issue about the official flag for the state. J&K, however, has been given a special status under the Constitution and is hence allowed to have its own flag. However, the apex court stressed that the state flag should not dishonour the national flag and should be hoisted below it.

But after receiving flak from the citizens of the state then, this time they have made a decision to not say anything lest they offend either their party high command or the people of the state. He also said that there are no legal complications. The setting up of the panel resulted in a controversy with BJP accusing Congress of subverting the national flag.

Keeping in mind the polls, the state government has pushed ahead a pro-Kannada agenda.

The Opposition BJP had earlier disapproved of the idea of a separate flag for the state but later diluted its stand after uproar by the public.

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