The Old Flag or New? Government’s Dilemma on Kannada Rajyotsava 

As both flags are unofficial, there is a demand for using the new flag instead of the old. 

3 min read
Hindi Female

Hoisting the Karnataka state flag on the day of the Kannada Rajyotsava – the state formation day – has been a tradition in Karnataka since the formation of the state. Although unofficial, the successive chief ministers hoisted red and yellow flag.

This yellow and red flag, which came from the days of struggle for the formation of a united Karnataka, was considered the state flag for several decades even though it had no legal status.

But during this year’s celebrations, the government has a problem. Earlier this year, the former Congress led government introduced a tricolour – yellow, red and white – as the state flag. Although it is yet to get a legal status, it was proposed by a nine member committee set up by the government. Now the question before the government is whether to use the old flag or the new? 

Proposal Still Pending With Centre

As both flags are unofficial, there is a demand for using the new flag instead of the old. 
The colours selected represent different things – yellow symbolises forgiveness, white stands for peace & red for bravery.
(Photo: ANI)

As the state government had no powers to give legal status to a flag, in March 2018, the state government had sent a proposal to make the tricolours the official state flag. This proposal is still pending with the central government. Neither the committee which proposed the new flag, nor the government, has written to the centre following up on the proposal.

The central government said they would look into the legality of the state’s claim. By then, however, the election was announced in Karnataka and the proposal was shelved.

G Siddaramaiah, who was part of the nine-member committee that recommended the tri-colour flag, said the committee plans to approach the state government to pressurise the central government again.

R Jayamala, minister for Kannada and Culture and senior JD(S) leaders too claimed they would write to the central government soon, but no deadline was given for the communication.


A Dilemma For The CM

As both flags are unofficial, there is a demand for using the new flag instead of the old. 
File photo of Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy. Image used for representational purposes only.
(Photo Courtesy: The News Minute)

Even for Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, the flag is a topic of dilemma. Before forming the coalition government with the Congress, Kumaraswamy, a JD(S) leader, had opposed the idea of a new flag. During the election campaign, he had said there is no provision in the Constitution for a state flag. “The Congress government is using this issue to divert attention from some recent controversies,” he was quoted as saying before the elections.

But after forming the coalition government with the Congress party, Kumaraswamy had promised that all the programmes started by the previous Congress party will be continued.

“The flag was used as an election tactics by the Congress party, so it is not really popular scheme affecting several lives,” said JD(S) cabinet minister. “But it is the Chief Minister’s decision,” he added.


State May Go With The Old Flag

While the confusion over which flag will be used was building up, on Wednesday, a tweet from the Chief Minister indicated that the government may go with the old flag.

In the tweet announcing postponement of the Rajyothsava awards due to the by-election, the Chief Minister’s office used a photo of the old flag, indicating the same flag may be used on the state formation day.

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