The Centre has asked states to ensure “dignity” of the Tricolour and check use of plastic flags. Violators can be booked under a provision that could attract three years’ imprisonment.
In a communication to all states and Union territories, the home ministry said it had received reports that national flags made of plastic were being used in place of paper flags.
“Since plastic flags are not biodegradable like paper flags, these do not get decomposed for a long time and ensuring appropriate disposable of national flags made of plastic commensurate with dignity of the flag is a practical problem,” it said.
The Home Ministry advisory said in accordance with Section 2 of The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971, whoever in any public place or in any other place within public view burns, mutilates, defaces, defiles, disfigures, destroys, tramples upon or otherwise shows disrespect to or brings into contempt (whether by words, either spoken or written, or by acts) the Indian National Flag or any part thereof, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.
“You are, therefore, requested to ensure that an important national, cultural and sports events, flags made of paper only are used by public in terms of the provisions of the ‘Flag Code of India 2002’ and such paper flags are not discarded or thrown on the ground after the event,” it said.
All flags are to be disposed of in private, consistent with dignity of the flag, the advisory said.