Hoisted 170-foot high and setting new standards in cost, Punjab’s tallest-flying Tricolour here has vanished again.
Last August, Punjab local bodies minister Anil Joshi installed this flag at the city’s Amrit Anand Park amid much fanfare. The strong wind at that altitude battered it so much that Amritsar Improvement Trust had to replace it 12 times for a cost of Rs 9.6 lakh. The country’s highest flag at Ranchi cost Rs 3 crore in comparison.
“The national flag must be hoisted ceremoniously at sunrise and lowered with same respect at sunset,” says new trust chairman Suresh Mahajan, “This will not only honour the flag code but also save the fabric from damage and increase its life.” The trust is now hunting for a tough, wind-resistant material for the flag and a team to unfurl it each morning and lower it with the last light of the day.
The New Delhi company that gave it the last replacement flag said shiny, knitted polyester was the only fabric that the flag code allowed for this size. “Shiny polyester doesn’t respond well to weather conditions,” former improvement trust chairman Sandeep Rishi said. “Beyond 30 feet, only parachute material will survive. But because of flag code, we can’t replace the cloth.”
“But,” said trust chairman Mahajan, “we can take off the flag in the evening, so that the late-night dew doesn’t make it soggy and the chances of its getting torn or damaged are reduced.”
The flag code
The Indian flag is always hoisted briskly and lowered slowly, in sync with bugle calls both times. “Yes, we will make sure it is done,” said Mahajan.
Lahore to watch India’s tallest
In January 2017, the Border Security Force (BSF) plans to install a 350-foot-high national flag at the Attari-Wagah border with Pakistan. It will be visible from both Amritsar and Lahore.
Both its base and fabric will have to be sturdy. “The mast will be fixed 25 feet into a 30x30-feet base,” said AIT superintending engineer (SE) RK Sekri. “The strong foundation will keep the flag steady at 350 feet and make it able to withstand wind up to 180 kilometres an hour.” The flag will be 99x66 feet.