Indian flag
Men sell Indian flags in Bangalore ahead of Independence Day.IBTimes/Arkadev Ghoshal

The Union Home Ministry recently issued an all-round missive on honouring the national flag, detailing in it the materials of which these flags should be made of, what dimensions they should be, and how they should be disposed of, as per existing rules. 

The ministry issued the advisory in this regard to the chief secretaries and administrators of all state governments and administrations of Union territories, as well as the secretaries of all ministries and departments under the Central government to ensure that provisions of the Flag Code of India, 2002, and the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971, are strictly followed. 

The ministry said in a statement issued recently that the authorities had been advised to carry out "mass awareness programmes" to spread the word, and also "give wide publicity through advertisements in the electronic and print media."

The ministry said in the statement: "The advisory states that on 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 to be discarded or thrown on the ground after the event. Such flags are to be disposed of in private, consistent with the dignity of the flag. Wide publicity for not using the national flag made of plastic should be made along with its advertisement in the electronic and print media."

It added: "Since plastic flags are not biodegradable like paper flags, these do not get decomposed for a long time, and ensuring appropriate disposal of national flags made of plastic commensurate with dignity of the flag is a practical problem. It may also be noted that as per 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'."

The entire Flag Code of India, 2002, can be found HERE. It details not only the materials of which the national flag should be made, but also the actual permissible dimensions. The whole of the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971, can be found HERE.