As India celebrates the 75th Independence Day on Monday, a patriotic theme has been set all across the country. The Har Ghar Tiranga campaign turned into a mass movement as houses displayed the national flag atop their buildings to mark Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. As the Independence Day celebrations come to a close, it is important for people to know how to dispose the national flag respectfully.

As per the Flag Code of India, disrespecting the Indian National Flag is punishable by up to three years in prison or a fine or both.

Independence Day
A man selling Indian National Flag at Lalbagh Botanical Garden, Bangalore on the eve of Independence DayIBTimes India

"Whoever in any public place or in any other place within public view burns, mutilates, defaces, defiles, disfigures, destroys, tramples upon or otherwise 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 be extended to three years," the Flag Code of India states.

How to dispose national flag respectfully?

After demonstrating highest form of patriotism on Independence Day, it is important to uphold the dignity of the national flag after the celebrations. It is distressing to see national flags made of paper being thrown on roads after Independence Day celebrations. If you are unable to retain the flag and reuse it another time, here's how one can dispose of it respectfully as per the Flag Code of India.

India flag
India flagReuters

As per paragraph 2.2 of the Flag Code of India, if the National Flag is damaged, it shall be destroyed as a whole in private, preferably by burning or any other method considering the dignity of the National Flag, like burying it after placing the neatly folded flag in a wooden box. A moment of silence must be observed.

The National Flag, if made of paper, should not be discarded on the ground. These should be discarded in private, keeping in mind the dignity of the National Flag. If choosing to burn it, it should be neatly folded and placed at the centre of the flames rather than just thrown into the fire. It is important for this to be done privately.