The Karnataka government unveiled the state's flag Thursday, March 8, and the "tricolor" has already received a nod from the state cabinet.
The state flag, called the Nada Dwaja in Kannada, will now need the approval of the Union cabinet and will be sent to the home ministry for the same.
Speaking of the flag, chief minister Siddaramaiah said that it was a "historic decision" and all Kannadigas have wanted the flag for a long time.
"There was always a debate that the state needed a separate flag. All Kannadigas aspired for this as well. The state government did not join in this debate, but also took a historic decision to get a state flag," Livemint quoted Siddaramaiah as saying.
The chief minister also took to Twitter to laud the move and thanked various organizations for their support. "We will now write to GoI to make the State Flag official. A long cherished dream is coming true," he added.
Today we took a historic decision to adopt a #KarnatakaStateFlag . I thank Kannada organizations, leading Kannada writers & intellectuals for gracefully agreeing with the design.— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) March 8, 2018
We will now write to GoI to make the State Flag official. A long cherished dream is coming true. https://t.co/TGRHfx1Qq2
Kannada Organizations did ask why we can’t use the current Kannada Flag. The Committee recommended a new design because:— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) March 9, 2018
1. A political party holds the rights to current flag
2. A white band helps us use an emblem
3. A state flag should be distinct from the one used by parties. pic.twitter.com/dPjp3ucahW
The new flag has been designed in yellow, white and red and has the state emblem "Ganda Bherunda", a two-headed mythical bird.
Karnataka already has an unofficial flag in red and yellow and this is used during political events and by several Karnataka organisations. The flag has also led to tensions between the ruling Congress party and main opposition BJP, who questioned the need for a state flag.
However, Siddaramaiah remained adamant and told News 18: "Kannada flag is not unconstitutional. It is not barred by the Constitution. The only thing is we have to hoist it below the national flag, which we will anyway do. We will send the design to the Centre. Hope they approve it. There has been a long pending demand for it. I am happy that we finally have a Kannada Baavuta (Kannada Flag)."
As of now, Jammu and Kashmir is the only state in India that has its own flag. The red flag symbolizes labor and features three white vertical stripes, which stand for Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. A white plough with the handle can also be seen on it. The flag of Jammu and Kashmir was adopted in 1972.
The northeastern state of Sikkim too had its own flag when it was an independent kingdom, run by rulers called Chogyal (Dharma Kings). Adopted in 1967, the white flag featured a red border and a Buddhist khorlo prayer wheel in the centre. The flag lost its official status in 1975 when the Kingdom of Sikkim was annexed to India.