A National Flag is more than just an emblem of a nation's idea. It is a symbol of sovereignty and the one that freedom fighters laid out their lives for. While teaching individuals to respect the Tricolour is one thing, punishing those who disrespect it, is quite another.

A Delhi man was swiftly booked by the police when a viral video showed the man wiping his scooter with Indian National Flag. The thirty-second footage shows the man, wiping the scooter's handle, seat and exteriors, with the flag. While the video, shot from atop by someone from the neighbourhood, does not show the face of the man, it, however, clearly depicts the white scooter's registration number.


The video of the incident went viral on social media, drawing strong criticism from netizens and prompting legal action. 

While many thought, the man should have been let off with a warning, others applauded the Delhi Police for swift action. "Give him the Pakistani flag and then sit back," said another user, while someone opined that this was likely the outcome of a campaign that gave access to the Indian National Flag to every citizen.

Running the license plate for traffic violations, it shows the bike has pending challans worth Rs 17,000.

Delhi man wipes bike with flag

Disrespecting Indian flag punishable offence

Ignorance or apathy, whatever the reasons for dishonouring the National Flag of India, are no defence in any court of law. 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.

"Whoever in any public space 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.

As per paragraph 22 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.

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

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.

The actions of the Delhi man are shocking, disrespectful and violate the flag code of India. Though the police have arrested the accused, a further legal course of action is underway.