New Delhi, Aug 14 It's the eve of the Independence Day, and much national and patriotic fervour is in evidence. But while displaying your commitment to the nation, ensure that you do not dishonour or insult the National Flag or other symbols of national honour.
In an advisory to the central and state governments on Sunday, the Home Ministry has reminded them to ensure only flags made of paper are used by the public, and that such paper flags are not discarded or thrown on the ground after the national, cultural and sports events.
Such flags for public display and for the day's events should not be made of plastic, the advisory has said and asked state administrations to reiterate this in advertisements in electronic and print media.
The Home Ministry also sought strict compliance of the provisions of the Flag Code of India, 2002, and the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971.
"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 said.
"Such (paper) 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 said.
The Section 2 of The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971, lays down that "whoever in any public place or in any other place within public view bums, 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 advisory reiterates that the national flag represents the "hopes and aspirations" of the people of the country and hence should occupy a position of honour.