On Thursday Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah unveiled a new state flag. The flag has been designed as per the recommendations of a committee headed by eminent Kannada writer Hampa Nagarajaiah. The new flag, called ‘Naada Dhwaja’ in Kannada, is has white stripe in between two stripes of colors yellow and red. ‘Ganda Bherunda’, the state emblem of Karnataka, is in the center. The emblem is based on the emblem of the kingdom of Mysore.
The chief minister said the state cabinet had asked him to take a decision after taking the opinions of the pro-Kannada organizations and intellectuals.“This is a historic decision. However, we cannot take the decision by ourselves and will require the Centre’s approval,” he added.
The proposal will be sent to the Union home ministry for approval of the red, white and yellow flag. “We will press upon the Centre to clear this soon,” he said.
The new flag is a departure from what was earlier unofficially used as the Kannada flag. It retains the classic bands of yellow on top and red at the bottom with the addition of a strip of white in the middle symbolizing peace. At the heart of the flag is the official emblem of the state.
If the Ministry of Home Affairs accepts the proposal, Karnataka will become the second state after Jammu and Kashmir to have an official state flag. Karnataka has had an unofficial state flag since the mid-1960s when pro-Kannada groups agitated against the screening of non-Kannada films in the state.
Senior Kannada writer and activist Chandrashekhara Patil said, “Today is a historic occasion for Kannadigas because the government has responded very positively to this demand from the people of Karnataka.”
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