Though Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah maintained that there was no legal bar on states to have a separate flag, critics including BJP allege a separate state flag could subvert the significance of tricolour.
The unofficial but widely seen red and yellow "Kannada flag", hoisted across the state on November 1 every year to commemorate the state's formation day and used as a scarf by Kannada activists, was designed in the 1960s by Veera Senani (brave soldier) Ma Ramamurthy, who championed the cause of Kannada. But it was only on 9 June this year that the Kannada and Culture Department of the state government set up a committee to investigate whether the Constitution allows for such a provision at all.
Jayachandra said he will now call for the first meeting of the committee formed by the Kannada and Culture department to discuss the legalities and constitutional concerns raised in the public and by opposition, before asking the committee to take it forward. While the issue is being debated by all political parties and has sparked a row over the legality of the demand, it should be noted that there is no provision in the Indian Constitution which bars states from having their own flags. Do we accord less respect to the national anthem (by having a State anthem)? "We have a Nadageethe (State song), what is wrong in having an official State flag?"
Meanwhile, Constitution expert PP Rao said Karnataka was well within its rights to have a flag of its own.
"Our party is not opposed to Karnataka having a separate flag". Based on the recommendations of the committee we will take a decision.
"Let them (BJP) say that they do not want a flag for Karnataka".
The state of Jammu and Kashmir which has a special status under Article 370 of the Constitution is the only state in the country that is permitted to have its own flag. He ruled that only the hoisting of the national flag can be made mandatory for state government offices and other related buildings.
The pro-Kannada organisations and the activists have supported the move of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. "I have asked the Government to clarify", K.C. Venugopal, AICC General Secretary in-charge of Karnataka, said.