State Flag

Karnataka Cabinet approved the official state flag on Thursday – a tricolour of yellow, white and red sports the ‘ganda bherunda’ in the middle. 

At around 10.30 am on Thursday, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah called a meeting of all the flag committee members and over 50 writers, experts and representatives of pro-Kannada organisations to discuss the issue. The committee formed to design the flag was headed by eminent Kannada scholar Hampa Nagarajaiah.

"The members of the committee explained to all the activists, writers and experts the significance of the flag and its meaning. After a unanimous decision, the design for the flag was agreed upon," SG Siddaramaiah, Chairman of the Kannada Development Authority, told TNM. 

The flag design will now be sent to the Centre for its approval, following which it can be unfurled in state meetings.

Sources said the colours selected represented different things – yellow symbolises forgiveness, white for peace and red for bravery. The emblem will the printed in black and white on the central white stripe.

The state emblem of Karnataka is based on the kingdom of Mysore and is carried on all Government of Karnataka correspondence. 

It has the Sarnath lion symbol which is popular across India, below which is a red shield with the ganda bherunda. On either side are two lion-elephants called ‘sharabha’, a mythological creature believed to be 8-legged possessing the powers of lions and elephants.

The emblem usually carries the words ‘Satymeva Jayate’ below. "However, the words Satyameva Jayate will not be present on the flag," SG Siddaramaiah said.

The ganda bherunda was first seen in coins of the Vijayanagara Empire as early as 1510. It soon became the symbol of the Mysore dynasty.

The Karnataka government had formed a committee to come up with a design for the official state flag in July 2017 after repeated demands for one.

Karnataka started using its unofficial yellow and red state flag in the mid-1960s. It was created by Kannada writer and activist Ma Ramamurthy for a pro-Kannada political party called Kannada Paksha, after he observed that many parties representing non-Kannadigas had their own flags.

This flag is unfurled every year on Karnataka’s foundation day, November 1, and is a common sight at public places across the state.

Pro-Kannada activists have virtually adopted this flag as a symbol of state pride.