A day after the official state flag was approved by the Karnataka cabinet, serial protester and President of Kannada Chalavali Vatal Paksha, Vatal Nagaraj questioned the need for a different flag design.
Speaking to TNM, Vatal Nagaraj demanded that the government answer questions as to why it had “abruptly decided to design a new state flag”.
“My question is simple. What was the need to change the design of the state flag? The vermillion and yellow flag has been our state flag, although unofficially, for decades now. Ever since the Chief Minister announced that the committee was formed to design a new flag, I have been asking the same question,” Vatal Nagaraj added.
In July 2017, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah announced that a committee would be formed to probe the possibility of having a state flag for Karnataka. At the time, the Chief Minister had said that the vermillion and yellow flag was the official party flag of Kannada Paksha and that the state government could not adopt the design due to legal issues.
“Yes, the vermillion and yellow flag belongs to Kannada Paksha and the government cannot adopt this flag. But these two colours have become synonymous with the state flag. They could have added the outline of Karnataka or Goddess Bhuvaneshwari on the existing flag itself. The old flag design has been in the hearts of crores of Kannada speaking people. Even the state government has been hoisting the vermillion and yellow flag during Karnataka Rajyotsava celebrations for 25 years now. No one ever asked the Chief Minister for a new flag. No one asked for a change,” Vatal Nagaraj said.
The Karnataka Cabinet approved the official state flag on Thursday – a tricolour of yellow, white and red sporting the ‘ganda bherunda’ in the middle.
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 stands 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 and 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,” Siddaramaiah said.