New Delhi: Keeping in mind the concerns of environmentalists, the Centre is contemplating imposing a ban on making small plastic national flags widely used during celebrations of Republic Day and Independence Day and ensuring use of only paper tricolours.
In an advisory to all Central Ministries, Departments, state governments and Union Territories, the Home Ministry has sought their opinion citing harmful effects of plastic on the environment.
The Home Ministry said such small flags should not be discarded or thrown on the ground after the event as it affects the "dignity of the flag".
Though the Ministry did not set any deadline, it has called for due consideration to the suggestion.
If the Centre`s proposal is accepted by all concerned it would be a big boost to efforts to improve the environment as small plastic national flags are often seen discarded or thrown on the ground after any Republic Day or Independence Day function.
The Flag Code says, "When the flag is in a damaged or soiled condition, it shall be destroyed as a whole in private, preferably by burning or by any other method consistent with the dignity of the flag."
The Code also has a penal provision under the Prevention of Insults to National Honour (Amendment) Act, 2003 in case of any violation.
The law provides for imprisonment for a term of up to three years for anyone who "in any public place or in any other place within public view burns, 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.