Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddharamaiah unveiled the new State flag — a yellow, white and red combination with the State emblem at the centre — at his home-office ‘Krishna’ yesterday.
Siddharamaiah, who met a delegation of Kannada activists at his office displayed the flag proposed to be used as the official State Flag. The proposed new flag will now be sent for approval to the Union Home Ministry. If accepted, Karnataka will be the second State to have an official State flag.
The flag or ‘Naada Dhwaja’ with yellow, white and red colours has the State emblem ‘Gandaberunda,’ a two-headed mythical bird, in the middle.
The selected colours represent different things: Yellow symbolises forgiveness, white for peace and red for bravery. The emblem will be printed in black and white on the central white stripe.
The Siddharamaiah Government’s move marks a departure from the earlier State Government’s stand in 2012, when the then BJP Government had told the Karnataka High Court that it had not accepted the suggestions to declare yellow and red Kannada flag as official, saying a separate flag would be against the unity and integrity of the country. “Kannada flag is not unconstitutional. It is not barred by the Constitution. We will send the design to the Centre. Hope they approve it. There has been a long pending demand for it. I am happy that we finally have a Kannada Baavuta (Kannada Flag),” the Chief Minister said.
Last year, the State Government had constituted a nine-member committee to design the State flag. The order nominated the Principal Secretary of the Kannada and Culture Department as the Chairperson of the committee.
The panel comprised secretaries to the departments of Personnel and Administrative Services, Home, Law and Parliamentary Affairs, and also President of Kannada Sahitya Parishat, Chairman of Kannada Development Authority, and Vice-Chancellor of Kannada University, Hampi, as its members.
Karnataka already has an unofficial State flag since 1960s, created by Kannada writer and activist M. Ramamurthy, who founded pro-Kannada political party (Kannada Paksha). This flag — yellow and red — has been associated with all pro-Kannada movements and rallies across the State.
The coat of arms of Karnataka is the State Emblem of Karnataka. The coat of arms is based on that of the Kingdom of Mysuru. The arms have a red shield charged with a white two-headed bird, Gandaberunda bordered in blue. The heraldry depicts the Lion Capital of Ashoka on a blue circular abacus with a blue frieze carrying sculptures in high relief of a galloping horse on the left, a Dharmachakra in centre, a bull on the right, and the outlines of Dharmachakras on the extreme left and right as part of Sarnath’s Ashoka Pillar. The shield is flanked on either side by red-maned, yellow lion-elephant supporters (mythical creatures believed to be upholders of righteousness stronger than lions and elephants) standing on a green, leafy compartment.
Below the compartment lies written in stylised Devanāgarī, the national motto of India ‘Satyameva Jayate,’ Sanskrit for (Truth Alone Triumphs).
Cannot accept new flag: Vatal
Pro-Kannada groups have come forward expressing disappointment with the new State Flag.
Vatal Nagaraj, leader of the Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha and a former MLA, said that it was the existing (unofficial) bi-colour flag that the people of the State are identified with.
“That is the flag the government too hoists on the State’s Formation Day. The people of Karnataka will come out on the streets with our flag if there is any change to the existing flag,” he added.