Kannada flag

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The Kannada flag.

The Kannada flag is a bi-coloured flag identified with Karnataka, Kannadigas and the Kannada language. The flag is divided into two equal horizontal strips, a yellow strip for the top half and a red strip below. The yellow and red colors in the flag represent Arrishna (Turmeric) and Kumkuma (Vermilion) which symbolize auspiciousness and well-being of the state. In general, the yellow and red colours signify positivity and courage respectively.

The Kannada Flag is the unofficial flag of Karnataka; only Jammu and Kashmir is allowed to have a state flag. The flag does not represent separatist ideology and is used across the length and breadth of the state by Kannada centric organizations and private individuals to show solidarity with Kannada causes and demonstrate unity.[1] It finds a place in the official website of the Government of Karnataka.[2]

The flag was first conceived by Ma Ramamurthy, a Bangalore-based writer, journalist and social activist, often considered as a commander of Kannada movement in 1960s.[3] Ma.Ramamurthy was the son of noted freedom fighter and litterateur, Veerakesari Seetharama Shastri. In 1964, Ma Ramamurthy went on a padayatra, protesting against the hoisting of flags by a group from a neighboring State in Bangalore. He then realized the need for a flag representing Karnataka and designed a yellow flag depicting Karnataka map with a paddy crown in the center which was simplified later to its current form.[4] He used the flag for the political party called "Kannada Paksha" which he founded in 1965. The political party is inactive now but the flag has been consistently used all over Karnataka to represent the state, Kannada language and culture. This flag is prominently hoisted on the occasion of Karnataka Rajyotsava celebrated on November 1 as the state's Formation Day. It is routine in many educational and government institutions. After hoisting the flag, the official State anthem written in Kannada, Jaya Bharata Jananiya Tanujate is sung.[5] One can find the yellow-red flag fluttering atop buildings, flag posts at road junctions, and on vehicles along the length and breadth of Karnataka State. The same flag is represented in several Kannada movies including the movie Aakasmika starring Rajkumar in which the actor is seen waving the flag in a song admiring the beauty of 'Kannada Nadu' (Kannada State) and its culture.

The Kannada flag is so popular that it has become an "unofficially official" state flag in terms of acceptance throughout the state despite the absence of government order elevating it to official status. In several pro-Kannada movements including Gokak agitation the flag has been used as the symbol of the unity of Kannadigas. In 1998, Kannada Development Authority recommended for granting it state flag status but the state law department cited legal hurdles for the same.[6]

In 2009, B. S. Yeddyurappa, then chief minister of Karnataka, disposed a circular enforcing restrictions on hoisting Kannada flag on government buildings.[7] Later, this move was challenged in Karnataka High Court in 2012 after then Chief Minister D. V. Sadananda Gowda mentioned in his budget speech that the hoisting of the Kannada flag on November 1 will be made compulsory in all government offices, schools and colleges. During hearing, a division bench of the high court headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen questioned the government's move to hoist "any flag" other than the national flag. The court had also sought a response from the government regarding "whether it is possible for the State to have any flag other than the national flag" while also asking the Union government to clarify the law in this connection.[8] Subsequently, the state Govt decided to withdraw its circular before the eve of Rajyotsava in 2012.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Archive News". The Hindu. Retrieved 2016-12-01. 
  2. ^ "Pages - kannada". Karnataka.gov.in. 2015-12-22. Retrieved 2016-12-01. 
  3. ^ "KarnatakaHistory: Ma.Ramamurthy, the Creator of Kannada flag". Karnatakahistory.blogspot.in. Retrieved 2016-12-01. 
  4. ^ Share on Twitter (2012-11-02). "Decoding Kannada flag". Bangalore Mirror. Retrieved 2016-12-01. 
  5. ^ Karnataka Rajyotsava
  6. ^ Share on Twitter (2012-03-23). "Can anyone fly a flag other than tricolour? - Times of India". Timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 2016-12-01. 
  7. ^ "Archive News". The Hindu. Retrieved 2016-12-01. 
  8. ^ [1][dead link]