How to dispose of the Indian flag with dignity?
The tricolour flag has been a matter of national pride for India for more than 7 decades now. The flag when hoisted brings a sense of pride to every Indian. The flag is the icon of our freedom and therefore we should show our due respect to it. And respect is not only limited to proper hoisting of the flag, but also its disposal. The flag, the pride of our nation should be disposed of in a very respectful manner.
It breaks my heart to see 100s of flags loitered around after Republic and Independence day. We Indians do celebrate these two occasions very pompously and grandly, but we often forget our duty to the flag. When we disrespect our flag, we disrespect every brave soldier who has given his life to protect the glory of our flag.
How to dispose of the flags?
I have often seen people struggling due to lack of knowleg=dge of how should a flag be disposed of. You collect all the flags lying around and now what? What do you do with it? who do you hand it over to? Many questions like this may arise in our mind.
But do you know treating the national flag with disrespect is an offence as per the rules mentioned in the Flag Code of India, 2002? I am sure some of you might be aware of it but most of you may not know how to dispose of the flags respectfully.
According to the Flag Code of India, “The Flag, when it is in the condition that it is no longer fitting allegory of display; it should be destroyed in a respectful way, rather by burning.”
So here is what we can do to dispose of it in an accepted manner.
Convention: Disposing of with fire
• Choose a safe place and build a fire for burning the National Flag. The place should be clean, safe and dignified.
• Flag should have been lowered and folded as per corresponding conventions. Should NOT be placed on the ground.
• Place the flag on top of the fire with due care (don’t toss it in).
• Take a moment to respect the flag while it burns to ashes, Make sure it is burnt completely and safely.
We can show our respect in our own way by saluting the flag or keeping a moment of silence. No trivial jokes or conversations while we’re doing this.
As the flag is burnt, we should take a moment to honour it with the pledge of Allegiance. Receiving the pledge of Allegiance is a noble, final duty towards our flag. The flag is more than a piece of fabric as it represents liberty, loyalty and justice and also it marks the sacrifices made by the brave soldiers to preserve these ideals.
• Once the flag is burnt completely, the fire should be put off observing fire safety regulations.
Alternate method : If burning is not possible for some reason
Burying the flag:.
• Choose a clean and dignified burial place for the flag.
• Flag should have been lowered and folded as per corresponding conventions. Preferably put in a biodegradable box.
• Lower the flag into the ground observing utmost respect for it (don’t toss it in).
• Take a moment to respect the flag while it’s buried and covered with earth. Try and observe silence, we may also stand in attention.
After all, it is our conscience on how we should treat our flag, but we should always remember that our flag must fly supreme.