Placing the national flag in your car

Are only government officials allowed to fly the Indian flag on their cars?

Varun_G recently shared this with other BHPians.

An off-topic question out of curiosity: Since the Republic day has just passed, I see a lot of private cars installed with small Indian flags on their wind-shields. Sooner or later, most of these end up in dumpsters or lying around on the roads! The question is two part:

1. Is there a rule which prohibits private vehicles from installing Indian flags on their wind-shields/wipers as only government vehicles might have the authority to do that?

2. Is there a fine which can be imposed by the traffic cops on seeing the same?

Here's what Reinhard had to say on the matter:

As for the national flag - certainly, there is a very detailed flag code applicable in India. It has very specific rules & regulations and is available easily in public domain. None of us are actually allowed to have the national flag on our personal vehicles. There are multiple reasons for it. One of the biggest being ensuring respect to the highest symbol of India.

Just like all rules and regulations - there are always grey areas. What qualifies? A sticker of the flag on the dashboard? A full-fledged flag on a little stick mounted on the ORVM of the car? And what not? As a standard practise - I never even apply a national flag sticker anywhere on my belongings. Reason is simple - with time these things fade / get damaged. I don't want to be a person who is the root cause of such a state. I have a flag at home and I take care of it, that is enough for me.

Then again - punishing people with flags on cars is impractical given our population : police strength numbers. Another usual friction point that comes is - someone who is willingly flying the national colours - certainly thinks he / she is a patriot. While disrespecting the flag is a big crime by the books - its hard to convince the masses that this warrants a punishment/fine when apparently rapists & murderers are walking free on the streets (a standard excuse used for any argument related with fines and punishments in our country).

Here's what BoneCollector had to say on the matter:

Mr. Navin Jindal has been instrumental in getting the citizens the honour of displaying the national flag on all days of the year. He fought a long battle and the Supreme Court of India on 23rd January 2004 ruled that the display of national flag by every citizen of India is a fundamental right. He has set up Flag Foundation of India for this very purpose.

As far as putting up the National Flag on car is concerned, this screenshot will answer the query.

Your questions may have answers here.

But I don't see a lot of clarity with respect to timings inside the car etc.

Here's what N.A.GTC had to say on the matter:

To the best of my knowledge, there's no restriction on this. As others have pointed out, Naveen Jindal in early 2000s had successfully won the battle in courts - prior to this, citizens had the right to fly the flag only on national holidays.

There's an extensive Flag Code of India, which prescribes how, who, when can use the flag. But as far as I know, it has no statutory backing - so it's equivalent of a government guidelines/advisory, with no legal sanctity.

Then there's the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971, as per which you can't do the following:

(a) a gross affront or indignity offered to the Indian National Flag; or

(b) dipping the Indian National Flag in salute to any person or thing; or

(c) flying the Indian National Flag at half-mast except on occasions on which the Indian National Flag is flown at half-mast on public buildings in accordance with the instructions issued by the Government; or

(d) using the Indian National Flag as a drapery in any form whatsoever except in State funerals or armed forces or other para-military forces funerals; or

(e) using the Indian National Flag,—
(i) as a portion of costume, uniform or accessory of any description which is worn below the waist of any person; or
(ii) by embroidering or printing it on cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, undergarments or any dress material; or

(f) putting any kind of inscription upon the Indian National Flag; or

(g) using the Indian National Flag as a receptacle for receiving, delivering or carrying anything except flower petals before the Indian National Flag is unfurled as part of celebrations on special occasions including the Republic Day or the Independence day; or

(h) using the Indian National Flag as covering for a statute or a monument or a speaker’s desk or a speaker’s platform; or

(i) allowing the Indian National Flag to touch the ground or the floor or trail in water intentionally; or

(j) draping the Indian National Flag over the hood, top and sides or back or on a vehicle, train, boat or an aircraft or any other similar object; or

(k) using the Indian National Flag as a covering for a building; or

(l) intentionally displaying the Indian National Flag with the “saffron” down.

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