I have been going through the Flag code of conduct (2002) from that,

There shall be no restriction on the display of the National Flag by members of
general public, private organizations, educational institutions, etc., except to the extent
provided in the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950 and the
Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971....

As per Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950,

From Section 2
The disrespect to the Indian National Flag means and includes-

 - using the Indian National Flag as a portion of costume or uniform of any description or
embroidering or printing it on cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins or any dress material;

But we can see contradiction to the above statement at many places.

For (e.g)In a cricket stadium there are lot of people using Indian flag in some of above mentioned form.

Am not sure whether i understood it right or not. If not please explain and also when does this part of Act actually applies??


The below section talks about the punishment,

3-A. Minimum penalty on second or subsequent offence.—Whoever having already been convicted
of an offence under Section 2………. is again convicted of any such offence shall be punishable for the
second and for every subsequent offence, with imprisonment for a term, which shall not be less than one

So this ACT mentions about the punishment. Can we say it is not actively deployed?

  • 1
    I have no idea if this is relevant or not, but the United States' flag code is explicitly not enforced (except possibly on the military). So some uses might be illegal, but no one can be prosecuted for violating them. This may or may not be the case in India.
    – Bobson
    Sep 4, 2014 at 13:56
  • @Bobson Yeah it might be correct no one can be prosecuted for that.. According to Fundamental duties mentioned in Indian constitution **(a) to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem; ** So i think maybe, following the flag of conduct is a duty. Could you please throw some light on being illegal?? If a person do something illegal can he be prosecuted? Or it is again based on constitution? Sep 5, 2014 at 7:06
  • @Bobson - It is also enforced on anyone acting in an official capacity as an agent of the US Federal Government. IE You can not burn the flag as a protest in public while on duty as an employee of the government or official volunteer. If you are a recognized representative of the government (Congressmen, diplomat, ambassador, cabinet member, etc) you can not do it off duty either. Sep 8, 2014 at 1:48
  • @Chad - I hadn't heard that before, and while it makes sense to me, I can't find anything to support it. That said, I also couldn't find the "explicitly not enforced" that I remember - instead, it's simply a lack of any penalties attached to the Code, but each state can choose to set their own. I wouldn't be surprised if there were federal regulations and/or internal congressional rules addressing the matter too, but no laws. Might make a good question. ----- None of this helps answer this question, though.
    – Bobson
    Sep 8, 2014 at 3:45
  • @Bobson - it would be charged as official misconduct for civilian government agents. Sep 8, 2014 at 12:01

1 Answer 1


I finally looked into this, and I can see why you're confused. The laws about the Indian flag seem to have changed several times over the years, due to new laws and court rulings.

The best I could find is Wikipedia, which cites this article when it writes:

The original flag code also forbade use of the flag on uniforms, costumes and other clothing. In July 2005, the Government of India amended the code to allow some forms of usage. The amended code forbids usage in clothing below the waist and on undergarments, and forbids embroidering onto pillowcases, handkerchiefs or other dress material.

From this, I guess that what you're seeing are shirts, hats, etc. with the flag, or simply someone taking three separately-colored pieces of fabric and waving them together. With a picture, I could make a better guess.

As a side note, just a few days before I wrote this answer, a Bollywood actress was arrested for disrespecting the flag after releasing a movie poster where she was wearing it draped around her. So the code is clearly enforced in general, even if they might be laxer about it in a stadium setting.


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