Happy Republic Day 2021, everyone! The significant occasion of Gantantra Diwas is finally here, and the country is observing the day, unlike the past years—virtually. Republic Day 2021 parade at Delhi is held with only a few spectators, giving live streaming for the citizens to watch the same from home. The national flag is unfurled on occasion. The moment fills our heart with pride and honour. But unfortunately, after celebrating the national holiday, we often find the tricoloured flags littered on the ground or in a bin. Treating the flag with disrespect is an offence as per the Flag Code of India, 2002. The same set of laws include how one can dispose of the national flag of India respectfully by following two rules.

The national holidays such as Republic Day and Independence see much respect towards the nation. Citizens would boast their patriotism and honour the country by wearing tricolour clothes, displaying flags on vehicles and more. But it is unfortunate to see the country’s flag being littered on the ground. There are proper ways to dispose of soiled or torn national flag. The Flag Code if India, 2002, has given rules for the proper disposal of the Indian national flag—either by burning or burying.

Section 3.25 of Flag Code of India, 2002 states, “The Flag, when it is in condition that it is no longer fitting allegory of display; it should be destroyed in a respectful way, rather by burning.”

Burying: To bury the national flag, collect all the damaged flags in a wooden box. Fold them and place it properly. Bury the box in soil and observe a moment of silence once the flag is buried.

Burning: The second way is to burn the national flag. Choose a safe place and clean it. Fold the flag, build a fire and carefully place it in the centre of the flames. The flag should be burnt with dignity. Maintain silence while the fire is burning.

These are the two simple but important ways one must follow in disposing of the flag with respect. There are NGOs as well where you can volunteer to pick up the flags littered on the ground after a celebration. Be a responsible citizen and respect the nation’s flag instead of putting it off the ground.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 26, 2021 10:32 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).