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India: Car Flags

Last modified: 2010-06-18 by ian macdonald
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[India] by Željko Heimer

From the Indian flag code pages, and as described in Das (1984), specified senior Indian officials are entitled to display the Indian national flag on automobiles in which they are riding. The flag used for this purpose, according to the flag code pages, measures 6 x 9 inches (about 15 x 23 cm). The following officials are entitled to use this flag:

  • The President and Vice President of the Republic
  • Governors and lieutenant governors of states and union territories
  • Indian chiefs of diplomatic missions (e.g., ambassadors, high commissioners) when in the country to which they are accredited
  • The Prime Minister and other ministers of the Union cabinet
  • Union ministers of state and deputy ministers
  • Chief ministers, ministers, ministers of state, and deputy ministers of state of state governments
  • Ministers of state and deputy ministers of union territories
  • The Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha (lower house of parliament)
  • The Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha (Council of States, or upper house of parliament; under the Indian Constitution the Vice President of the
    Republic is ex officio chairman of the Rajya Sabha)
  • Chairmen and deputy chairmen of state legislative councils when in their respective states
  • Speakers and deputy speakers of state and territorial assemblies when in their respective states or territories
  • Chief Justice of India and other justices of the Supreme Court
  • Chief justices of High Courts
Similar rules exist for use of the Pakistani flag on cars.

As I think I've noted in the past, the alleged abuse of this right has been a political cause célebre from time to time in both countries.

Joe McMillan, 30 January 2003

Quoting the Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) agency, 24 April 2010:

"Unauthorized use of beacon lights or national flags on motor vehicles will now invite penal action in Punjab, an official said Saturday. A government spokesman said the state had specified who were entitled to use the red lights and national flag on their vehicles. These included the Punjab governor, chief minister, cabinet and state ministers, chief parliamentary secretaries and parliamentary secretaries, chief justice of the Punjab and Haryana high court and its judges, MPs from Punjab, legislators and others included in the notification."
Ivan Sache, 9 May 2010

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