As Jammu and Kashmir about to loses its special status and is bifurcated into two Union Territories, its flag is set to be derecognised. The red flag with a plough and three stripes will no longer be in use, and the two UTs — Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh — will henceforth fly only the Tricolour.
J&K adopted a separate constitution in 1956, under which it was permitted to fly its own flag. Its link with the Union of India was through Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.
In 1952, a Delhi Agreement signed between Jammu & Kashmir and the Union of India on behalf of Sheikh Abdullah and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru stated that “the Union Government agreed that the State should have its own flag in addition to the Union flag, but it was agreed by the State Government that the State flag would not be a rival of the Union flag; it was also recognised that the Union flag should have the same status and position in Jammu and Kashmir as in the rest of India, but for historical reasons connected with the freedom struggle in the State, the need for continuance of the State flag was recognised”.
The flag was red in colour, in remembrance of the bloodshed from the Kashmir agitation in July 13, 1931 — the day has come to be celebrated as Martyrs’ Day. The state flag had three stripes, which represented the regions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. The plough was for the farmer.
With the Centre’s decision to revoke Article 370, the state will no longer be permitted to use the flag.
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