The Jammu and Kashmir state flag was taken off the Civil Secretariat building in Srinagar on Sunday and replaced with the tricolour more than a fortnight after the Centre scrapped special status of the state by modifying Article 370 and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories.
The flag, which was hoisted along with the tricolour every day atop the Civil Secretariat, was supposed to be removed on October 31 when the law bifurcating Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories will come into effect. However, on Sunday morning, only the tricolour was hoisted on the secretariat building, PTI quoted officials as saying.
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.
On August 7, Jammu and Kashmir Assembly Speaker Nirmal Singh removed the state flag from his official car, becoming the first Constitutional functionary to remove the state flag from his official vehicle.
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 on July 13, 1931 — the day is 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.
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