Ahead of the assembly elections in 2018, the Congress-led government in Karnataka has unveiled a state flag. The committee formed to design the flag was headed by eminent Kannada scholar Hampa Nagarajaiah. A red, white and yellow flag was revealed at a meeting of the state government featuring "Ganda Bherunda" two-headed mythical bird in the middle. If approved by the Centre, Karnataka will be the second State to have a flag after Jammu and Kashmir.
At the heart of the flag is the official emblem of the state, the coat of arms of the erstwhile state of Mysore.
Though pro-Kannada activists and litterateurs had supported the idea of having a separate flag, all had opposed the new design.
Another official said that the government - after the Cabinet approval - will be writing to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) seeking an amendment to the Flag Code, 2002. He said the more established Kannada signal was good for nothing and that he recommended there ought to be three colors in the flag. The state government will send the details of the flag to the central government, following which it will be announced as the flag of Karnataka. "I am happy that we finally have a Kannada Baavuta (Kannada Flag)". "But, the State flag will always fly below the National flag, as prescribed", said Siddaramaiah. In 2012, the BJP government gave official status to the state flag through a notification. This flag is unofficially considered as state flag since 1960s. Along with the fight against Hindi imposition, this new flag has put the BJP in a quandary. "We will urge the Centre to approve the proposal and make an official announcement at the earliest", Siddaramaiah said.
On June 6, 2017, the Kannada and Culture Department set up a nine-member panel to examine the feasibility and legal issues around the demand. The only thing is we have to hoist it below the national flag, which we will anyway do. "Is there any provision in the Constitution which is prohibiting a state to have its own flag?" Did BJP people come across any provision,"Siddaramaiah said".