The government has decided to operate special mobile court drives against violation of the national flags rules and use of under-sized, discoloured or disfigured flags in the month of March, the month of Independence of Bangladesh.
The drive that starts from March 20 and continue until March 26, the Independence Day, will be against makers, sellers and users of distorted national flags. The Ministry of Liberation War Affairs will operate the drive across the country with the support of district administrations, according to the Ministry officials.
The decision of operating the drives was taken in a recent inter-ministerial meeting on celebration of the 'Independence and National Day' held at the Ministry with Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque in the Chair.
The meeting has decided to enforce the 'National Flag Rules, 1972' strictly, according to its resolution.
To enforce the decision, the Ministry asked the district administrations including Dhaka Deputy Commissioner's office to take necessary steps. At the same time, the Ministry also requested the National Institute of Mass-Communications (NIMCO) to display features or documentaries on the issue and broadcast in the electronic media, Ministry Secretary MA Hannan said.
He told the daily Observer on Wednesday the initiative was taken to create awareness among the people, not to punish anybody. We want to stop denigration of our glorious national flag.
If the mobile court drives are operated across the country ahead of March 26, misrepresentation of our national flag could be prevented, the Secretary hoped.
According to the decision, all of the government, semi-government and non-government and autonomous bodies and institution offices must comply with the flag rules. Those, who violating the rules, must face music - punishment and penalty - for their offences.
According to the rules, it's mandatory to hoist or use a national flag of the exact measure and colour. It's a criminal offence of hoisting or using an undersized or wrong sized or discoloured flag.
According to another decision at the meeting, the law enforcement agency members will take necessary steps to stop hoisting of discoloured, disfigured and disproportionate flags on top of offices, houses or private cars.
In the previous years, it was found that the 'flag rules' were violated indiscriminately in front of the law enforcers ahead of February 21, March 26 and December 16, the national days of the country.
A good number of people, including some private television channels, flag makers and sellers, use the war-time national flag violating the existing flag rules of the country. At the same time, it was also seen to use under sized or wrong sized or discoloured flags everywhere.
According to Article 3 of the Bangladesh National Anthem, Flag and Emblem Order, 1972, which was amended in 2010, 'The National Flag shall consist of a circle, coloured red throughout its area, resting on a green background. The size and other features of the national flag shall be in accordance with the specifications set out in the Second Schedule.'
According to Article 4A of the order, 'Whoever contravenes any provision of this Order or of any rules made thereunder shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine which may extend to Tk 5,000, or with both.'
There is no provision of printing any symbol of Bangladesh's country map inside the red circle on the national flag. The symbol was removed from the war-time national flag in 1972 amending the flag rules.