The Congress government in Karnataka has set up a panel that will explore how the state can legally have its own separate flag. Right now Jammu and Kashmir, which has special status under Article 370 of the Constitution, is the only state in the country that has its own flag.
The move comes ahead of assembly elections in Karnataka next year and amid protests by pro-Kannada activists against what they have called the imposition of Hindi in the state by the BJP-ruled centre.
The BJP does not support a separate flag for the state and had turned down the demand when it was in power in Karnataka, saying it went against the unity and integrity of the nation.
The nine-member panel, which will include bureaucrats and academicians, will also suggest a design for a state flag. Karnataka has a red and yellow flag that is used for cultural events, but the BJP government had rejected a move to declare that an official flag.