The panel has been tasked to look into the legal aspects of a state flag. Former Karnataka chief minister and Union minister D V Sadananda Gowda dismissed the move, saying, "India is one nation and there can not be two flags in one country". The order which has been signed on behalf of the governor by G Annapurna, under secretary of the Kannada and culture department, reads: "The committee must ready a design for a separate state flag and submit a report on providing it a legal sanctity".
The state has an unofficial red and yellow "Kannada flag".
The move has come under heavy criticism from all quarters.
But the use of that flag was also challenged in courts by some people and a decision on the matter is yet to be taken, the official, who wished not to be quoted, said.
"The Congress does not have a policy for a state having a separate flag".
"Karnataka's IT minister Priyank Kharge, the son of the Congress' Lok Sabha floor leader Mallikarjun M Kharge, tweeted a part of the SC's landmark judgement in the 1994 Bommai vs SC, which states, ". there is no prohibition in the Constitution for the state to have its own flag.
In 2014, Patil Puttappa, a 96-year-old veteran journalist and Kannada activist, and Bheemappa Gundappa, a 56-year-old RTI activist, made a demand for an official flag for Karnataka.
"However, the manner in which the state flag is hoisted should not dishonour the national flag".
Asked whether the move to have a state flag was meant to keep the Kannadiga population in good stead in an election year, he said, "Elections are in April-May not now, not tomorrow, not next month".
Politically various Chief Ministers of the state have played ping pong with the issue. "I don't see any provision anywhere, if they want to have state flag, there is nothing wrong in it", Rao told ANI. "If the BJP is opposed to it, then can they say openly that they are against a state flag". Eventually, on October 4, 2012, it withdrew the notification ordering the hoisting of the Kannada flag on government offices on November 1. "Is there was any provision in the Constitution which prohibits the state from having its own flag?" This issue had been raised earlier too, but such a flag only represents "the people and not the state", the official said.