India’s tallest flag, which towers over the border with Pakistan, keeps letting it down as it cannot stand up to the weather.
The flag which was built with the aim to be seen from deep inside Indian territory, has been replaced for the fourth time since it has been hoisted as it keeps getting torn by the wind. Officials say that their country’s national pride is being dented and money wasted.
The flag, which can be seen in Lahore, was erected at the Attari border and is 110 metres high.
Indian officials have been spending money on replacements because according to law, a damaged flag cannot be flown. Suresh Mahajan, the chairman of the Amritsar Improvement Trust, which is responsible for maintaining the flag, said that the situation amounted to a ‘crime’.
“The national flag is our pride and I request the government to call an inquiry over the issue and those responsible should be punished,” he told BBC Hindi.
The absence of the flag was ‘disappointing’ visitors, said Gurpeet Singh Soni, who runs a shop at the border. The strong winds at the Wagah border were not taken into account when putting up the flag.
KV Singh, the chief of the Flag Foundation of India said he had advised against such a tall flag. “We had suggested to hoist a smaller flag to avoid frequent damage but the aim is to ensure that the Indian flag is visible from Lahore in Pakistan.”
The Wagah flag is not the only one to face problems. An 88m flag installed in Hyderabad also keeps tearing because of strong winds. KV Singh said that a 63m flag in the capital tore 11 times in May and June last year. “This despite the Delhi flag being a smaller flag than the one in Hyderabad. So damage is normal when the flag is high,” said Singh.
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