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Jammu and Kashmir (India)

Last modified: 2022-01-08 by ian macdonald
Keywords: jammu and kashmir | jammu | kashmir | india | plough | postal |
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[Kashmir] image by Stuart Notholt and Jorge Candeias, 11 December 1998

See also:

The state flag

India has (had?) a flag for Jammu and Kashmir. This was red, to symbolize labour, with three white vertical stripes in the hoist (which do not run the whole height of the flag). These stand for the three districts of the region (Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh). In the hoist, also in white, a stylized agricultural implement (?) A plough (?)
Stuart Notholt, 22 September 1996

I don't know what the device is, but I also believe it is a plough of some kind, even if it looks to me more like a weird kind of iron. Smith gives this as a state flag, with 2:3 proportions, so this wouldn't be a flag used by the Kashmiris, but by the regional government.
eljko Heimer, 24 September 1996

Kashmir, because of its special status under the Indian Constitution (it is, for example, the only province where non-natives of the province are prohibited from owning real estate), is the only Indian province with a flag. Princely State flags (as discussed elsewhere) continue to be used in appropriate areas, without any official sanction. The National Flag is the national flag and Indian law and custom are adamant on this point.
The plough is, by the way, really a plough. Really.
Ed Haynes, 24 September 1996

In Indian Kashmir, the Indian flag is used.
Ed Haynes

Barraclough (1971) says that the flag of Jammu and Kashmir is no longer in use.
Nitesh Dave, 29 February 2000

If Barraclough is correct, and that was the case in 1971, it certainly is not now (and has not been for some time). I lived in New Delhi 1994-97, and the Jammu and Kashmir flag flew every day, next to the Indian national flag, at "Jammu and Kashmir House" (a sort of state cultural, trade and tourism promotion office in the Indian capital).
Glen Hodgins, 01 Mar 2000

The Section 144 of the Constitution of the State describes the flag:

"The Flag of the State shall be rectangular in shape and red in colour with three equidistant white vertical strips of equal width next to the staff and a white plough in the middle with the handle facing the stripes. The ratio of the Flag to its width shall be 3:2." There are also images of the State flag and coat of arms here
Valentin Poposki, 31 January 2007

The State flag issue in Jammu and Kashmir recently caused violent debated; in "Greater Kashmir", 7 February 2007, Afir Haleem reported the last developments of the affair as follows:

In a significant development, the government today supported the bill moved by National Conference seeking one year imprisonment for a person who dishonors the State flag. The government at the same time opposed the bill moved by Panthers Party seeking only one flag for the State. The bill to amend Jammu and Kashmir Prevention of Insult to the State Honor Act 1979 was moved by the National Conference legislator Mir Saifullah. The bill says any person entitled to display and exhibit flag of the State who fails to display and exhibit the flag with due honor shall be punished with imprisonment for one year and fine. Saifullah said that the flag of the State represents people of the State and deserves due honor and respect. The insult to the flag is insult of the State, he said. Responding, the Law Minister Tariq Hamid Qarra said that government will not oppose the bill. The bill was later approved for consideration with voice vote.

The Government at the same time opposed a bill to amend constitution of Jammu and Kashmir moved by Panthers Party [The Jammu & Kashmir National Panthers Party] member and former Education Minister Harsh Dev Singh. Singh had proposed an amendment through private members bill number 9 of 2007. Elaborating reason behind moving the bill, Singh said it was not justifiable to have two flags within the same country. Besides, Singh said, the present flag resembles flag of one particular political party. He said Jammu and Kashmir was integral part of the India and there should be uniform flag for all states. Singh had sought support from all the members. However, law minister rejected the bill and later House too rejected it with a voice vote.

Ivan Sache, 7 February 2007

Jammu & Kashmir National Conference

[Kashmir] image by Ian MacDonald, 14 April 2007

The Jammu & Kashmir National Conference is the largest political party in Jammu and Kashmir, India. Led at the time of Indian Independence in 1947 by Sheikh Abdullah, it has since then dominated electoral politics in the state, and was led subsequently by the Sheikh's son Farooq Abdullah and now by his son Omar Abdullah. It was defeated by a huge margin by Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party." Wikipedia shows as the party flag the flag we show on the FOTW website as a "variant" of the State flag, red with the plough but lacking the three white vertical bars along the hoist. This seems to make sense according to the aforementioned claim: "Besides, Singh said, the present flag resembles flag of one particular political party.
Ivan Sache
, 7 February 2007

Flag use in Jammu and Kashmir

I have seen some designs of Kashmir's flags: first the flag of the indigenous state; second, the flag of the state (?) in the 1970's (the design comes from the Catalan Encyclopedia and the book by Whitney Smith); third, two flags probably nationalist flags, that I have seen on TV in the last two years:

[Kashmir] image by Jaume Ollé

Green, red, green horizontal

[Kashmir] image by Jaume Ollé

Green over red horizontal, and, in the hoist, a polygon figure in white

[Kashmir] image by Jaume Ollé

A triangular design, similar to the Philippine flag.
This flag seems to be used by nationalists (neither pro-Indian nor pro-Pakistani), for instance on the following URL, which is a page of the J&K Liberation Front.
Thanh-Tm L
, 28 January 1999.

From Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front:

Our organisational flag is of three colours i.e. Green, Red and White. Each colour has two meanings. Green represents the Muslim majority and the greenery of the State. Red represents our revolutionary ideas as also our belief that we can not achieve our objective unless we shed our own blood and that of the enemy too. The White colour represents the religious minorities (non-Muslims) of the State and our peaceful efforts on political and diplomatic fronts to achieve our objective. The ratio of Green and White portions of the flag is the same as that of the Muslim and non-Muslim populations of the whole State (IHK, AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan)
Located by Esteban Rivera, 30 May 1999

[Kashmir] image by Jaume Ollé

A flag, probably with a 1:3 ratio, the top (2/5) divided in vertically yellow and green and in the green a crescent and star in white; in the bottom (3/5) bars white and green, green being the bottom bar.
Jaume Ollé

Jammu Municipal Corporation

[Jammu Municipal Corporation] image located by Valentin Poposki, 12 December 2021

The flag of the Jammu Municipal Corporation can be seen here: It is white with simplified logo on it.
Valentin Poposki, 12 December 2021

Kashmir Postal Service

[Kashmir Postal Service] image by Jarig Bakker, 19 Apr 2001

[A green triangle] is the flag of the Kashmir Postal Service if I don't remember wrongly.
Jaume Ollé, 11 June 1999

Around the year 1000 Himalayan postmen took a stick of two feet long, split it on top and stuck in the gap a letter; the messenger carried the stick as a small flag in front of him (source: A Springer, 'Die Post-und Reiserouten des Orients', c. 1880, reprint c. 1970)

The dak-runners (postmen) continued their services at least until the beginning of this century, since Aurel Stein received post from 'his' dak-runner in Lop-nor (Sinkiang) in 1907 (v. 'Ruins of Desert Cathay', 1912, vol I, p.407) When a flag was instituted I don't know.
Jarig Bakker, 11 June 1999