Hoisting or unfurling? What is the flag protocol for Republic Day?

India is all set to celebrate 75th Republic Day celebrations and ‘Viksit Bharat’ and ‘Bharat – Loktantra ki Matruka’ are the main themes of the celebrations this year. The day marks the formal adoption of the Indian Constitution.

French President Emmanuel Macron is the chief guest this year. The Republic Day parade will start at 10.30am and run for a duration of approximately 90 minutes. However, unlike Independence Day, Indian President Droupadi Murmu would unfurl the National flag at Kartavya Path before the parade. While the national flag is hoisted during the Independence Day celebrations, it is unfurled during Republic Day. 

On Republic Day, the President would unfurl the National Flag, tied as a bundle along with flowers on top of a flag pole. The flag is only unfurled on the day as India is already an independent nation.

However, during Independence Day, the prime minister would hoist the flag; the National Flag is tied to the lower part of the flagpole and then raised by the prime minister. It signifies India is free from the clutches of the British. 

The celebration this year is said to be women-centric. Women marching contingents will form the major chunk of the parade, defence ministry had said. According to the ministry, the parade will be heralded by 100 women artists playing Indian musical instruments. The parade would commence with the music of Sankh, Naadswaram, Nagada, etc. to be played by women artists. An all-women Tri-Service contingent will march down Kartavya Path this year. 

A 95-member marching contingent and 33-member band contingent from France will also take part in the parade. Along with the aircraft of the Indian Air Force, one Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft and two Rafale aircraft of the French Air Force will participate in the Fly-past, the ministry said in a release. 

The Ministry of Defence is planning to release commemorative coin and commemorative stamp during the event.