Vice President Hamid Ansari has stated that as per protocol, only those in uniform salute the Tricolour while the national anthem is being played, adding that those in plainclothes must stand at attention.
The Vice President’s clarification came after he reportedly came under criticism for not saluting the national flag during the Republic Day parade.
According to the Flag Code of India, Section VI, only those in uniform may ‘render the appropriate salute’.
“During the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the flag or when the flag is passing in a parade or in a review, all persons present should face the flag and stand at attention. Those present in uniform should render the appropriate salute… A dignitary may take the salute without a head dress,” the section states.
During the Republic Day parade, protocol dictates that as supreme commander of the armed forces, the President shall salute the flag.