At its 42nd plenary session on Friday, the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of Uzbekistan approved amendments and additions to the law on the state flag.
The law was drafted by a group of Legislative Chamber deputies “taking into account the realities of the present time, proposals and demands of citizens,” the Senate press service reported.
Senate Speaker Tanzila Narbayeva said during the session that “the amendments to the law are very important.” She said it would allow the public, including young people, to use the national flag as a symbol of loyalty to and pride in their country.
“By liberalizing and concretizing the use of the flag and creating opportunities for it to be flown on days of joy for our people, in people’s homes, our flag will become a truly people’s flag,” she said.
The law now states that the national flag shall be hoisted permanently on buildings, in meeting rooms and in the offices of a number of government bodies. It may also be raised during national holidays and solemn events, provided the necessary respect is paid to it.
The new version expands this list considerably. The flag may also be used at facilities not mentioned above, as well as at national holidays, sports competitions, cultural and other public events, official international events, family celebrations, commemorations, funeral celebrations of public and state figures and military personnel. It may also be used in other cases, including without the use of a flagpole.
It is separately stipulated that the state flag may be used in public places, buildings and other facilities, places of residence or work, as well as in adjoining areas and in the interior of vehicles when ensuring respect for the flag.
The law also authorizes the use of symbols representing the national flag by individuals and legal entities representing Uzbekistan at official international events to denote affiliation with Uzbekistan.
Designations depicting the Uzbekistan flag may be used on the clothing and insignia of persons in military or other government service. They may also be used in the preparation of sportswear for international sports competitions and championships in Uzbekistan.
The law prohibits the use of symbols representing the national flag for commercial purposes to promote goods or services produced or sold. An exception is the application of flag signs to outerwear for decorative purposes or to denote belonging to Uzbekistan with the aim of ensuring respect for the flag.
The law has been supplemented by several provisions concerning the prohibition of disrespectful treatment of the national flag of Uzbekistan. It is not allowed:
- to use the flag or signs representing its image in a tattered, dirty, leaky, faded or otherwise inappropriate manner;
- to use flag as a cover for anything or put on tables, chairs or other places where people sit or under their feet;
- to use as clothing, a handkerchief or bed linen, or for storing and carrying things;
- symbols representing the flag of Uzbekistan may not be printed or otherwise affixed to shoes, handkerchiefs, bedclothes, underwear, towels, boxes or articles intended for single use and discard;
- the flag and signs representing its image may not be used in violation of the rules of ethics and conduct in society or in any other way considered as desecration.
Individuals and legal emtities, including public authorities using the flag and signs representing its image, are responsible for ensuring that it is used in one piece (not torn or pierced), clean (not dirty), unblemished and in a proper manner.
As before, elements of the national flag may not be included in the requisites of documents or promotional materials of non-governmental organizations. Their symbols may not be similar to the national flag.
An initiative to loosen restrictions on the use of the flag and to allow its free use by citizens was launched by the UzLiDeP last November. The initiative aims to allow citizens to install the flag in their homes and workplaces.
At the party’s congress in late May, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, as a presidential candidate in the forthcoming July 9 elections, stated that the time had come to allow the use of the national flag in every home.
“I would like to ask MPs and senators to take into account that the adoption of a draft law on this is a vital necessity today,” he said.
In order for the law to come into force, it must be signed by the president of Uzbekistan.