, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 7 – Kenyans will be able to fly high the national flag at their residences, work or business premises if a Bill proposed by Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior is passed by the Senate and enacted into law.
Chair to the Senate Standing Committee on Security Yusuf Haji has said it will no longer be a crime for those who wish to fly the national flag or display it on their premises.
“Kenyans will be allowed to display and fly the national flag whichever places they so wish,” said Haji on Wednesday during the committee session with members.
Since Independence, the President, Deputy President, the Chief Justice, the Speaker of the National Assembly and Senate, Cabinet Secretaries, Kenyan Diplomats and the Attorney General are the only ones allowed to fly the flag, with those found contravening the law subjected to a jail term of up to five years and a fine not exceeding Sh5 million or both.
The law goes further to prohibit displaying the flag on any premises, not being government premises, and on any occasion other than public holidays.
Haji however said that the committee members had resolved to have the law amended because the flag portrayed a symbol of national unity and it should not be restricted to where and when Kenyans can display it.
“Over the years, Kenyans have only been allowed to display the national flag during national celebrations. Our flag is a representation of us as a people and it should not be restricted to a few individuals only,” said Haji.
Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja who is also a member of the committee supported the Bill and said he will second it once it is tabled on the Floor of the House for debate.
“It is a very good Bill and Kenyans should be allowed to treat their flag as their symbol of national unity,” said Sakaja.
Kilonzo who is author of the Bill sates that patriotism is a national value and principle of governance and that members of the public should be allowed to express their patriotism by flying the flag at any given place provided this does not undermine the State.