The Central Board of Secondary Education has directed schools under its purview to adhere to the flag code of the country and ensure that the tricolour is not insulted, PTI reported on Friday. In a circular, the CBSE specified the provisions of the code.

“The schools affiliated to CBSE are hereby directed to ensure strict compliance of provisions contained in the Flag Code of India, 2002, and The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971,” the board said in a circular.

The flag code specifies the type of material to be used for a flag – hand woven wool, cotton, khadi or silk – and its size. “If the flag is to be hoisted at schools or any educational institution, the school shall assemble in open square formation with pupils forming three sides and flag-staff at the centre of the fourth side. The flag salutation has to be followed by singing of national anthem,” the code says.

The rules also prohibit people from “burning, mutilating, defacing, destroying or trampling upon the national flag in any public place or place within public view”. Schools have also been told to use paper flags over those made of plastic. The board has 18,546 schools in India and 210 schools abroad, PTI reported.

In January, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had demanded that Amazon’s Canada branch stop the sale of doormats bearing the Indian national flag. She had threatened to cancel visas of their employees and demanded an unconditional apology. Amazon India had expressed regret for the incident.

In November last year, Coldplay singer Chris Martin drew criticism for performing with the tricolour half tucked in to the back pocket of his pants.