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Narain Karthikeyan may have become India's first Formula One driver, but he has now found himself at the centre of a major sporting controversy back home because he is not going to be allowed to wear his national flag colours on his helmet.

The Jordan driver, whose helmet has always featured the orange, white and green colours of the Indian flag, will be forced to change his design because of a new Indian government decree that outlaws any sportsmen from displaying the country's tricolour anywhere on their kit.

The government has cited the Flag Code of India – which dictates that the Indian's tricolour must not be used on costumes, embroidered on cushions, handkerchiefs or dress materials.

Speaking to reporters in India, Karthikeyan said he was baffled by the news. "If that is what the government wants, it is their loss," he explained. "We as sportsmen are only doing the country proud by performing well.

"I have the tricolour on my helmet, but I can probably sell that space to sponsors and make a lot of money. I love India and I am proud to be an Indian and that's what I want to portray. But if I can't carry the tricolour on my helmet, it is the government's loss."

Karthikeyan has finished his pre-season testing and is currently on his way to Russia for a launch of the Midland-Jordan team before the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
 

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Yet another example of Indian Bureaucracy at it's finest grrrrrrr
 

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Ashok Arora said:
Yet another example of Indian Bureaucracy at it's finest grrrrrrr
pendu's man.. :rolleyes:
 
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