The home ministry on Sunday abolished regulations made by the previous administration to impose restrictions on the use of the national flag.
Enacted in March 2017, the regulations prohibited flying another flag higher than the national flag. But the flag of an independent state was allowed to be flown alongside the Maldivian national flag at the same height.
The use of flags or symbols identical to the president’s flag was prohibited.
The 13-point regulation also required permission from the home ministry before erecting the national flag on private premises. If a member of the public or a political party is authorised to do so, the flag must be hoisted down after 6:00 pm.
Shortly after the rules came into force, police removed the national flag from the office of former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and the Elections Commission banned the use of the Jumhooree Party flag – which depicts a white crescent moon and star in a green circle with a red border – as it resembled the official standard of the presidency.
The ban prompted a legal challenge from the then-opposition party.
During last year’s presidential campaign, police officers removed a Jumhooree Party flag hoisted on the 12th floor of a house in Malé.
Police entered the Asdhoo house without a court warrant to remove the flag “because it was hoisted too high.”
In March last year, police conducted operations to remove Maldivian Democratic Party flags that were raised higher than the national flag on several islands.
Photos and videos of a policeman climbing a 50-foot flagpole on Manadhoo island went viral on social networks.
A few days later, police officers were ridiculed for seeking the help of an expatriate to climb a 115-feet tall banyan tree and take down an MDP flag on the island of Bileiyfahi.