12. Ismaili flag & New Ismaili Constitution of 1986
Mawlana Hazar Imam, H.H. the Aga Khan IV, ordained the new Ismaili Constitution on Saturday, December 13, 1986 at Merimont in Geneva. Leaders of the jamat who were mandated to work on the new Ismaili Constitution had come from various parts of the world. It was indeed a historic occasion where the family members of the Imam, members of the Constitution Review Committee and the staff of the Secretariat from Aiglemont were present. At 11.00 a.m., the Imam ordained, signed and sealed "The Constitution of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims"
It is clearly seen in the photo of Hazar Imam when he was ordaining the New Ismaili Constitution that there was a small Ismaili flag on Imam's table, having an image of the Coat-of-Arms, i.e., the monogram of a crown (taj) on it. This is a royal monogram which was originally presented by Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah after his gracious arrival in India from Europe on March 2, 1920. Lt. Col. Pir Muhammad Madhani and Major A.J. Lakhpati had acknowledged its receipt on behalf of the volunteers Corps of Bombay at Imam's bungalow in Bombay on Saturday, April 3, 1920. The Imam said to them during presentation that, "Get such Coat-of-Arms prepared and every volunteer should wear it on his cap."
It should be noted that the new Constitution does not allow any Ismaili to misuse the Ismaili flag or its colours for any other purpose. Accordingly, the Article of the Constitution clearly lays down that:-
16 .2 IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE HISTORY AND TRADITION OF THE JAMAT,
THERE SHALL BE:
(a) AN ISMAILI FLAG IN THE FORM AND COLOURS SET OUT IN THE TENTH
SCHEDULE HERETO SUBJECT TO SUCH CODE AS TO THE USAGE THEREOF
AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED FROM TIME TO TIME BY MAWLANA HAZAR IMAM.
16.3 NO PERSON SHALL USE THE ISMAILI FLAG OR THE COLOURS OF THE
ISMAILI FLAG IN CONFIGURATION RESEMBLING THE ISMAILI FLAG OR
THE NASHID AL-IMAMAH FOR ANY COMMERCIAL, ADVERTISEMENT,
PUBLICITY, PROPAGANDA OR SIMILAR PURPOSES.
It is a key point to note that the word "My Flag" is not referred to in the New Ismaili Constitution, but the word "Ismaili flag" is simply used instead.
The Ismaili flag is flown on the Jamatkhana, mostly on special festive occasions, the gracious arrival of the Imam and the day when the Imam sends any farman to the jamat. As soon as the occasion is over, the flag is required to be removed and folded up. It is quite improper to keep it fluttering for days together or to use it with faded colours. It is common for flags to be hoisted at sunrise and hauled down at sunset.
In conclusion, we will quote from "Haft Bab" (Bombay, 1959, p. 40) by Abu Ishaq Kohistani as saying:-
"All the Imams are Mawlana Ali, all are one. And if he sometimes appears young, and another time old, or an infant, this is done in order that the world and humanity may remain as it is. And Mustafa said that Ali ibn Abi Talib, may God beautify his countenance, on the day of Resurrection will raise the banner of the qiyamat single-handed."