Manama: Qatar has issued a new law that stipulates heavy fines and prison terms for failing to show due respect to the national flag.

The flag law was issued by the Emir Shaikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani one day before Qatar celebrates its National Day.

“The law stipulates that without prejudice to a more severe penalty provided by another law, a person shall be punished by imprisonment not exceeding three years, and a fine not exceeding 201548)200,000 Qatari riyals (Dh201,548), or either of them,” Qatar News Agency (QNA) said.

The legal action covers “all those who insult the national flag publicly in any way by tearing it or by any act suggestive of contempt or hatred or lack of due respect,” the official agency said.

The law prohibits adding words, images or designs to the flag or using it for commercial purposes or as a brand or for the purpose of advertising.

The national flag should be saluted by military personnel during hoisting or lowering and during military parades, QNA said.

Qatari media on Tuesday reported plans for massive celebrations of the National Day throughout the country.