New Iraqi Flag: Now Even Bluer!

The Governing Council is modifying the new Iraqi flag so it doesn’t look so much like Israel’s, the Council said. The design will remain the same, but the colors will be deepened.
_40096569_iraq_new_flag3_203.gifStill looks like Israel’s flag to me. You’re just not going to get away from that with using the colors blue and white. They’re perfectly nice colors, mind you, but in the neighborhood, they come with certain, ah, implications. And the design still doesn’t address the issues I raised in “my previous post”: on this subject.
This has proven a very controversial issue in Iraq and on this site, and rightly so. A temporary, appointed government should not be messing with national symbols.
And make no mistake, flags are important. After 9/11, American flags were flown off almost every stoop and porch in America. The iconic picture of the Marines hoisting the banner at Iwo Jima is burned into the country’s collective memory. The _national anthem_ is about the flag still flying as Washington burned in the face marauding Redcoats in the war of 1812, for goodness’ sake! In times of trouble, a nation’s flag is the rallying point for its citizens, and it makes sense that Iraqis would cling to the previous flag — even if it’s from Saddam’s regime — as a means of holding onto a national identity that has been assaulted in the past year for whatever reasons, good or bad.
Current GC president Massoud Barzani of the Kurdistan Democratic Party makes a valid point, however, when he says: “We cannot raise the flag of a party that committed many crimes against the Iraqi people.”
Should the original flag be kept? No, probably not, for the same reason the Confederate battle flag should be removed from Georgia’s state flag: It is a symbol of a vicious crime against African-Americans and should not be included on official state symbols. Likewise, the Saddam-era flag is a painful reminder of his crimes against his own people.
But the people of Georgia have elections every few years to determine whether to change their flag or not; the Iraqis deserve the same opportunity. The new flag needs to be scrapped and replaced with a previous one until a referendum can be held.

2 Comments on “New Iraqi Flag: Now Even Bluer!”

  1. Flags Under Fire

    In Iraq, Flag Design, Too, Comes Under Fire says the New York Times, perhaps unfortunately given the literal burnings it’s getting. Meanwhile the designer, who lives in London, defends himself while the Iraqis darken the blue and declare the…