Saturday, January 26, 2008

New Flag of Iraq

Top: New Flag
Bottom: 2004-2008 Flag

The Iraq Parliament has voted to change the national flag. For the mean time they have agreed on a temporary flag.

The post-Saddam flag was a slight modification of the 1991 Saddam flag which in turn was a slight modification of 1963 Baath Iraq flag. That flag had three stars and "God is Great" in Arabic. The stars originally meant Syria, Egypt, and Iraq; representing the Baath Party's goal of uniting all Arab countries. In 1991 "God is Great" in Saddam's handwriting was added in an effort to unite Islamic nations with Iraq against the US-led campaign to liberate Kuwait and the stars meaning was changed to the Baath Party motto of "Unity, Freedom, Socialism." In 2004 the "God is Great" motto was changed to standard font.

The recent change is part of Iraq's effort to move on. The 2004 flag is banned in the Kurdish Autonomous Region and many are upset because the three stars were remained. No one can still agree on what the new flag should be (the Kurds are pressing hard for Kurdish iconography) so the new flag will last for one year. Everyone wants to avoid the fiasco of the proposed 2004 flag.

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