Wednesday, April 28, 2004

They Ran it Up The Flagpole...

But nobody saluted. Protests Prompt New Iraqi Flag Color Change:

In the new flag, the parallel blue lines represent the Tigris (search) and Euphrates (search) Rivers — and by extension Iraq's Sunni and Shiite Arabs, since the river basin is their heartland. The yellow line represents the Kurds, while the crescent is a symbol of Islam.

Many said the light blue stripes were reminiscent of the light blue bands on the Israeli flag. Hundreds of university students in Mosul (search) demonstrated against that version Wednesday.

The last thing we need in Iraq is more protests, but when I look at the new Iraqi flag I don't blame these malcontents. The new flag is lame. Very lame.

I know the Iraqis wish to get away from the past and hope to make Iraq a more peaceful, stable place, but does it really have to be so wussy? No one is going to look at that sorry excuse for a flag and feel anything but shame. It's a flag for losers.

They waved the old Saddam (search)-era flag — a red, black and green banner emblazoned with the words "God is great" — and said it should not have been changed because it carries the name of God.

Of course the old flag is not an option. Too much baggage attached to it. Although if they wanted to stick "God is great" on the new flag, I wouldn't have a problem with it. I believe that the words were added by Saddam later in his regime when he started playing the Islamic card.

Thankfully, it sounds like all hope is not yet lost:

Council spokesman Hameed al-Kafaei said the flag's colors were not changed, but rather "the copies you saw in newspapers were not accurate."

But Governing Council president Massoud Barzani said the design was temporary.

"This will be Iraq's flag for the coming months until a permanent flag is chosen," he said.

He said of the former flag: "We cannot raise the flag of a party that committed many crimes against Iraqi people."

Let's hope the next version is a bolder, more inspiring design. Something along the lines of say, American Samoa perhaps?

Now THAT'S a flag.

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