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The Flags of Modern Iraq (1921 - present)

Safi Ed'een El-7illi (8KB)

Kingdom Flag The 1921 Flag of The Kingdom of Iraq
The colours for the flag were inspired by the poetry of Safi il-Deen Al-Hilli (above). The two seven point stars denote the then 14 provinces of the Kingdom.

1958 Flag The 1958 Flag of The new Republic of Iraq
The overthrow of the Monarchy on the 14th July 1958 brought about a change in Flags. Although the colours in the new flag are mostly the same as those in the old Kingdom Flag, they have other historical inspirations. The green colour represents the Prophet Mohammad's green flag, while the black is a reminder of the Abbasid's black flags. The white segment is in remembrance of the Ummayid's white flags. The red star (of Ishtar) represented the Assyrian minority. The new addition of the yellow colour is a sign denoting the Kurdish population of Iraq (Yellow was a colour used by Salladin, the famous Kurdish born leader).

1963 Flag The 1963 Flag
Another change of power brought another change of flags. The new flag uses the same colours as those of the Kingdom Flag and are inspired by the same poetry. However the symbolism changed and the three green stars are to show intended unification between Iraq, Egypt and Syria. After the Baathist takeover of 1968 and the abandonment of the unification plans, the symbolism of the three stars changed yet again. The new translation was that the three stars point to the Baathist motto of "Wihda, Hurriyah, Ishtirrakiyah" (Unity, Freedom, Socialism).

1991 Flag The 1991 Flag
The words Allahu Akbar (God is Great) were added by Saddam Hussein prior to the start of the Gulf War. The intent was to improve an Islamic image.

The Flag that never was The Flag that never was
On 26 April 2004 the Iraq Interim Governing Council announced a new flag for post-Saddam Iraq. designed by Rifat al-Chadirchi. The flag was intended to be a temporary replacement for the red, black and green banner. The parallel blue lines represent the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, the yellow line represents the Kurds, while the crescent is a symbol of Islam. Strongly criticised, the flag did not see the light of the sky.

2004 Flag The new 2004 Iraqi Flag
At the ceremony on 28 June 2004 when the new interim government of Iraq was sworn into office, the stage was backed with a row of flags similar to the 1991 pattern, but wider, with the stars and the Arabic script more loosely spread across the width of the flag.

2008 Flag The new temporary 2008 Iraqi Flag
On 22 January 2008, the Iraqi parliament approves new temporary flag which will be expired in one year. The approval for the new flag came by majority after 110 out of 165 parliament members approved the flag change. The colors of the new flag are still red, white and black, but the three green stars which represent the objectives of Saddam Hussein's Baath party: unity, freedom and socialism, will be removed, to address the concerns of Iraqi Kurds. The design preserves a sense of continuous national identity, while purging the flag of Baathist allusions.

Ahmad Matar (4KB

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