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Vexillopedia

Flag of Iraq

Iraq
Ratio 2:3
Adoption 2008
Design A horizontal tricolour of red, white, and black, charged with the takbīr (Allahu akbar, "God is great") in green Kufic script, centered on the white stripe. [0]
Colors
#CE1126
#FFFFFF
#000000
#007A3D

History

After Qassim was overthrown by the Ba'ath Party in 1963, the new Ba'athist government adopted a modified version of the Arab Liberation flag as the new flag of Iraq on 31 July 1963 (Law 28 of 1963). This horizontal tricolour of red, white, and black bands (first used in the Egyptian Revolution of 1952) formed the basis of the flag of the United Arab Republic (UAR). Though the UAR broke up in 1961, hopes for Arab unity persisted. As such, whereas the UAR flag had two green stars in the white band, signifying its two members (Egypt and Syria), the new Iraqi flag had three stars, symbolising the aspiration that Iraq would join with Egypt and Syria in a new union. Sharing this goal, Syria adopted the new Iraqi flag as its own later that same year. This remained the flag of Syria until 1971, when the green stars were replaced by the Hawk of Qureish.

The Iraqi Flag Law No. 28 of 1963 was replaced by Flag Law No. 33 of 1986, during the presidency of Saddam Hussein, in which although the flag remained the same, the meaning of the three stars was changed from their original geographic meaning to representations of the three tenets of the Ba'ath Party motto: wahda, hurriyah, ishtirakiyah (unity, freedom and socialism).

On 13 January 1991, the flag was modified by Flag Law No. 6 of 1991. At the instigation of Saddam Hussein, the takbīr (the phrase Allahu akbar, meaning "God is great" in Arabic) was added in green between the stars. The form of the takbīr was said to be Saddam's own handwriting.

Due to these differing views, and the prevailing opposition to an outright abandonment of the current Iraqi flag, a compromise measure was adopted by the U.S.-appointed Iraqi interim administration in 2004. The basic form of the existing flag was retained; however, the takbīr was rendered in traditional stylized Kufic script, as opposed to the handwriting of Saddam Hussein.

On 22 January 2008, a new design for the flag was confirmed by Law 9 of 2008. In this current version, the three stars were removed. The parliament intended that the new design last for one year, after which a final decision on the flag would be made. However, the flag law was reviewed in parliament on 30 April 2009. [0]

Meaning

The band colors derive from the Arab Liberation flag and represent oppression (black), overcome through bloody struggle (red), to be replaced by a bright future (white); the Council of Representatives approved this flag in 2008 as a compromise temporary replacement for the Ba'athist Saddam-era flag [1]