Iraq's new flag

Iraq's US-picked leaders voted to replace Saddam Hussein's national flag with a new design. 

Saddam's Flag:
The flag of Iraq under Saddam Hussein's rule was adopted on July 31, 1963 and had three bands of red, white and black (top, center and bottom) with three green five-pointed stars.  The words "Allahu akbar" (God is great) in Arabic script were added in January 1991 during the Gulf War to give the flag (and Hussein's regime) a more Islamic appearance.

New Flag:
The new flag will have a white background with two blue stripes (representing Iraq's Shiites and Sunnis and the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers) on either side of a yellow stripe represent the Kurds (from the color of the star on the flag of Kurdistan). A blue crescent, symbolizing Islam, floats above the lines. The design was approved by the Governing Council in April 2004. 

The new design was initially criticized for its resemblance to the Israeli flag which has two light blue horizontal stripes on a white background with a star of David in the center.  The Iraqi Governing Council spokesman Hamid Kafai, however, argued that only the version printed in local newspapers appeared to have light blue stripes and that the actual proposed flag had a considerably darker shade of blue.











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