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