The reviews from "vexillologists"–that is, flag-design buffs–are in, and the new Iraqi banner is a turkey, they say.
"This is not a good flag," said David Martucci, president of the North American Vexillological Association. "I think most people in this community agree on that."
He and his colleagues don't like its awkward asymmetry, with three thick bars along the bottom representing the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers (in blue) and the Kurdish people (in yellow). And they aren't fond of the white background, which they deride as a "crest on a bed sheet" design.
Most of all, they don't like the flag's symbolism.
"My feeling is that a lot of people in Iraq will feel that they're turning their back on the traditions of the country," Mr. Martucci said, "and that does not bode well for the future."
Well, it depends on the traditions, doesn't it? If they're turning their backs on systematic torture and degradation, maybe the new colors–even if they are suspiciously reminiscent of Israel's–might be seen as a nice change of pace.
And of course, it matters far more what Iraqis think than what Mr. Martucci believes (alas, I wasn't able to find any sort of report on what the country's residents feel about it all).
Here's a pic of the new flag.
Update: Reader JJB points us to Iraqi comments on the flag over at USA Today.
And here's a reminder, courtesy of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (totally annoying registration required), of how flag disputes continue to roil Americans.