Meet the new flag, which is pretty much same as the old new Iraqi flag. It's been revamped to dampen criticisms that it looked too much like the one for the most successful country in the Middle East.
The new design was more or less the same as the one announced earlier this week: two blue stripes along the bottom with a yellow stripe between them, and a crescent above them in a white field.
But the stripes and crescent were a considerably darker shade of blue than the original version published in an Iraqi newspaper, which showed the stripes as being light blue. Many said the light blue stripes were similar to the light blue bands on the Israeli flag.
Some religious students complained that nobody should have messed with the old Iraqi flag, adopated in the early '60s when the Ba'ath party took over the country. The students were particularly upset that the line "God is great" has disappeared--this despite the fact the line was added only in 1991, shortly before the first Gulf War.
And meanwhile in Georgia, confederate flag sympathizers are starting to understand the international brotherhood of those forced to live under banners they find uninspiring. (For an interesting take on the use of Confederate imagery in official state symbols, read this piece by the Cato Institute's David Boaz).
And in Richmond, Virginia, the former capital of the Confederate States of America, brave school students and their parents are demanding their right to represent their proud heritage--you know, the one that sold other human beings as slaves. "This is my heritage," one parent said. "I, along with my children and everyone's else children, deserve to know where they came from and be proud of where they came from." Censorship issues aside--I think schools should allow as much free expression as possible--that heritage, especially as figured by the Confederate battle flag, which emerged in state-sanctioned contexts in the post World War II era as a response to desegregation efforts, is problematic, to say the least.