Meaning of the Flag
The colors of the Iraqi flag are what are known as “pan-Arab” colors that are found on other Arab nations’ flags. The colors represent different traits and the religion of Islam. The national flag also features the Arabic expression “God is great” written in Kufic script.
Colors of the Flag
The colors of the Iraqi flag bear great symbolism. The flag features a horizontal tricolor of red, white and black. Combined with the green Kufic script on the white band, these colors make up the “pan-Arab” colors. The red is used to symbolize the courage and struggles of the nation. The black represents both the oppression and triumph of the Islamic religion. The color white symbolizes the future of Iraq and the generosity of its people. The green is a color that is associated with Islam.
Centered in the white band is the Takbir, a phrase that means “God is great,” written in Kufic script.
History of the Flag
The original flag that most closely resembles the modern Iraqi flag of today was the flag of the Kingdom of Iraq. This flag featured black, white and green bands with a red trapezoid featuring two seven-pointed white stars. This flag was in use from 1921 through 1959. In 1959, another variant of the flag was used by the Arab Federation that featured the tricolor design with a red triangle on the hoist side. This flag was used for less than one year.
In 1959, Iraq adopted a new flag once It became a republic. This flag featured a vertical tricolor with an eight-pointed red star and a yellow circle in the center of the star. This version was used until 1963. When the Ba’athist government overthrew Abdul Karim Qassim, a new flag was adopted. This flag went back to the tricolor bands but featured three green five-pointed stars in the center of the white band. This flag was used as the national flag until 1991, when it was modified through Flag Law No. 6 of 1991. The takbir phrase was added between the three stars. This flag was used until 2004.
In 2004, the takbir was altered to traditional Kufic script. The previous version of the flag featured the takbir in the handwriting of Saddam Hussein. This flag was used through 2008. At that time, a new design was put into place by Law 9 of 2008. The three stars were removed in this version. This flag was only supposed to be used for a a period of one year until a new flag was designed. However, the design still remains the same today.
The three strips of red, white and black were adopted from the Arab Liberation Flag.
In 2012, efforts were made to change the design of the flag. However, these plans fell through and the flag remains unchanged from the version created in 2008.