Gideon's Blog

In direct contravention of my wife's explicit instructions, herewith I inaugurate my first blog. Long may it prosper.

For some reason, I think I have something to say to you. You think you have something to say to me? Email me at: gideonsblogger -at- yahoo -dot- com

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Tuesday, April 27, 2004
Is it just me, or does the new Iraqi Flag look like it was designed by the Zionist conspiracy?

I mean, seriously folks. Blue and white? Is there another Arab or Muslim country in the world whose flag is blue and white? No? Might there be a reason for that?

There are a bunch of Islamic crescent flags out there; they are all (I believe) green or red. There are a bunch of Arab nationalist flags out there; the key colors are red, black and white. I can understand why we might not want to go with an Arab nationalist flag. But the new flag is ridiculous.

(Okay, maybe the new Iraqi flag isn't modeled on the Israeli flag. Maybe it's modeled on the international Chaldean flag. Better? I thought not.)

How do we manage to consistently get this stuff wrong? Who is running the show out there?

I mean, they could have copied the Jordanian flag without raising a ruckus, couldn't they? No references here to Ba'athism or to the Saddam regime. Traditional Arab flag colors. generally pleasing design. This would have been so hard? Put something other than the Jordanian 7-pointed star in the middle of the triangle, and you have a flag. Make it yellow if the Kurds like yellow.

Or they could have copied the Pakistani flag if they wanted something more Islamic and less Arab. Kurds still like yellow? Make it yellow and green instead of white and green.

Or, if they wanted something nationalist but not Arab-nationalist and Ba'athist, they could have copied the Egyptian flag without raising a ruckus. Traditional Arab colors, but put a graven image in the middle to make it clear we're nationalists, not Islamists, and make it an Iraqi image rather than a bunch of green stars like the Syrian or the old Iraqi flags.

Would this be so hard? Why on earth did we have to come up with something that looks like no other Arab or Muslim flag and whose symbolism, whatever we intended it to be, is going to read to the region as the punchline to that old joke:

Saddam calls up Bush and says, George, I've had a wonderful dream. In my dream, America had embraced Islam, and all across your country minarets rose where there were once church steeples, and green flags adorned with the words, "Allahu Akbar" were flying where once the Stars and Stripes flew, and the name of Saddam Hussein was uttered with reverence all across America, and finally our lands were at peace with one another.

So George Bush answers, gee, Saddam, I also had a dream. And in my dream, we were also finally at peace. And in my dream, there were also new flags flying, but in Iraq, not America, and they also had writing on them.

So, asks Saddam, what was the writing on the flags?

I don't know, answers George Bush, I can't read Hebrew.