Iraqi Flag

Iraqi Flag



The Flag of Iraq - Description of the Iraqi Flag
  • As the above picture of the Iraqi Flag indicates a tricolor of Red, Black and white with green Arabic text
  • The description of the Iraq Flag is as follows:
    • Three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black
    • The phrase the Takbir (meaning "God is great") in green Arabic script is centered in the white band
    • The Council of Representatives approved this flag in 2008 as a compromise temporary replacement for the Ba'athist Saddam-era flag


Iraq flag

The Iraq Flag from the Ba'athist Saddam-era flag

  • Three green five-pointed stars in a horizontal line centered in the white band
  • The phrase ALLAHU AKBAR (God is Great) in green Arabic script - Allahu to the right of the middle star and Akbar to the left of the middle star - was added in January 1991
  • It is believed that the words on the Saddam-era flag was in Saddam Hussein's own handwriting
  • According to Ancient and Heraldic traditions much symbolism is associated with colors. The colors on the Iraqi flag represent the following:
    • White - peace and honesty - a bright future
    • Red - hardiness, bravery, strength & valour - overcome through bloody struggle
    • Black - Determination and and represent oppression
  • The basic style shown in the picture of the Iraqi flag is described as Emblem - reflecting the central design of the flag pattern
  • All Flag pictures depict flags flying, from the viewer's point of view, from left to right
  • The shape and flag ratio of the Iraqi flag is described as 2:3 ( length 1 times the height )
  • The Meaning & History of the Iraqi Flag
    • The original text on the Iraqi flag was from the Ba'ath party motto, "Wihda, Hurriyah, Ishtirrakiyah" (Unity, Freedom, Socialism)
    • The decision to replace the words with"Allahu Akbar" (God is Great) on the Iraqi flag was made by Saddam Hussein. It is believed that the words on the Ba'athist Saddam-era flag are in Saddam Hussein's own handwriting
    • Saddam was executed on 30 December 2006 and the decision was made to replace the flag. The current Iraqi national flag was adopted on 2008

Canton - Flag Terminology

Flag Terminology - Did you Know ?
  • The design and description uses specific flag terminology based on Heraldic principles
  • Animal blazons should always appear with the heads facing the flag - staff side
  • The Study of the Flags is called Vexillology
  • Your interest in flags makes you a Vexillologist!
  • Increase your knowledge - Play the Flag Quiz
Iraqi Flag Etiquette
  • Iraqi Flag etiquette is very strict and is is essential that Flag protocols and rules are followed correctly
  • Basic Flag Etiquette applies to all nations, including Iraqi as follows:
  • Etiquette relating to the order of precedence for the flag
    • National Flag of Iraqi
    • State Flag of Iraqi
    • Military Flag of Iraqi (in order of creation date)
    • Other Flag of Iraqi
  • The United Nations uses alphabetical order when presenting a national flag including the Iraqi Flag. Their flag etiquette ensures that no one country's flag has precedence over another country's flag
  • The National flag of Iraqi should never be flown above another national flag on the same staff as this would suggest superiority, or conversely, inferiority of one flag, or Nation, over another
  • The Iraqi flag should never be allowed to drag along the ground
  • A tattered or faded flag of Iraqi should be removed and replaced with a new flag
  • Due care and consideration must be taken to ensure that the Iraqi flag is always flown the correct way up
  • A Flag of Iraqi, when in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning in private with all due care and respect
Flag History & Evolution:
  • The idea of flying a flag grew from the requirements of ancient warfare and the battlefield
  • Shields were painted with emblems to identify Friend or Foe
  • Warriors needed to know where their leaders were - the custom of carrying a pole was adopted
  • An emblem such as a shield, animal or religious device was attached to the pole for identification
  • The emblems were also used for identity and to cover suits of armour - Coats of Arms  were born
  • These emblems were the forerunners of modern flags
  • The Romans were the first to use a cloth flag - they were square and fastened to cross bars at the end of spears - the idea of fastening a flag to the side of a pole soon followed
  • The strict rules of Heraldry are still used when designing an emblem and creating a new flag
Terminology & Etiquette in Iraqi Flag display
  • Hoist - the act or function of raising the Iraqi flag, as on a rope
  • Half Staff or Half Mast - the Iraqi flag is hoisted to half of the potential height of the flag pole to denote grief and mourning
    • Performed by first raising the Iraqi flag to the top, then lowering the Iraqi Flag halfway
  • Distress - denoted by flying the Iraqi flag upside-down
  • Manner of hoisting - The Iraqi flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously
  • No disrespect should be shown to the Iraqi flag
  • The Iraqi flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit the Flag to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way
  • The Iraqi flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing on the flag of any nature
  • The Iraqi flag should be hoisted first and lowered last
  • International Flag relating to Iraqi Flag usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace
  • We hope that the presentation of facts and information regarding Iraqi Flag Etiquette has provided a useful resource

National Flags of the World Map


Location: Middle East, bordering
the Persian Gulf, between
Iran and Kuwait



  • Iraqi Land Size : 432,162 sq km
  • Iraqi Climate / Weather : mostly desert; mild to cool winters with dry, hot, cloudless summers; northern mountainous regions along Iranian and Turkish borders experience cold winters with occasionally heavy snows that melt in early spring, sometimes causing extensive flooding in central and southern Iraq
  • Iraqi Population : 25,374,691 (July 2004 est.)
  • Iraqi Capital City: Baghdad
  • Iraqi GDP: $38.79 billion (2003 est.)
  • Iraqi Main Industries : petroleum, chemicals, textiles, construction materials, food processing
  • Iraqi Agricultural products : wheat, barley, rice, vegetables, dates, cotton; cattle, sheep
  • Iraqi Currency : New Iraqi dinar (NID) as of 22 January 2004
  • Main Colors of the Iraqi Flag : Red, Black and white
Concise History of Iraq & its Flag
  • 3500 BC Mesopotamia, known as the world's first civilization, developed in South Eastern Iraq
  • 539 BC Mesopotamia was conquered by the Persians
  • 332 BC Alexander the Great conquers the Persians
  • 226 AD The Persian Sassanid dynasty took control of Mesopotamia
  • 126 BC The Greek rule ended when the Parthians established control of Iraq
  • 633AD Arab Muslims conquer the Sassanids and Iraq
  • 750 The Abbasids conquer the Islamic world. Baghdad was founded as the capital
  • 1258 Mesopatamia and its capital Baghdad falls to Mongol invaders led by the grandson of Genghis Khan. The Arab Empire was destroyed
  • 1500s The Ottoman Empire conquers the region
  • 1700s The Ottoman power in Mesopotamia begins to decline
  • 1800s Great Britain becomes involved with Mesapotamia needing to protect their trade routes with India and the East
  • 1914-1918 World War I
  • 1917 British troops occupy Baghdad
  • 1920 The League of Nations give Great Britain a mandate to rule over Mesopotamia
  • 1920 The San Remo Peace Conference of Allied Powers. Mesopotamia is renamed Iraq
  • 1921 The British set up  King Faisal I as the monarch and control the government
  • 1925 The League of Nations sets the border between Turkey and Iraq which places the Mosul region in Iraq rather than Turkey against the wishes of the Kurdish population
  • 1932 Iraq become independent
  • 1937 April 28 - Saddam Hussein was born
  • 1939 WW11 breaks out
  • 1940-1941 The Iraqi government allies with Germany, Italy and Japan seeking to rid Iraq of British power and influence
  • 1941 Great Britain defeat Iraq
  • 1945 End of WW11 and Iraq helps to form the Arab League
  • 1948 The Arab League declares war against the newly formed Israel
  • 1950-1952 Iraq signs agreements with foreign oil companies and receives 50% of the oil profits
  • 1953 Faisal II became king of Iraq
  • 1950s Many Iraqis began to oppose the monarchy. They wanted a say in the government
  • 1955 Iraq signed the Baghdad Pact with Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey
  • 1958 Iraq becomes a republic during a military coup and the monarchy is killed
  • 1979 Saddam Hussein succeeds Al-Bakr as Iraqi President
  • 1980 Iraq invades Iran
  • 17 January 1991 A coalition of 39 countries begin bombing Iraq starting the Persian Gulf War
  • A coalition of countries led by the U.S. and U.K. invaded Iraq to depose Saddam
  • Saddam's Ba'ath party disbanded and the nation transitioned to a democratic system
  • 13 December 2003: Saddam Hussein was captured and put on trial by the tIraqi interim government
  • 30 December 2006: Saddam Hussein was executed by hanging

This information focuses on the history of Iraq and does not address current events 

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The Iraqi Flag and Nation

We hope that the presentation of facts and information regarding the Iraqi Flag and Country has provided a useful educational resource. To improve your knowledge of Flags and Vexillology still further check out the Flags and Nations Index and test your knowledge with our interactive, multi-choice, picture-based Flag Trivia Quiz Game - it's fast and it's fun!


Iraqi Flag

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