:: to the teeth ::    thoughts on social justice, medicine, race, hope and beats

"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way.
On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." :: Arundhati Roy ::

"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any." :: Alice Walker ::
Wednesday, April 28, 2004  

Do you have a FLAAAAG?

These words were yelled out by comedian Eddie Izzard in his show Dress to Kill -- he was referring to the power of flags in colonialism (British leaders could just walk into India and say the land was Britain's, and when the Indians tried to refute that claim, British leaders shoved a flag on a flagpole into the ground and said "Do you have a flaaaaaag?" and claimed the country).

This whole re-flagging Iraq situation reminded me of this skit, partly because it seems so imperialistic and partly because it's SO bizarre. It seems like we're trying to get ourselves in too deep with the Iraqis...messing with their flag! Here's the new flag, designed by the brother of an Iraqi Governing Council (read: US puppets) leader. I don't even know where to start with what's wrong with it, but i'll give it a try:

1. WHAT are we doing messing with other countries' flags? How near and dear do so many Americans consider our flag to be? We're asking for all out "guerilla insurgence" by messing with this. And not EVERYTHING in Iraq is there because of Saddam Hussein. An Iraqi citizen states: "That flag is not Saddam's flag. It was there before Saddam and it represents Iraq as a country. The whole world knows Iraq by its flag."

2. WHY did we aim to get rid of the "God is Great" from the Iraqi flag while flouting "In God We Trust" on the U.S. dollar and proclaiming "under God" in the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance? Apparently our god is better than their god.

3. IS this a big joke? WHY does the new Iraqi flag look like Israel's flag? Especially when, as Matthew Yglesias points out, all the Arab Republics have similar flags. Was this an oversight? A joke? Done on purpose?

4. This has GOT to be the newest U.S. tactic to anger and humiliate Iraqis. More than a year ago, a joke story and joke flag were posted about the US imposing our flag beliefs on Iraq. And it's come true.

5. If it angers me that we're doing this to Iraq's flag, I wonder how much it angers Iraqis. And for what?

posted by Anjali Taneja | 4/28/2004 04:03:00 PM | |


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