Last modified: 2005-08-06 by joe mcmillan
Keywords: party | baath | pan-arab |
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by Marcus E. V. Schmöger and Joseph McMillan
by Marcus E. V. Schmöger
In a recent edition of the German news magazine Der Spiegel (No. 37,
p. 109), there is a photo of Saddam Hussein with some other high-ranking Iraqi
politicians, admiring a gift from the Iraqi Ba'ath party. The picture shows a
figurine (of Saddam Hussein, obviously), and behind several figurines holding up
a flag, obviously the Ba'ath party flag. It is a green-white-black
triband with a red triangle at the hoist, so the colours are reversed
compared to the Syrian Ba'ath flag. The Syrian and the Iraqi factions are fierce
Marcus E. V. Schmöger, 20 September 2002
Well, this seems to be another questionable order of colors. Green-white-black or rather black-white-green?
In a recent issue of Süddeutsche Zeitung (15 October 2002, p. 8) there was a photo of a wall painting
with the Iraqi flag and (presumably) the Ba'ath party flag side by side. This time the
black is on top and there is an inscription in the white stripe of the party flag.
Marcus E. V. Schmöger, 20 October 2002
The colors are traditional colors of the Arab revolt against the Ottomans.
Al Kirsch, 20 October 2002
The Arabic inscription reads Umma Arabiyya waHida, dhat risalati khalida, "One Arab nation,
with an eternal mission."
Dov Gutterman and Andras Ledeczi, 20 October 2002
Yesterday I saw a documentary of Iraqi history on German TV (ARD), including a scene
from about the 1950s, showing Ba'ath party members rallying around a Ba'ath flag.
It was not clear where this happened and when exactly. However, although this was
in black and white, it was obvious that the darker stripe was on the top of the flag, so that the
original variant of the Ba'ath party flag was probably the black-white-green triband with the red
triangle, as still used today in Syria. I had reported on 20 September 2002, that
the current Iraqi Ba'ath party uses a variant with the reverse colour order green-white-black.
Marcus E.V. Schö:ger, 22 March 2003
The report that the flag of the (former) Iraqi Ba`ath Party had
the green stripe on top, as opposed to the Syrian Ba`ath, which
has the black stripe on top, is incorrect. Actually, both are identical,
and should have the black on top. Black on top is also the
Palestinian flag. A photo from the old website of the
now-defunct Iraqi Ba`ath Party newspaper al-Thawra, showing
Saddam Husayn and the Ba`ath flag shows the black stripe on top.
Across the white stripe it says Umma `Arabiyya waHida, dhat
risalati khalida (One Arab Nation, with an Eternal Mission).
Underneath the flag is the inscription Wihda, Hurriyya, Ishtirakiyya
(Unity, Freedom, Socialism). These were the Ba`ath Party's two
slogans, in both Iraq and Syria, as each claimed to represent
the "true" Ba`ath after the two wings split in the late 1960s.
There were (are) Ba`thist parties in Jordan after parties
were legalized in the early 1990s, by the way.
Michael Fischbach, 12 July 2004
My information was certainly based on weak evidence, namely one photo of a
representation of the Ba'ath party flag. However, from my own
experiences in searching images and representations of the (Syrian)
Ba'ath party flag, I know that logos on websites showing a
representation of the flag are not always correct. As stated in my posting of 22 March 2003,
at least historically the Ba'ath party flag of Iraq had the black stripe on top. Whether this was the
case in more recent years as well, is, in my opinion, not clear from the
information we have.
Marcus Schmöger, 17 July 2004