This is the new flag for Iraq, as chosen by the Iraqi National Congress, without the knowledge of or consultation with the Iraqi people. Many Iraqis are not happy.
The old flag is a symbol of Iraq to millions of Iraqis. It also bears the words "God is Great" across it in Arabic script, so it's also of spiritual significance to many.
To make matters worse, the new flag looks quite similar to another flag...
Really, if I didn't know better, I would think that the IGC , the CPA, and the Bush administration were trying their darnedest to infuriate Iraqis at times. Aren't there *any* decisions they are willing to leave for the future, when they might have some meaningful element of democratic legitimacy to them? The Iraqis are already suffering from a profound sense of culture shock... why add to the problem right now? It is simply counterproductive and unnecessary.
Want to change Iraq? Why don't you start with a working electricity grid, fresh running water, local policing, and the removal of garbage and raw sewage from the streets... and then work from there?
*UPDATE* More than 1000 student demonstrators in Mosul protest the new flag, call for Islamic unity. Given that Mosul is relatively peaceful compared to the rest of Iraq, this isn't the best of signs.
Meanwhile, it appears that the light blue stripes on the flag are being changed to dark blue in order to make it less like the flag of Israel.
Hm. Maybe they should declare that the Iraqi flag is currently in beta testing, and give it a spiffy new project name and revision number... The "Vigilant Freedom" flag, v. 0.92, or something like that. ;-)