Assyrian Congress objects Iraqi flag change

The Assyrian Congress on Saturday expressed their rejection of changes approved by the Iraqi parliament to the national flag a week ago.

“Amidst all the political crises that threaten Iraq’s unity and destiny, the parliament has lost all sense of priority and was involved in some campaigns meant to be a red herring away from all crucial matters in the Iraqi state,” the Assyrian Congress, a small group of ethnic Assyrian political and cultural powers in Iraq, said in a statement.

“These changes in the Iraqi flag were made solely to please some Iraqi parties,” the statement noted, referring to Kurdish demands in this respect. The congress appealed to Iraqi national powers to “reconsider their positions in the face of partisan, sectarian and ethnic bargains and to adopt effective stances to save Iraq from division attempts.”

“Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani decided not to raise the old flag with three stars, because thousands of Kurds were killed under this flag and asked the Iraqi parliament and government to change it,” Mohammad Mulla Qader said earlier last week.

Iraq’s Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani demanded the parliament to hold a special session to take a decision on raising the new Iraqi flag in Kurdistan region, the head of Barzani’s office said on Thursday.

The Iraqi parliament approved changes in the national red-white-black flag by removing the three stars and retaining the words Allahu Akbar (God is Great) in Kufi calligraphy.

The Assyrian Congress, one of small ethnic Iraqi Assyrian parties, was founded in 2005 in preparation for the January 2006 elections then. It is headed by Ishaya Ishou. Assyrian parties in the country are mostly participating in the autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan region’s government. Other Assyrian parties include the Democratic Assyrian Movement, the National Assyrian Party and Beit Nahrein Party.