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Commemorative Religious Flags (Iraq)

Last modified: 2024-02-17 by ian macdonald
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Gen. Soleimani

[Gen. Soleimani] image located by William Garrison, 9 December 2021


caption: A red-field memorial flag depicting images of slain Iran General Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in Bagdad, Iraq on the first anniversary of their deaths by a U.S. drone attack; Jan. 3, 2021.
William Garrison, 9 December 2021

[Gen. Soleimani] image located by William Garrison, 1 January 2022

A vexillum seen at a Jan. 1, 2022 rally in Baghdad, Iraq, that commemorated the Jan. 1, 2020 U.S. drone attack that killed Iran general "Qassim Soleimani" (who was directing the "Al-Quds" militia forces in Iraq) and Iraq "Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis", deputy commander of the Iran-backed PMF ex-paramilitary militias in Iraq. Stretching the definition of a "vexillum" a little perhaps, but due to this "placard/banner" having yellow-golden fringe on it, I think qualifies it as a vexillum for Iraq. It certainly has a smorgasbord of "themes" in it: at the top row in the middle is the logo of the Iraqi "Popular Mobilization Forces" (PMF) or "al-Hashed al-Shaab"; below it is the banner/logo/flag of the Yemen "Houthi" militia, and below it is the yellow-field logo/flag of Hezbollah. When looking at this vexillum, to the right of the yellow Hezbollah flag is an image of the Iraq politician: Muqtada al-Sadr. Just below al-Sar's right shoulder, is the gray-bearded Irani nuclear physicist, Moshen Fakhrizdeh, who was assassinated on Nov. 27, 2020 by Israel. To the left of the white Houthi logo/flag is the Muslim holy shrine: the Kabba, and to its left is an image of the assassinated Iran general Qassim Soleimani. To the right of the Houthi logo/flag is the "Golden Dome" or "Dome of the Rock" (al-Haram al-Sakhra) on the "Temple Mount" or the "Noble Sanctuary" (al-Haram al-Sharif) in Jerusalem, and to its right is an image of the co-assassinated PMF commander al-Muhandis. At top, to the left of the PMF logo/flag is Iran's current Supreme Leader: Hosseini Khamenei, and to his left is Iran's first Supreme Leader: Ayatollah Musavi Khomeini. Along with a plethora of other Shiite-Muslim personalities.

William Garrison, 1 January 2022

[Gen. Soleimani] image located by William Garrison, 29 May 2022

A white-field memorial flag bearing images of Iraq PMF (Popular Mobilization Forces) militia Commander al-Muhandis and Iran Gen. Q. Soleimani, both killed in a U.S. airstrike on 3 Jan 2020, with the PMF logo atop; c. 2 Jan 2022. The flag was carried during a demonstration demanding that all U.S. and assisting foreign troops be withdrawn from Iraq.
William Garrison, 29 May 2022

At is a Shia-Muslim flag commemorating the martyrdom (assassination) of Iran's Gen. Qasem Soleimani (d. 3 January 2020), the leader of the Al-Quds militia in Iraq. A facial image of Soleimani can be seen on the right. In the middle, on top of what appears to be a golden "L" is the "panjtan" (hand) symbol of the Shia Hazrat Ali family. On the left I am surmising is the dome over the tomb of Imam Hussain (d. 680 CE) in Karbala, Iraq. In the middle is the gold-colored slogan: "Ya Hussain" -- which is a Shia prayer-appeal for Imam Hussain to help troubled Shiites. The red two-prong sword readily identifies that this is a Shia-Muslim flag as it is called the Zulfiqar sword, which Shia Imam Hussain allegedly carried during his defeat (martyrdom) at the "Battle of Karbala", Iraq (October 680). This flag was displayed during a Muharram-mourning procession in honor of Imam Hussain (and obviously also with Soleimani in mind) in Srinagar, India; c. July 2023. (From a Shiite perspective, both Hussain and Soleimani are considered "shaheed" (martyrs) who were killed (assassinated) due to their Shia militancy beliefs. Essentially, this flag exhorts Shiites to beseech Imam Hussain for his support in Soleimani's cause of expelling Israelis from Jerusalem.]
William Garrison, 29 November 2023

Generic Shia mourning-casket flag

[Gen. Soleimani] image located by William Garrison, 16 May 2022


Caption: This is a special mourning flag covering the casket allegedly containing the scant remains of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani, who was killed in a U.S.-led airstrike outside Baghdad, Iraq, on 3 Jan. 2020. Because Gen. Soleimani was a jihad-"striver" killed in "combat" while striving to support the overall Shia-Muslim religious cause, he is considered to be a "martyr" for his Shia-Muslim faith. After a large memorial service in Najaf, Iraq, his flag-draped coffin was paraded through Najaf, before taken to Iran for burial in Tehran, a week later. According to my Iraqi source, "These flags are made specially for these kinds of [funeral] occasions to symbolize the honor of martyrium [martyrdom] for the sake of Iraq and Imam Ali's Shia-Muslim sect." If this flag could be fully seen, it looks like the current national flag of Iraq, and at the left side of the middle white stripe there is a logo referring to Imam Ali and (in Arabic) "the Aliwi sacred shrine" [where the Shia Imam Ali is believed to be buried] in Najaf, Iraq. Briefly, the Alawites are an offshoot of Shia Islam who revere Ali, the Muslim Prophet Mohammed's cousin and son-in-law. At the time of his death, Gen. Soleimani was the commanding general of the Iranian-based "Quds Force", a sub-unit of the "Iranian Revolutionay Guards Corps" (IRGC), and he also coordinated the Shia-Muslim "Popular Mobilization Forces" (PMF) inside Iraq. The Shia-Muslim government of Iran supports the Shia-Muslim government of Iraq. As my Iraqi source noted: "this should not be considered as a standard flag of a country, group or whatsoever." Nonetheless, I thought this might be an interesting example of a printed Shia-Muslim jihad-memorial/mourning flag, that may be available at the shrine for other martyrs. Because the logo/slogan is printed "sideways" on the white stripe, it is obvious that it is meant to be read "head on" when looking at a casket, rather than being flown like a typical flag. {Photos of Gen. Soleimani burial in Iran show the Iranian national flag covering his casket -- not this "flag".}

William Garrison, 16 May 2022