OK, I’ve been away for a while. I think Themistocles said it best after the Battle of Salamis: “Sometimes life interferes with badflags.” Anyway, my apologies, and as a token of my regrets for leaving you stranded without badflags, I now present the flag you’ve doubtless been waiting for.
The only nation to have a single colored flag. My first thought: this is a very, very lazy flag. Simplicity has its virtures, but this one borders on the simpletonian. One color. Green represents both Islam, and Moamar Gaddhafi’s “Green Revolution.” That’s very well, but couldn’t Libyans think of anything else they might want to represent on their flag? Libya is a nation of amazing history and diversity. From the Greek and Roman ruins at Leptis Magna to prehistoric rock art in the Sahara, to the rich amalgam of Arab, Touraeg and Berber cultures. Nothing in there you’re proud enough of to put it on a flag?
Second, I think about the color: green. There are few nations less green than Libya. It’s a big a sham as calling Greenland “green.” Also the primary export is petroleum; and that’s as big a sham as calling ExxonMobil “green.” Looking at a Googe Earth map of Libya, it seems to me that tan would have been a far better choice:
Finally, Libya has had a variety of flags in the past. This flag became the offical one in 1977 in protest of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s visit to Israel to form a partnership for peace in the Middle East. So it’s kinds of a historic FU to the Jews and those who wish for peace on earth. I know Gaddhafi has of late been much less of a tyrant and all-around a-hole than in the past. But wouldn’t anybody, even now, stand up to him to change the flag? Some of the old ones aren’t that bad – given the fact that strict adherence to Islam prevents the depiction of animals and people. And certainly after that whole Lockerbie business, you’d think Libya would want to repent a bit more. They did give up their nuclear weapons programs, and opened up more to the West, but come on. Changing their flag would be a small gesture at accepting peace, making a break with the past and recognizing the creativity of the Libyan people.