Temporary Iraqi Flag Causes a Flap

BAGHDAD -- The Iraqi parliament's move to adopt a new, temporary national flag has provoked an outcry, with one city refusing to fly it and ordinary Iraqis attaching the old flag to their cars in a silent protest.

Iraqis have flooded chat rooms on the Internet with criticism of this week's decision, which had long been demanded by the country's Kurdish minority who say the Saddam Hussein-era banner was a reminder of his brutality.

Many Iraqi Arabs disagree, seeing the old flag as having little to do with Hussein, a Sunni Arab, but as one under which countless soldiers died fighting.

The new flag is very similar to the old one.

It is still red, white and black, but three green stars in the center representing unity, freedom and socialism, the motto of Saddam's now outlawed Baath party, have been removed.

The phrase Allahu Akbar, or God is Greatest, added in Arabic script on Hussein's orders during the 1991 Gulf War, remains, but no longer in his hand.