Iraq is Mesopotamia, the land of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, the fertile crescent, the fount of civilization. Here is Ur of the Chaldees. Here is Babylon and the Tower of Babel and that ancient wonder of the world, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Here walked Abraham and here was told the epic of Gilgamesh. Here flourished the Sumerians, then the Akkadians, the Babylonians, then the Assyrians. And then the Persians then the Greeks, and then the Persians again, jostled for control, until the Arabs came, and then Islam. The early half of the Golden Age of Islam centered in Baghdad for a time and then stagnated. Successive invasions followed by that of the Mongols in 1254, and the presence of Iraq was reduced in world affairs. By the 16th century the land was subsumed into the Ottoman Empire. There it continued, until the fragmentation of that empire by the First World War of the 20th century.
The weight of history is great in this land. It’s consciousness can reduce one to near silence. The selection of the eagle of Saladin for their emblem hearkens back to the great leader almost a millennium before4, in turn whose selection of the Pharonic eagle as his standard hearkened back yet millennia further, the ancient age of the Pharoahs and their pyramids. It’s an ancient manner among civilized peoples to be respectful of one’s elders.
- attribution: Unknown, published by Iraqi government, vectorized by User: Militaryace based on the work of User: Hoshie, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
- attribution: File: Coat_of_arms_of_Iraq.svg was by User: Tonyjeff, based on national symbol, with the help of User: Omar86, User: Kafka1 and User: AnonMoos; further modifications by AnonMoos. Arabic script modified by User: Militaryace., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
- symbol of Arab nationalism, pan Arabism, and Arab anti-imperialism since early post WW2 era
- Saladin (1137-1193)