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Iran Patriotism Special: Wiping the Green From The Flag

Yesterday we noted that the Iran flag had morphed from Red, White, and Green into Red, White, and Blue in a speech by President Ahmadinejad to officials:

I thought this might have been a production slip-up, with the Iranian flag melting away into the sky, but now a 2nd photo has emerged, from Ahmadinejad's introduction of the new head of the Islamic Republic News Agency:

Golnaz Esfandiari of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has more on the story.

References (2)

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  • Response
    EA WorldView - Archives: January 2010 - Iran Patriotism Special: Wiping the Green From The Flag
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    Response: have a peek here
    Awesome Web-site, Carry on the great job. thnx.

Reader Comments (43)

"Actually Scott the duty of a journalist is not to pass along whatever someone else says, especially when it’s bs like this."

Hass: That's why we call Scotts work 'citizen journalism' and that's why we (non-citizen) journalists keep an eye on his blog - to read all that's out there, double check what we read and then report on it (or not) - and have a laugh occasionally... Like in this case.

January 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWitteKr

Look, funny video slip-ups are a part of the news. I recall when Ari Fleischer used to stand in front of the Presidential Seal and the border would look just like horns coming out of his head because he was the exact wrong height. These things are just simply funny. No need to attack about it, it's not like this site only gives frivolous news. It's not outrageous to put a lighthearted story in once in a while.

January 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRev. Magdalen

Oops, sorry. Just realised that my comment no. 26 can be read as 'citizen journalists don't need to check their facts'...
Which isn't true of course, and isn't the habit on this blog!
Just in this case checking was a bit hard - and reporting too much fun!

January 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWitteKr

So Rev Magdalen and WitteKr basically think that Enduring America is a comedy site, sort of like Colbert? Well, considering the prominence given to this story about the regime opposing the color green, then I guess I have to agree. It is a joke.

January 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterhass

Incidentally, look how many other sites have now started to report -- as fact -- that the Iranians are trying to secretly change the green flag to a blue one. Yet another BS story that has become truth through mere repetition. And Enduring America was a prominent part of that. Tsk. Tsk Scott. If you really want to play the "I'm a journalist" role, then you should write a post about how this story is BS and has no real substance. That would be journalism.

January 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterhass

Scott thought the news was so noteworthy to give it a separate entry, rather than have it being part of the liveblog.

January 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterM. Ali

Dear All, Gosh, you're right. I'm so embarrassed that I reprinted photographs from the websites of Iranian state media and had a bit of fun with the mix-ups/errors/mischief/inanity that led someone in the Iranian system to turn the flag Red, White, and Blue. (A clear symbol that engagement between the US and Iran is working?) To preserve my reputation and applications for employment with reliable news sites like Fars News, IRNA, and Press TV, I will take my tongue out of my cheek and attach the appropriate logo:

January 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterScott Lucas

Hmmm, The flag on the pole is obviously green, the first photo the flag blends into a blue sky background, nothing to see there. Only the second one is actually blue, but the flag on the pole is still green.

Isn't this kind of silly though? Kinda detracts from the serious issues, this is like the crazy Birchers seeing the hammer and sickle in corporate logos, designs and flags etc...

January 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDan

"I THOUGHT this might have been a production slip-up, with the Iranian flag melting away into the sky, BUT now a 2nd photo has emerged"

Gee Scott that doesn't sound "tongue in cheek" -- no, that sounds like you were giving credence to the report. I'm not sure since when IRNA set the standard, but I am sure you can still find work at the NY Times and NPR etc because their standards aren't much higher, as evidenced by the fact that they reported the "green wristbands" story too without bothering to check it out. That's the standard of journalism, nowdays, unfortunately. Hype and gossip and rumor, repeated and embellished and parroted.

January 31, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterhass

Oh I forgot to say that you can also go work for RFE/RL because this is yet another instance of them promoting total BS. When it comes to Iran, as long as you cook up something negative, it doesn't matter how imaginary it is. Someone will pay you to promot it.

January 31, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterhass


I'll be sure to show my tongue more clearly to you in the future :).... Somebody in the Government's publicity machine messed up/got mischievous/did something stupid. You can enjoy the moment (as I did), deal with it, or stamp your foot at how unfairly you're being treated.

If you really want to engage with news and analysis, don't cherry-pick these two stories (even though your assertions on the green wristband story are both diversionary and wrong --- you and I both know that there has been running protest, using Iranian football as a stage, since June).

If you really want to engage with news and analysis, deal with the 100s of stories on EA since June: the issues over the protests, the detentions, the executions, the legitimacy of the Government, the battles within the Government and the regime, the question of the Supreme Leader's authority, the contest over the Constitution and issues like free speech.

If you want to engage me on these matters, as most EA readers do, I would be most grateful. Otherwise, let's take your sniping about "journalism" for what it is: a a trifling, negative attempt --- itself a poor imitation of the line put out repetitively by the high-profile defenders of the Government --- borne out of frustration and difficulty in dealing with the situation that has emerged since June, to belittle rather than making a contribution.

Have a great day and do try to have a bit of fun,


January 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterScott Lucas

its none of your business Megan if I am Iranian or not. ANd yes, those outlets were plain wrong. In fact if you look the photo used by NBC, you'll clearly see the GREEN shirt collar and the GREEN shirt design that matched the green wristbands .

February 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterhass

Hey Scott, its only "trifling" because you were caught promoting BS.
Face it. Just say "Gee I was wrong, and I shouldn't have given so much credence to this report" instead of trying to accuse me of holding you to a standard.

February 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterhass


1. From Mehr, June 2009: "Iran's team manager, Mansour Pourheidari, said to reporters: 'This was not a political move, but rather players were using an Islamic symbol to defeat Korea. Because players felt the move maybe mistaken for a political act, we asked the players to take off the wristbands.'" The wristbands, which were not part of a team kit, never reappeared.

2. I'm sorry we couldn't make you smile.

3. I've had a bit of fun with this. Noow I've got more important issues to cover, issues which you will continue to avoid in favour of riding your wobbling hobby-horses into the sunset. Good-bye.


February 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterScott Lucas

I have to say, this article didn't come off as tongue in cheek, not at all. Even now that you say it yourself, Scott, I have a hard time believing it was. In fact, the first people who commented seemed to take it seriously and you didn't bother pointing out it was a joke. Was your previous article about the flag colors also tongue in cheek? because it also talked about some serious shit. Seems odd to mix the jokes and the serious stuff just like that.

February 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAriel


I take the point --- the Warning Label should have gone up when the post went up, not in my later comment. I never thought this was a deliberate attempt by the regime to wipe Green from the flag; more likely, it was a screw-up by someone inside the Government over presentation. Not good, however, to do it twice within days.

That said, I think there is a wider point here. The Government, and Ahmadinejad in particular, is looking increasingly haphazard and even chaotic in its attempts to spin a public-relations line inside as well as outside Iran --- on the one hand, the threats and arrests, on the other, the stumbling attempts to look "Presidential" amidst troubles with Parliament and the lack of legitimacy.

If you can't get your flag right, might want to rethink the strategy....


February 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterScott Lucas


You answered my question; you are not. [Removed by moderator]. Sorry, I do not buy your BS on wristband.

February 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

i think they are making the flag blue on purpose on whatever they can with out resorting to actually making new flags with blue on it !! they think they are being smart by putting it into peoples subconscious ...
only time can show if they continue doing this.

February 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersars

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