Sunday, September 10, 2006

Bare Outline

I visited the official homepage of the website of the Iraqi fledgling government yesterday (The English version of the site is here.) One thing that struck me about this first stab at an Iraqi web design strategy, other than the distorted photos that indicated an amateur job, was the use of the outline of the country as a national symbol. Specifically, I wondered whether the outline of the Iraq was also a national symbol during the Hussein regime, particularly since Hussein might have had an idea about national boundaries that included the country of Kuwait at one time and might have also had skepticism about territorial demarcation based on the decisions made by British colonial rulers.

I've noticed that military graphic designers have previously chosen the outline of an occupied country as a symbol of nationalism, as you can see from this leaflet or this leaflet dropped in Afghanistan. Is it appealing because it is a blank slate?

You can also check out the text of the Iraqi Constitution and notice how specific freedoms are guaranteed in this document that are now even being compromised at home, here in the U.S. Note that the link to "Saddam's Trial," which is spelled "Saddam's Trail," doesn't work.



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